Forestry Commission Wales is to redesign the landscape around its popular visitor centre in Garwnant, near Merthyr Tydfil as it grapples with the threat posed by ramorum disease of larch, which has been identified in the surrounding woodlands.

FC Wales has already felled four infected larch trees to try to stop the disease from spreading and is now working on a new vision for the woodland which could include introducing the world’s largest tree – the giant redwood – to the area.

An area of larch trees equivalent to about 10 rugby pitches could become susceptible to ramorum disease of larch over the next few years, and so foresters are planning ahead to make the woodland more resilient to disease and the effects of climate change.

This could involve thinning or felling small areas of trees and replacing them with a range of tree species which will also add visual interest and, possibly, open up sight lines to view the wider landscape of Cwm Taf.

“Importantly, the planning and first steps need to be tackled now so that the site isn’t suddenly denuded of trees with nothing to replace them,” said planning forester Owen Davies.

“By proactively thinning and felling small areas and planting other trees under the larch, we can diversify the site right now and get a head start if the infection does spread.”