A REVAMPED Cwmcarn Forest Drive will open its gates and welcome visitors by car for the first time in more than six years next month, it has been confirmed.

Natural Resources Wales and Caerphilly County Borough Council have confirmed that the new look drive is set to reopen on June 21.

The visitor attraction, which is owned by NRW, has been closed since 2015 to allow for the felling of about 150,000 trees affected by the disease Phytophthora Amorum.

Over the last two years it has undergone significant development to create an attraction that is accessible and enjoyable for all audiences.


Several new all-ability trails have been created along the route opening up access to the forest for all, along with new picnic seating areas.

Parents looking to entertain little ones can also look forward to three new play areas, sensory tunnels and a woodland sculpture trail.

A wooden cabin with panoramic views over the valley will provide opportunities for outdoor learning and wellbeing activities, while information signs will allow people to learn more about the history and the heritage of the woodland.

Geminie Drinkwater, project manager at Natural Resources Wales, said: “It has been a tremendous privilege to be able to work on this project and see the ideas and aspirations of many local people and visitors brought into fruition.

“Cwmcarn Forest is such as important asset to the local community and visitors alike, providing much needed access to green space.

“Over the last year the covid-19 pandemic has brought into focus just how important this is to our physical and mental wellbeing.

“What we’ve created here is something that will be cherished by many – young and old – for years to come.”

Caerphilly council’s cabinet agreed last month to a collaborative arrangement with NRW for the local authority to manage the forest drive.

Admission costs will be £8 for a car, £4 for a motorbike, £15 for a minibus and £30 for a coach.

Cllr Philippa Marsden, leader of Caerphilly council, said: “It is fantastic to be working with NRW to bring this much-loved attraction back to public use.

“To see the progress made over the last two years has been a pleasure.

“The impressive green space boasts a range of brand new additions, including the luxury glamping pods and a number of activity areas, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy and we hope that residents and visitors make the most of all that Cwmcarn has to offer in the coming months.”

An official ceremony to mark the reopening of the drive will take place once Covid-19 restrictions are lowered further.