Newborough Forest is facing devastation!

The Directive is being misinterpreted

What the NRW say

Have these proposals been thought through?

About the Red Band Needle Blight

Who are the NRW,

Who owns the Forest ?

What is the EU Habitats Directive ?


Questions and Answers

More about the Red Band Needle Blight!
see -
Newborough News September 2009 Issue 1

Forestry Commission Wales have been monitoring an outbreak of 'Red Band Needle Blight' in Newborough which if left unchecked, could devastate large swathes of the forest. Red band needle blight is caused by a fungus which attacks pine trees & turns their needles pretty red colours. This disease affects the growth rate of the trees & in severe cases it can kill the infected tree. What started as a small outbreak near the Maltraeth entrance has over the past two years spread through a much wider area of the forest.

FCW claim that without remedial action, there is a chance that the whole forest could be lost, although this is very unlikely because it is only in severe cases that the trees are killed. Management of this disease will involve thinning trees to reduce humidity levels, and to allow free movement of air, while retaining corridors of connectivity to allow red squirrels to move freely. Discussions are currently taking place to determine areas where work can be carried out without having any detrimental effect on the squirrels. 

It is fully understood by most of us that the forest cannot remain without removal of trees that have reached their optimum height and age. It is important that we thin in Newborough to achieve the kind of forest that we all want to see. If we dont intervene the trees will eventually die through old age or disease such as Red Band Needle Blight.

This disease will also reduce the available food supply for the Red Squirrels, & the thinning will reduce the available food supply even further. It would seem sensible to put any further clearfelling plans on hold at least until it becomes clear how serious this problem is at Newborough, because the additional tree fatalities could make nonsense of any Forest Design Plan.

Who are the NRW, CCW & FCW?

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) are a Welsh Government Sponsored Body formed in April 2013, largely taking over the functions of the the Countryside Council for Wales, Forestry Commission Wales and the Environment Agency in Wales, as well as certain Welsh Government functions.

The former Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) was the national wildlife conservation authority and the Government'sstatutory adviser on sustaining natural beauty, wildlife and the opportunity for outdoor enjoyment in Wales and its inshore waters. They were acting as conservation advisors to the Forestry Commission.

Forestry Commission Wales (FCW) was the Government department responsible for forestry policy and looks after the 320,000 acres (130,000 ha) of public forests owned by the Welsh Assembly Government. FCW managed Newborough Forest on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government. FCW also had a responsibility to help manage the dune and saltmarsh SAC.

Who owns the Forest & the Warren?

Newborough forest is owned by the National Assembly for Wales (NAW) and is managed on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), formerly Forestry Commission Wales (FCW). It is part of the 'Welsh Assembly Government woodland estate' and is held in trust by the Assembly on behalf of the People of Wales. To put it simply, it is YOUR forest (see - Newborough News). It does NOT belong to the NRW.

Newborough Warren is leased by NRW, formerly Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) from Lord Newborough. The shoreline from high water mark to the base of the dunes is leased by NRW. Isle of Anglesey County Council (IoACC) leases Newborough beach from high to low water mark from the Crown Estates. Ynys Llanddwyn is leased and managed ny NRW from IoACC.

What is the EU Habitats Directive ?

The WAG & NRW claim that they are explicitly committed to following the EU Habitats Directive requirements, in particular Article 2 which states that: 

• ‘The aim of this Directive shall be to contribute towards ensuring biodiversity through the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora in the European territory of the Member States to which the Treaty applies. 

• Measures taken pursuant to this Directive shall be designed to maintain or restore, at favourable conservation status, natural habitats and species of wild fauna and flora of Community interest. 

• Measures taken pursuant to this Directive shall take account of economic, social and cultural requirements and regional and local characteristics.’ 

With reference to the third paragraph it currently seems that the wishes of forest visitors & the interests of the Anglesey tourism industry are being ignored. Yet the Habitats Directive explicitly states that these matters must be taken into account.

The 'Newborough Forest Protection Group' have recently canvased many thousands of forest visitors & there is almost total opposition to the CCW recommendations, see - 'What People Think'. In the case of Newborough forest, peoples opinions should be of paramount importance, especially as this forest is owned by the Assembly on behalf of the 'People of Wales'.