THE mountain bike trails in the hills around Cwmcarn is fully open for the first time in years today after extensive tree felling work resulted in closures throughout the area.

However, a regular rider of the trails claims the authorities have dragged their feet in completing the work.

Euroforest and Natural Resources Wales (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 were felled to stop the spread of the disease.

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.

Now, it seems as though the long wait to get back up into the hills is nearing an end.

A notice posted on social media said, although some minor work remained to be done, the trail would be fully re-opened from 4pm today, Friday, November 29.

The work was originally scheduled to last into 2020. However, Steve Harris, a regular on the Cwmcarn trails who spearheaded a petition earlier this year to get them cleared and reopened, claims that the official trail reopening may not be a result of NRW action.

Mr Harris said, after growing "exasperated" the apparent lack of progress, he had cleared the final 200 meters of the track himself.

"It took about 10 hours in total to move the thick and compacted brash and the occasional 10 metre trunk," he said. "But once I'd finished all NRW had to do was tidy up clearing their standard metre wide each side of the track itself."

Mr Harris launched his petition in February and it quickly gathered steam, receiving upwards of 1,500 signatures and the physical copy reaching more than 20 metres in length. He then presented the petition to NRW operations manager David Letellier.

Bob Campbell, senior land management officer from Natural Resources Wales said: “This is an exciting time for Cwmcarn Forest as we move forward with plans to reopen the Forest Drive next year.

“It’s been an incredibly complex operation, and we’ve done everything we can to minimise the delay in reinstating the mountain bike trails, working around live harvesting areas and recent bad weather.

“We’re pleased to announce that from Friday, all trails will be fully open at Cwmcarn. As work continues to prepare for replanting, we ask riders to please be aware of any short-term, temporary diversions.”