North Cardiff Woodlands Project

North Cardiff Woodlands contain rare and sensitive species and habitats. Some of the woodlands are protected under conservation designations. Over the last few years, the condition of these sites has deteriorated due to an increase in recreational usage. There has been damage to valuable habitat known to support rare woodland plants and protected species, including Dormice.

Cardiff Council, Natural Resources Wales and the Wildlife Trust are working with user groups, landowners and land managers to raise awareness and manage access to these protected sites.

Cardiff Council
National Resources Wales logo
The Wildlife Trusts

Type of Conservation Designations

Site of Special Scientific interest (SSSI)

SSSIs are the most important sites for Wales’ natural heritage. They are highly protected to safeguard the range, quality and variety of habitats, species and geological features in all parts of Wales. They are the cornerstones of conservation work, protecting the core of our natural heritage.

There are more than 1,000 SSSIs in Wales, covering about 12% of the country’s surface area.

  • Forest Ganol
  • Cwm Nofydd
  • Wenallt

Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

The SAC designation provides another level of protection for sites that are also SSSIs. The Welsh Assembly Government, through Natural Resources Wales is responsible to the European Union for ensuring that SACs remain in a condition favourable to the important habitats and species for which they have been designated.

  • Cardiff Beech Woods

Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC)

These are locally important sites that are of high biodiversity value because of the habitats and species present. Although they are not legally protected, these sites will be of substantial nature conservation value and have an important role to play in meeting biodiversity targets and contributing to landscape-scale benefits for wild fauna and flora.

  • Ty’n y Coed

Project Aims

  1. Protect and manage sites for wildlife habitats and species
  2. Increased public engagement, connectivity with nature, and well-being benefits.
  3. Public access is improved taking into account the needs of a wide range of users and addressing issues of conflict. Routes formalised for different user groups to access and enjoy the woodlands safely and responsibly.
Horse riding in Cardiff

Project Updates

  • An Ecological survey has been completed for the woodlands identifying sensitive areas most in need of protection and less sensitive areas which may be able to support recreational activities.
  • Woodland User Survey – Public Consultation undertaken in 2020
  • Online workshops with stakeholders and Site Meetings with user groups
  • New signage – Raising awareness of importance of the woodlands and staying on the trails. These will be posted on site shortly.
  • Currently Officers are working with stakeholders to create a map of existing trails and proposed routes for multiusers. This will help prioritise improvements to existing trails, identify opportunities for new trails, and realign or remove trails which pass through sensitive wildlife habitats.
A couple walking through woodland

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