We have known for a while that it is on the cards that the Cwmcarn Forest Drive will be closing for a period due to phytophora ramorum – but more worrying news seems to be emerging suggesting that the closure will be permanent.
When Rob Southall – founder of CTS – realised the enormity of this threat he created a new group on Facebook to campaign to save the Forest Drive. Over 2,000 concerned citizens joined the group in the first two days and it is growing all the time.
CTS intends to support this campaign and would encourage everybody to join the Facebook group and join in the discussions.
The Facebook Group statement reads:
The Cwmcarn Forest Drive will be closed indefinitely on 2nd November. According to Natural Resources Wales is as a result of the phytophora ramorum (larch disease) infection of the Japanese larches that make up 78% of the trees in the forest. However I am not convinced about this. There are a number of inconsistencies with NRW approach. Firstly there are ample harvest roads around the Nant Carn valley to facilitate removal of the trees and what needs to be removed via the drive could easily be done during the winter closure period, however NRW say that the job will not be completed until 2018 and after this the drive may not reopen due to funding issues. This campaign may be our first and last chance to save the drive. The Forest Drive needs friends and I am reaching out to you all to protest and not simply accept the closure.
Rob Southall wrote:
“I have to say that I am absolutely gutted with what I have been told by a resident of the Nant Carn Valley this evening. The drive will close and is extremely unlikely to ever re-open. The damage that is likely to be done to the scenery by the clear felling of the larches will mean that the area may be something of a wasteland for a time and will take years to get back to the state where regrowth makes it attractive for visitors.
Secondly NRW has been making inventories of the faculties and will be dismantling some to take elsewhere. The sculptures will all be removed and the BBQs demolished. The person I spoke to said “we are all completely devastated by this news”. This person talks with NRW staff regularly and this is what she has been told -so what hope is their for visitors and people who live outside the valley and are not directly affected like most of us? The person I spoke to thinks that this is the wrong approach to address this problem, which could be done in stages during the annual closure.
If we want to keep the drive we are going to have to fight tooth and nail and it is going to be a difficult fight – I really do need to know that the people who have signed up to this page are willing to back this fight.
If you do please continue to spread the word -the more backers we have the better -not just individuals but organisations too. I’d like to think that we have one advantage that they do not process -it’s our passion and not just a job that we are paid to do 8 hours a day.
Sorry about the speech if we don’t fight we can forget about the drive for good and that really means giving up what is best about living in this locality.”