Elan Valley is home to some of the most important Atlantic oak and broadleaved woodland in Europe. They support breeding woodland birds, saproxilic invertebrates and lower plants, especially lichens, which are of global significant in Elan Valley for their diversity and rarity of species. These woodlands form the core of a Special Area of Conservation, with Sites of Special Scientific Interest. This project will prioritise these woodlands and encourage better ecological management to ensure they maintain diversity. It will seek to restore suitable conditions and remove threats by managing invasive species such as rhododendron. The plan will lay out a 200-year vision for the area to create a continuity of direction and guide the next generations towards this.
It is important for the key wildlife thriving here, and for the cultural and landscape value of these woodlands and their veteran trees, to restore the right conditions for the woodlands.
The aim over the next five years includes the following:
109 hectares of woodland in better ecological condition for their identified priority wildlife.
The physical work undertaken will have improved the ecological condition of broadleaf conversion habitat in targeted areas:
42 hectares of land cleared of rhododendron;
81 hectares of woodland under sustainable grazing practices
73 hectares of thinning completed to enhance ecological under-storey
9 hectares of bracken management
Special Area of Conservation woodland will be more resilient because of an expansion in the area of sessile oak woodland habitat including 8 hectares of native oak planting
A management plan for the woodland landscape laying out management for the next 25 years, and with a 200-year vision
People will have volunteered time, learned new skills and benefited from being outdoors in the natural environment of the Elan Valley.