Croeso i Goed Newydd Bron Haul – Welcome to Bron Haul New Plantation

What's Going On?

November 2023 As a Farming Connect Best Practice Farm, we chatted with Forestry Specialist Geraint Jones about how trees benefit the livestock, nature and the local economy at Bron Haul Farm. Episode 88 – Woodland management and adding value to timber at Bron Haul  This was followed up with a farm visit. Thanks Geraint for organising this opportunity to share our excitement for how our woodland project is developing with other farmers and helping us to put a positive light on integrating more trees into agriculture.

October 2023 Our woodland was used as a training site for Sam Webber‘s Felling trees below 38mm chainsaw course. It was great to contribute to the learning of new chainsaw operators.

Sept 2023 We took off to the first ever agroforestry show, organised by the Woodland Trust and the Soil Association. Thanks for having us both along as panel contributors! David explored The Case For Trees on Farms whilst Ruth was talking on Hedges, Edges and Farmland Trees.

The North Wales Division of the Royal Forestry Society made it over for an explore of our woodland’s progress and an in depth chat on silviculture. Thanks so much to Llysfasi college for bringing your brilliant students along! They made the day so much more vibrant and meaningful.

Andy White from Llysfasi college with some of his students. Photo Les Starling.

August 2023 The cows performed brilliantly, looking delighted in their hedge and woodland surrounded fields, for the Nature Friendly Farming Network farm visit discussing the benefits of trees on farms. As well as the great shelter and forage from the woody woodland edges, we showed off our growing list of timber products and marvelled at the birdsong!

July 2023 This woodland is in its 10th growing season. We have just finished squirrel control and are relieved to have passed another summer without damage to the trees. Now we’re into pruning work. The public footpath through the plantation is a great place for seeing butterflies. Look out for Meadow Browns, Ringlets and Speckled Woods. You might even like to add your sightings to the Big Butterfly Count! Download the app and enter a record any time from 14th July – 6th August.

May 2023 It’s an amazing spring for bird song. We have heard cuckoo this May for the first time in over a decade, greenfinches are making an amazing comeback after reappearing for the first time last year in over 15 years. Our latest obsession is with the Merlin Bird ID app that records the birdsong around you and lets you know who’s singing – thanks for letting us know we have willow warbler, garden warbler, redstarts and spotted flycatchers!

Meanwhile, we’ve been busy with our most important woodland task – Grey Squirrel control. Not great fun, but utterly crucial, this North American species is the reason you won’t see our native reds in this area and why most native woodland is in a sorry state and certainly not producing timber. Not sure what all the fuss is about? Feel upset we are killing stuff? Understandable. We are happy to talk about what we are doing. Feel free to Contact Us .

March 2023 Apologies for this gate being less than ideal right now. The magnificently decaying sycamore to your left lost a significant branch onto the wire which has pulled the straining post. Once we have finished our time-crucial winter felling, this job will get our attention. (April – fixed! Happy Walking)

Please do not linger under the dead sycamore. Too dangerous to dismantle, it must be allowed to lose its limbs in its own time. We rely on your common sense! Meanwhile, this decaying giant is a hugely valuable contributor of rotting wood – a woodland biodiversity hotspot.

February 2023 Nine budding new foresters joined us here during this month’s Practical Woodland Tasks course. Now fully trained in decision making and tool use for formative and high pruning we hope our visitors enjoy applying their new knowledge to their own woodlands!

A warm spell at the start of the month woke up the birdlife from its winter tranquillity. Great spotted woodpeckers are drumming their messages through the tree tops. Nuthatches mix their indignant ‘Whhaaat! Whhaaat! Whaaaat! with a poor imitation of a green woodpecker yaffle. A surprise confusion of fruit flies erupts on an unseasonably warm afternoon.

July 2022 Big Butterfly Count 2022 is on! If you follow the footpath down to where the track divides, this tends to be a great place for butterflies. They love the shelter, the coarse grasses and the diversity of species. I’m not brill at flutterbies, but I think I’m seeing Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Ringlets and Small Whites. I’m sure you can do better! Let us add your sightings to the list.

July 2022 Look out! BBC and wider media will be celebrating the successful progress of the UK Squirrel Accord fertility control research. For a full update, visit the UKSA YouTube channel here.

May 2022 We are seeing a pair of magnificent red kites (barcud coch) fairly regularly. We often see kites passing over in late winter but usually by now they’ve moved on to nest elsewhere. Could they be nesting nearby this year? Our swifts are back. Keep an ear out for these hoodlums screeching overhead.

April 2022 Noticed marsh marigolds here for the first time. What a display!

March 2022 Thanks Nick Perrin for bringing two of your brilliant Bangor University volunteers to help us with our respacing work. Jimmy from Uganda and Sara from France helped cut self-set birch where these were competing with the planted trees.

October 2021 Forestry Roots Employee busy in the new plantation

Accurate pruning cuts for fast healing

Our Royal Forestry Society Forestry Roots employee, Dylan Hardy, has been with us for just over a month. In that time he’s been helping us to prune and respace the trees in this young compartment, using his tree identification skills, pruning skills and eye for future timber potential to get our trees into great shape in their 8th growing year. Thanks Dylan for all your hard work and attention to detail!

