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UPM Tilhill Praised for Management of Coed Llandegla

UPM Tilhill has been given a glowing, independent endorsement for the way it manages Coed Llandegla in North Wales.

Experts from International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) visited the forest to look at how timber production complements UPM Tilhill’s responsibility to care for the environment and meet wider public needs.

Coed Llandegla

Coed Llandegla

IUCN’s report says that “without imposing excessive constraints on production forestry, Coed Llandegla now helps to support a healthy population of the rare Black Grouse, with facilities for public viewing, and is a popular venue for mountain biking - bringing considerable benefits to the local economy of this rural area”.

UPM Tilhill staff and the company’s ecologists are praised in the report for their work to create and maintain the diversity of habitats which Black Grouse require as birds of the woodland edge. Walks are allowed together with RSPB ‘Dates with Nature’ to see Black Grouse, a rare and protected species, and the dramatic spectacle of their springtime ‘lek’.

Praise was also given for the visitor-friendly atmosphere and the variety of wood sculptures near the forest paths depicting wildlife, forest activities and harvesting scenes.

IUCN Assessor Simon Pepper said: “The site represents an excellent example of good practice in the provision of mountain biking facilities, delivered through partnerships with stakeholders. UPM Tilhill has shown how the private sector can deliver multiple benefits, including outstanding examples of wildlife conservation and recreational provision.

UPM Tilhill's Ecologist John Gallacher said: “This in-depth, independent report is a great endorsement of our approach to Coed Llandegla and demonstrates the achievable benefits to the environment and to society from the application of UPM’s Global Biodiversity Programme into forestry operations in the UK.”

Coed Llandegla has become one of the most popular mountain bike parks in the UK, while also being productive woodland. Oneplanet Adventure runs the facilities at Coed Llandegla Forest.

With over 44 km of purpose-built mountain bike trails, people travel from all over the country to ride at Coed Llandegla. Coed Llandegla Visitor Centre and Trail opened to the public in 2005 and now welcomes in excess of 220,000 visitors every year.

Coed Llandegla Forest covers 650 hectares and was planted in 1972/73. It is closely monitored by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Countryside Council for Wales as 50% of the Welsh black grouse population lives within one mile of the forest.

Coed Llandegla Forest was the first privately-owned forest in Wales to be recognised as a source of sustainable timber and to carry the Forest Stewardship Council logo. The renewable resource of Llandegla’s timber is increasingly being used in building products such as roof trusses, pallets, fencing and chipboard. The forest grows at a rate that allows the harvesting of 7,000 cubic metres of timber per year without affecting the total volume of timber in the forest.

UPM Tilhill, established more than 60 years ago, is a national company operating from a network of offices throughout the UK. UPM Tilhill is the UK’s largest forest management and timber harvesting company. The company provides a full range of consultancy and contracting services to the forest owner and forestry investor.


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