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Fast-track to new forest.

CONSERVATIONISTS have begun a project in Snowdonia to create Wales's largest new forest.

The 270 acres of woodland, near the village of Bronaber, south east of Trawsfynydd, already exists as a conifer plantation.

But Forest Enterprise Wales, as part of the Assembly's Welsh woodlands strategy to cut the number of unsightly pines, wants to replace the conifers with native broadleaf trees.

In a departure from previous management practices, no saplings will be planted. Instead FEW will use ``direct seeding'', a new method which involves placing upright tree branches, laden with seeds, into the ground, and allowing the wind to scatter seeds throughout the plantation.

The method has been described by FEW Conservation and Environment Support Officer James Laing as ``fasttrack natural regeneration''.

It will create a new woodland of around 250 hectares of native broadleaves with a mosaic of around 120 hectares of open space.

Mr Laing said: ``The opportunity to create a distinct and more traditional landscape is very exciting.''

The current plantation is mainly spruce planted around 33 years ago, whereas the new woodland will comprise native Welsh trees such as birch, willow, rowan and oak.

As well as landscape improvement, the woodland will also provide an enhanced habitat for flora and fauna.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 14, 2002
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