Devauden is sited on the edge of Chepstow Park Wood and there are several other woodlands a short distance from the village including, Feddw Wood, Wern-y-Cwm , Percus Wood and Ravensnest Wood.

Management

These woods are managed by Natural Resources Wales, a Welsh Government Sponsored Body formed in April 2013, largely taking over the functions of the Countryside Council for Wales, Forestry Commission Wales and the Environment Agency in Wales, as well as certain Welsh Government functions.

If you have any concerns or need to report an environmental incident, such as damage to the natural environment or illegal felling then you are encouraged to contact NRW.  The number to call is 0300 065 3000.  If you witness a wildlife crime in progress then report it to the police via the non-emergency number, 101.

Detailed maps showing the forest inventory and other information are available at the Natural Resources Wales map portal.

Forestry

Forest operations are planned many years in advance according to a Forest Resource Plan which lays out proposals for the future management of a woodland in accordance with current policy and practice.   A public register of felling licenses is available to view online. 

The operation around the Devauden area for 2020 to 2024 are as follows.

Woodland Clear Felling
(ha)
Thinning
(ha)
Restocking
(ha)
Chepstow Park (incl. Cefn Garw) 0 138 26
The Fedw 22 57 22
Wern y Cwm 0 0 0
Ravensnest 0 0 0
Wenallt 0 15 0
Crumblands 0 0 0
Pamt y Warren 0 26 0
Totals 22 236 48

At this stage (August 2020) these operations are still in there initial planning stages and may change before the activities begin so the figures in the table above are only provisional.  Another factor is the current outbreak of larch disease (Phytophthora ramorum) which means that resources may be reallocated to larch removal in other areas as necessary.  Much of the larch removal, bar Fedw Wood, has already been undertaken within the areas around Devauden.

The restocking in the areas will largely be restoration to native woodland as a lot of the area is designated as Plantation on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS).

Wildlife

The NRW Wildlife Management Team is responsible for the management of the deer species present within the woodland areas. The deer species that are currently present are Red, Fallow, Roe and Muntjac. Wild boar have also been present for a number of years now. All species are managed sustainably and humanely by skilled team members.

 

Archaeological Sites

The two most significant archaeological sites in the woods are the ruins of a moated hunting lodge in Chepstow Park Wood Deer Park and a prehistoric cairn.

Acknowledgments

Thanks to the following members of staff of Natural Resources Wales for providing the information in this article.  
 Jo-Anne Anstey, Senior Land Management Officer 
 Owen Hoddy, Senior Officer Forest Operations
 Laura McLoughlin, Regulatory Woodland Officer, Forest Regulations and Tree Health Team 
 Adrian Thomas, Forest & Wildlife Management Team Leader