South East Wales

Cwmcarn Forest Drive future unclear as 150,000 trees cut

Cwmcarn

A tourist attraction faces an uncertain future as work to fell 150,000 disease-hit trees reaches the halfway mark.

The seven-mile (11-km) Cwmcarn Forest Drive in Caerphilly county closed to cars in 2014 so an outbreak of larch dieback, which is caused by fungus, could be tackled.

Local people say not enough information has been given about the work.

Owner Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said the drive was not making money and needed external funding to reopen.

A public meeting will take place on Monday at the Cwmcarn Institute.

NRW commissioned a series of reports which suggested enhancing mountain bike trails, which were unaffected by the outbreak, could help secure the area's long-term future.

But campaigner Maggie Thomas said more focus should be placed on the forest drive.

"It is wonderful for people who are disabled (and) people who are, maybe, in nursing homes," she said.

Of the work, she added: "They definitely haven't kept people up to speed."

NRW's Sally Tansey said the organisation wants to reopen the drive and improve the whole area, but it needs external funding and long-term income to do that.

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