Welcome to Broadleaf Wales

Quality native broadleaf timber

At Bron Haul Farm, we are managing 20 hectares of award-winning woodland for timber and biodiversity. Broadleaf.Wales is our processed timber and timber-products sales and woodland consultancy business. As our young woodland grows and develops we expect the quality of our timber and the products we can supply to improve rapidly.

See our For Sale page to see what we can provide and keep an eye on our Blogs for your own timber-use inspiration.

Making sweet chestnut fence posts

Our consultancy and training business is growing too. If you are lucky enough to be involved in woodland management, why not come on one of our woodland management courses.

We deliver courses for the Woodland Skills Centre and provide consultancy services for the Woodland Trust and the Welsh Government’s Glastir scheme.

Farmers can get free woodland mentoring from us through Farming Connect.

In the Yard

We use the cleaving brake in the yard to split sweet chestnut logs to make fence posts. Sweet chestnut has tannin-rich heart wood and makes high-quality, durable fence posts.

The firewood in the yard is for our own use, but we supply cordwood (unprocessed firewood) locally if you have the means to process your own firewood. Since 2021, we are delighted to have started supplying cordwood to our friends at Bodfari Environmental, so support us and them by buying your logs from them!

We also have some sawn timber for sale. The timber is sawn just up the road at Elwy Wood. This is early days for our sawn timber business. Talk to us about your timber needs and we’ll see what we can organise.

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. 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!

What's Going On?

July 2022 You are currently standing in one of the best managed small woodlands in the country! We are delighted to have won the Gold medal in this year’s Royal Forestry Society Excellence in Forestry award, contested across Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and England.

RFS Chair Sir James Scott , EIF judge Bryan Elliot, FSC sponsor Owen Davies and Us!

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 their YouTube channel.

July 2022 Huge congratulations to our Forestry Roots trainee Dylan Hardy. He’s just landed himself a job at Musgrave Estate starting this September.

Dylan at the Woodland to Workshop course listening to Geraint Richards effusing about woodland establishment

May 17 2022 Ruth will answer your questions on Nature Friendly Farming Network’s Hedges, Edges and Farmland Trees Webinar panel.

From 2pm, Sam Kenyon at Glan Llyn Farm (Trefnant) will give a tour of her myriad projects improving her land for wildlife and making room for trees. Book on Eventbrite. It’s free!

May 2022 David delivers a Grey Squirrel control course on behalf of the Royal Forestry Society at Harewood Estate.

February 2022 We delivered a Managing Small Woodlands course here on behalf of the Woodland Skills Centre. Great to meet such an enthusiastic gang of new woodland owners!

Winter 2021/22 – Our winter felling focussed on the hayfield woodland. We suffered some windblow during storm Anwen in November. We think we are seeing goshawks.

September 2021 – We received our Gold Medal for the quality of our Small and Farm Woodland management.

August 2021 – Dylan Hardy joins us for a year’s placement through the Royal Forestry Society ‘Forestry Roots’ programme.

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

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

April to July 2021 – This woodland is vulnerable to bark stripping by grey squirrels. A successful season of squirrel control has protected our tree health and timber potential. 

Who's Seen What?

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

Sightings 2022

14 April – first swallow, brimstone, peacock, speckled wood and comma butterflies.

 

Public Footpaths

We welcome visitors using our public footpaths. 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).

Grey Squirrels

Sad but true, the most important woodland management job we do at Bron Haul is controlling grey squirrels. Our grey squirrels were brought from the West Coast of the USA in the 19th century as a parkland curiosity on big estates.

Unfortunately, they do not fit in with our ecosystems and are an absolute disaster for our native woodland and red squirrel populations. The problem they pose for woodland is their habit of bark stripping trees between April and July. This is possibly a behaviour particularly displayed by growing youngsters and lactating females who are looking for calcium-rich food. The result in our woodlands is damaged trees that will neither produce quality timber, reach their potential sequestering carbon, cleaning air or regulating water nor replace the majestic veteran trees that are our woodlands’ biodiversity treasure troves.

We have been running a rigourous squirrel control programme here since 2007 and have suffered very little damage as a result. It is the major reason why we attract prizes in woodland management competitions. However, some of the beech trees in this area were damaged before this squirrel control began and a few of these have been retained as examples of how the entire woodland would look without this important work. Can you spot the damaged trees?

We run squirrel control courses and are happy to talk to you about this sensitive issue. Find out more about grey squirrels and the efforts being made to control them on a national scale by visiting the UK Squirrel Accord website.

Visit the UK Squirrel Accord website

 

Fallow Deer Study

The Elwy Valley is home to a fallow deer population. These are a naturalised escaped herd from Kinmel Estate parkland and have been at large in the valley for about 100 years. They are magnificent animals and wonderful to see, but their numbers are increasing as they have free access to all the forage-rich agricultural fields and lack natural predators.

The woodland you see around you was planted in 1995, and at this time the deer population was small enough that they were not a problem for woodland establishment. Since then, numbers have increased and their range expanded. When Coed Ty Brown, about a mile upstream, was planted 13 years ago, the site needed expensive fencing to exclude the deer. We also had to deer fence before we planted at Bron Haul in 2014.

Since we are converting our woodland plantation to continuous cover forestry, it will rely on continual natural regeneration to restock which will not be possible if the grazing pressure of the deer population is too high.

This woodland sub-compartment is being used by Bangor University PhD students Amy Gresham and Owain Barton who are studying deer movements and feeding habits across a number of woodlands throughout the Elwy Valley. We look forward to hearing the results of their work.

 

Enjoy your visit!