Natural Resources Wales has responded to criticism of work being carried out at the Hafod Estate.

Trees on the estate are being felled due to disease.

A concerned reader contacted the Cambrian News to question the methods being used to fell the trees.

The reader sent in photographs of the work being carried out, as seen above and below, and said: “The forestry in the Hafod is run by NRW and it appears they have instructed a felling contractor, Kronospan, to fell the area close to the cave. NRW should be monitoring this work in any case.

“The photos show silt, brash and trees in the watercourse which is blocking the stream in several areas.

“The silt and brash are making the water dirty.

“Even a plastic sign can be seen in the water.

“No mitigation to catch any debris has been put in place i.e. silt catchers.

“They should be felling all trees away from the stream so this really shouldn’t be happening.”

Hafod Estate forestry work
'Silt, brash and trees are blocking the stream in several areas' (Picture supplied)

In response, Alan Wilson, NRW senior forest operations officer said: “Ensuring our forests and woodlands are managed sustainably is one of our key responsibilities, and our forestry operations follow standards of good forestry practice, as set out by the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS)

“We recently completed an operation to remove larch trees that had become infected by Phytophthora Ramorum (more commonly known as larch disease) at Nant y Cae on the eastern edge of Hafod forest. All foot paths have now reopened and any signage that was obstructing the path ways have been removed.

“We’ve since been made aware that a sign has fallen in to the nearby gully and preparations are being made to remove this at the earliest opportunity. Due to its precarious location on the rock face however, this will require the services of a rope access contractor.

“Before any forest operation starts, our staff thoroughly survey the area for any water courses and make sure protective measures are in place before the work is carried out.

“During the operation, every effort was made by our contractors to avoid woody material entering the nearby water course.

“However due to the extremely hazardous site conditions there would be no conceivable way to completely avoid any woody material falling in this area, but this has not caused any risk of sediment pollution.”