Pro Silva Ireland

Pro Silva Ireland 2017 Study Tour to Wales, 15-17 September: bookings now open

August 11, 2017

Coed Preseli (In the Preseli hills beside Fishguard, Pembrokeshire)

All Pro Silva Ireland members are welcome to attend our annual study trip – this year to Wales. Places are limited so please book early to help with the organisation of this study tour.

The study trip will aim to follow the itinerary below:

15th September: Tŷ Rhŷg and Glynaeron, Coed Preseli, Pembrokeshire

Coed Preseli is owned by Bob & Jill Holding, who have run a local business for over 50 years, and who have invested their money in local forests. The forest is comprised of six separate forests situated in the Preseli Mountains near Rosebush, Pembrokeshire. Two of the forests, Tŷ Rhŷg and Glynaeron were originally planted with mainly Sitka spruce by the Forestry Commission between 1956 and 1961, and acquired by the present owners in 2004 and 1997.

The main objectives of management are to enhance and maintain the capital value of the forest and to gain a regular income from timber production, and these objectives are achieved by carrying out regular and frequent selective felling, every four years and is applied according to the principles of strict selection rules. In order to maintain optimum standing timber and increment and to maintain stability tree removal is limited to approximately 20% of basal area (BA – M²/ha @ DBH). Tree selection is carried out by Huw Denman and is based on the premise of removing the worst of the biggest on each occasion on a ‘target diameter’ basis. The target diameter is based on the maximum diameter demanded by sawmills which equates to approximately 45 to 50cms DBH (diameter at breast height). Removal of large trees ensures that harvesting costs are minimised and that the sale price is maximised, giving a very healthy profit margin following each felling intervention every 4 years. The canopy gaps created by regular selective felling allows natural regeneration to occur, minimising the expenditure that might be required for re-planting. However, some under-planting of other species including Douglas fir, western red cedar, Norway spruce and beech is carried out to diversify the forest.

Bird monitoring is an important part of management at Tŷ Rhŷg. Bird species usually associated with native oak woodlands are known to nest in the continuous cover Sitka spruce in Tŷ Rhŷg, including wood warblers, redstarts and the two species of flycatcher.

16th September: Bryn Arau Duon, Carmarthenshire

Bryn Arau Duon forest is a 700 hectare upland commercial conifer forest planted between 1962 and 1987, which lies between the Pysgotwr, Gwenffrwd and Cothi valleys in the community of Cilycwm in north-east Carmarthenshire.

Phil Morgan and Huw Denman are responsible for the management of the forest. The owner’s main objective of management are very similar to Coed Preseli in that timber production & income and capital growth are the main primary objectives. Important secondary objectives include conservation of a red squirrel population and maintenance of important archaeological sites.

Objectives are achieved mainly by carrying out an on-going thinning and selective felling programme. Tree selection is mainly carried out by harvester operators, either on a selective felling basis in early thinnings or a ‘target diameter’ basis in developing stands. There are stands present in various stages of transformation to continuous cover, as well as minimum intervention areas managed primarily for red squirrels.

High elevation (approximately 450 metres), exposure, peaty acid soils and the need to maintain water quality are factors which influence management in Bryn Arau Duon, and which are taken into account in planning and implementing forest harvesting operations. A high density of metalled extraction tracks designed to facilitate harvesting and extraction and to eliminate potential damage to soils and water are a feature of the forest. Stone (for tracks and roads) has been excavated on site and mitigation and minimisation of impact of quarrying is an important consideration. These features can be seen and discussed during the visit.

It will be possible to see target diameter harvesting using purpose built harvesters and forwarders in progress at the time of the visit.

16th September: Broadleaved woodland in Carmarthenshire – location to be confirmed

Study tour details

Costs and Booking:

The trip cost (transport and accommodation but excluding meals) is likely to be about €300 per person.

People should book by sending the Pro Silva Ireland treasurer Manus Crowley a €50 deposit.  Places are limited (probably 20) so booking early is essential and is only confirmed with a deposit.

Send a €50 booking deposit as soon as possible to:

Manus Crowlely

Treasurer / Membership Secretary,
Pro Silva Ireland,
18 Marian place,

Interested participants (we need the following information to organise the trip):

Please indicate to Manus with your deposit and email Manus Crowlely the following details ASAP.

  • Your willingness to drive.
  • Your willingness to share a room.

Once we have this information we can book certain cars on the ferry and confirm the accommodation



Accommodation may be booked is in a variety of venues in the village of Brechfa in Carmarthenshire:

Forest Arms, Brechfa:

(booked already for ProSilva Ireland)

7 beds between 3 rooms (all sharing)

Glasfryn B&B, Brechfa:

(booked already for ProSilva Ireland)

1 double room

2 twin rooms (sharing)

Tŷ’r Cae B&B/self catering:

Brechfa Bunk House:



In terms of transport, Pro Silva Ireland is aiming to share cars from Rosslare and share the travel costs:

The ferry travel times are as follows:

Rosslare via Stena Line at 8.00am on 15/9 and arrive in Fishguard at 11.15am.

Return Stena Line ferry on Sunday 17/9 from Fishguard at 13.10pm arriving at Rosslare at 16.25pm.


Pro Silva Ireland wishes to thank Bob & Jill Holding, of Coed Preseli, and CCFG foresters Phil Morgan and Huw Denman for hosting this study tour.

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