Photo Story: Tree Disease Cwmcarn Forest, Wales

Cwmcarn Forest, in South Wales, is one of the country's most scenic woodlands, popular with both cyclists and walkers. However, in recent years the forest has been plagued by a killer tree disease affecting its population of Larch trees. 


Since 2014 nearly 400 acres of larch trees at Cwmcarn Forest have infected with the untreatable tree disease, Phytophthora ramorum.


According to the Forestry commission, the disease has spread too far to be stopped, but it can be slowed with controlled felling of the worst infected areas.

This is part of a much wider campaign, by Natural Resources Wales, to slowly reduce this wide spread disease, which is attacking many of the country’s woodlands. Although the work is slightly damaging to the local environment, it is essential in eradicating the disease, which if left untouched could mutate and spread to other native species.

Take a look of our photo story below to find out more.

Around 78% of the Larch trees at the forest have been infected and will require felling.

Heavy machinery has been brought in to clear large areas of woodland quickly to reduce the spread of the disease.

Even though the trunks are diseased they can still be used to make furniture, fence posts or biofuel. They are all delivered to local craftsmen and businesses to ensure that nothing is wasted.

Conservation is just as important as removing the infected trees. Native broadleaf species are being planted in the cleared areas to regrow the forest.


All photographs by Alex Law –