Ancient woodlands surveyed

Friday 13 July 2012, 13:40

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron

A nationwide survey of Wales' ancient woodlands has identified thousands of hectares of these living monuments that previously lay undiscovered.

Wales now has 95,000 hectares of ancient woodland - an increase of more than 50% since the last survey, eight years ago.

The huge leap from the previous estimate of 62,000ha is due to the use of more accurate, digital maps and more precise methods which enabled new areas to be identified.

The revised inventory was commissioned by Forestry Commission Wales and the Countryside Council for Wales with support from Coed Cadw/Woodland Trust, which owns Cwm George and Casehill woodland.

Ancient woodland - CCW

Ancient woodland - CCW

Environment Minister John Griffiths launched the revised Ancient Woodland Inventory yesterday and visited one of the new areas of ancient woodland that has been recognised at Cwm George and Casehill woodland, near Dinas Powys in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Mr Griffiths said "Ancient woodlands are not just museum pieces which need to be preserved, but can also be a valuable asset, providing wider benefits"

Ancient woodlands are our richest and most important sites for a vast range of insects, birds, animals, flowers and trees and are home to more threatened species than any other UK habitat.

They also have historical and archaeological significance and can be a source of inspiration for local culture and folklore.

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