Forestry and woodland makes up 27% of the AONB and the majority of the woodland is ancient, of high conservation value, and irreplaceable.Most of the woodlands are no longer actively managed for their timber, due to a collapse in prices. This made harvesting the relatively low-grade hardwoods on the steep slopes of the Wye Valley particularly unprofitable. As a result many of the woodlands are becoming neglected. Those still managed productively are mostly in the ownership of the Forestry Commission.
Some local people, from foresters and coppice workers to carpenters and wood turners, still make a living from the woodlands. The other economic impact of the woodland is its popularity for recreation and tourism. The Forestry Commission and Woodland Trust woodlands are open to the public and are popular with walkers, horse riders and cyclists.
The AONB encourages the sustainable management of the woodland throughout the AONB, the creation of new markets for local timber and woodland produce and the development of woodland management skills. The Wye Valley AONB Woodland Management Guidelines outline its approach.
Horse Logging Site about woodland management and tree removal with horses
A partnership between the AONB Unit, Ross-on-Wye Town Council and Natural England have started tree management work on the banks of the Wye where it passes through Ross, to benefit biodiversity and create river views.
If you are 14-18 years old and love exploring the countryside of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, then the Wye Valley AONB Youth Ranger programme is looking for you! Come along to our Taster Day on September 30th.