Beaver and pine marten will be part of the future woodland conservation in the Wye Valley, one of the largest remaining areas of ancient semi-natural broadleaved woodland in the country.
The AONB team has been working to conserve and enhance the area’s nationally important limestone woodlands, with a range of projects to encourage greater diversity of native woodland flora and fauna. This work includes woodland management and creation, coppicing and glade management, deer & boar management, marketing the products of woodland management, survey and monitoring and interpreting woodland natural and cultural heritage.
Also important is the removal of invasive non-native species inlcuding Cherry laurel, Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotweed and Skunk Cabbage.
Diverse Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW) and Planted Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) cover 25% of the Wye Valley AONB and inlcudes 35 SSSIs, 4 National Nature Reserves (NNRs) and many ancient / veteran trees. Over 900ha of woodland, about 3% of the AONB, are internationally protected as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). However, Britain's trees are under unprecedented threat. Over the last ten years there has been a significant increase in the number of pests and diseases attacking our trees. The ancient woodlands of the Wye Valley have a very rich and natural species diversity, but many woods are undermanaged and overgrazed by expanding populations of deer and grey squirrels. There is also increasing recreational pressure in many woodlands. Landowners, and the gernal public, need sound advice on and good demonstrations of the benefits and practicalities of woodland management. The ancient woodlands and the ancient/veteran trees are both AONB Special Qualities.