September 2021 Royal Welsh Agricultural Show Award Ceremony

Royal Welsh Agricultural Show 2021 Award Ceremony



August 2021 Royal Welsh Agricultural Show Woodlands Competition North Wales

We are delighted to announce that our woodland at Bron Haul has won the following awards in this year’s RWAS Woodlands Competition for the quality of its management for timber production and enhancing biodiversity:

Best Woodland in its size class (11-50ha)

Best Broadleaf Planting/Restocking under 10 years old (for the stand below you)

Best Broadleaf Woodland 11-40 years old

The Milford Silver Medal for the Best Broadleaf Woodland in the show

The Royal Forestry Society Gold Medal Certifical for the Best Woodland Stand in the show

The Judges Report from Tim Kirk and Robert Jones-Perrott reads:

Sadly woods such as Bryn Haul are all too rare in the UK. Success here is down to innovation and hard work by the owners, who are helped by living on site. The recent thinning of mainly chestnut have shown good log sized products from their first plantings, and they are now cutting boards for a variety of uses. Early days for them in exploiting the timber they have established here, often wrestling with the problem of ensuring all species grow to their optimum level e.g. oak and shading. Wildlife abounds, flowers, birds, butterflies with the less welcome squirrels and fallow deer, which are heavily controlled. Help is on its way with an RFS sponsored student due in the Autumn.

July 2021 – Our first load of timber was extracted. We took out a small load of birch, felled in 2019, for firewood.

June 2021 – we welcomed judges from the Royal Forestry Society’s Excellence in Forestry competition (Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man) where we are entered in the Small and Farm Woodland category.

June 2021 – we welcomed judges from the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show Forestry competition (North Wales) where we were entered in the Broadleaf Woodland over 15 hectares category.

June 2021 – Our Royal Forestry Society Junior Forester built you some steps on the steepest section of the footpath.

April to July 2021 – The trees are now big enough to be bark stripped by grey squirrels. We have been controlling grey squirrels to protect tree health and to create a future timber resource.

Summer 2020 – We already have too many trees! Using hand tools, birch was felled where it was out-competing the less vigorous oak.

Summer 2020 – We have been pruning potential timber trees.

Summer 2020 – We have been using hand tools to cutting gorse where it was out-competing the trees, and pruning the freed-up trees.

Who's Seen What?

Thanks Ruth Buckley and Sam Kenyon for surveying in this woodland block in July 2021 as part of the Big Butterfly Survey. It felt like a late year for butterflies with sightings of many species only just emerging by late July. We enjoyed meadow browns, common blues, gatekeepers, ringlets and a (small?) white.

We’d love to know what you have seen here. Please visit our Contact Us page.

Welcome to Bron Haul

Our farm includes 20 hectares of young mixed woodland planted between 1991 and 2014. The vision is to produce quality timber in a beautiful landscape with continually improving opportunities for biodiversity. We started planking small amounts of timber in 2020 and are selling under the name Broadleaf.Wales. Of course, the woodland also captures carbon, cleans our air and helps clean and regulate water flow. It shelters the species-rich hay meadow and pasture grazed by our small suckler herd and has strong connectivity through a network of laid hedges. All in all, we hope to give the birds plenty to sing about!



Public Footpaths

We welcome visitors using our public footpaths. Apologies if you have struggled to use the top footpath recently. The way out of the Coed Fron Ddu is now clear, with a new pedestrian gate pending. The short section leaving Bron Haul to the north of the pylon is not as easy to negotiate as it should be. This will be cleared this winter as part of our woodland management operations in this subcompartment. Please stay on the footpath and keep your dog on a lead. If you wish to visit other areas of the woodland, please contact us to arrange a guided tour (£10/head minimum 4 people for a 2 hour tour).

Circular Economy

The woodland below you was planted in 2014. The 6-foot fencing is needed keep out deer. The under-managed Elwy fallow herd has too high a population density to successfully establish new woodland. Most of the post material used to fence this block came from the established woodland on the farm; larch for struts and strainers and cleft sweet chestnut for posts. It was very satisfying to find our thinnings from the older woodland having a use on the farm.


The ant hills shaded with their wonderful flower gardens have grown since the woodland was planted and occasionally we are visited by green woodpecker. Badgers also enjoy grubbing in the hills. A pair of red kites looked like they were trying to build a nest in the mature woodland remnant a few years ago, but the buzzards seemed to see them off. We have found hazel nuts with the characteristic tooth-marks of dormice and otter have been seen on the Elwy. The sheltered, sunny rides (tracks) are buzzing with insects and are aflutter with butterflies. The holes in veteran trees and the scrubby, brambly areas shelter nesting birds. Since removing the livestock, we have seen an increase in meadowsweet, spotted orchids, primroses and St. John’s wort. Of course, we would love to see more, and would love to know more about what we have. Please let us know what you see on your visit. If you have a special interest in any group of plants or animals and would like to contribute to the Bron Haul project with wildlife surveying or suggesting what we can do to improve our biodiversity we’d love to hear from you


Enjoy your visit!