A MOUNTAIN biker who has grown frustrated with the damage caused to the trails around Cwmcarn Forest by tree felling in the area has handed in his petition to Natural Resources Wales.

Steve Harris, set up a petition in February calling on NRW and Euroforest to restore the damage to mountain bike trails at Cwmcarn caused by the ongoing tree felling operations.

The paper copy petition reached more than 20 metres in length, causing Mr Harris to take it online.

And on Thursday, he travelled to Natural Resource Wales headquarters with South Wales East AM Mohammad Asghar to deliver it in person to David Letellier, operations manager for Natural Resources Wales.


Mr Harris said the discussions had been very positive.

"It is possible to ride some areas of the trail," he said. "It had been run over roughly but the soil was too soft to make it ridable.

"Now the trails are accessible and there are a few more people using them, but it still needs more compacting.

"David has expressed an interest in coming out with me to the trails and taking a ride to see what is and isn't ridable.

"He was very sympathetic for the petition."

Mr Harris' petition has collected more than 1,500 signatures.

South Wales Argus:

(Steve Harris' petition became too unwieldy)

Euroforest and NRW have been working to stop the spread of Larch Disease in the forest and have been cutting down infected trees.

160,000 diseased trees need to be felled to stop the spread of the disease, with operations expected to continue through to 2020.

As a result of this, the Cwmcarn Forest Drive has been closed to cars since 2014 and the mountain bike trails have faced closures and diversions during this period too.

South Wales Argus:

(Steve Harris who is running a petition against the long-term closure of Cwmcarn Forest Drive . www.christinsleyphotography.co.uk.)

David Letellier, Operations Manager for Natural Resources Wales, said: “Cwmcarn Forest remains a popular attraction and the Forest Drive and the mountain bike trails are much loved by the local people and visitors.

“This is why we are committed to reopening the drive and trails as soon as possible for all to enjoy.

“We thank the local people and visitors for their patience during this time and for the commitment many people have shown to ensure Cwmcarn remains a special place to visit.”

Mr Asghar said: “I am pleased that NRW recognise that the trails have been closed for an unacceptable amount of time.

“With a new manager taking up post we can now move forward to work on restoring and reopening the trails.

“It is unfortunate that the timescale for the project could span up until Easter 2020, but I will continue my work to aid in the full restoration of the trails.”