A PEMBROKESHIRE farm’s woodland site has become one of the latest to join the National Forest for Wales network.

It is one of 27 sites in total that will be joining the network that have been announced by the Welsh Government.

The National Forest Status Scheme was launched in June to allow a wider range of woodlands to be part of the National Forest, whether small urban or community woodlands, private land or farms or large areas of land owned by local authorities, charities or timber-producing woodlands.

The 13.6-hectare West Ford Farm is one of 15 sites that were announced to have already joined, with a total area of almost 800 hectares. There will also be 12 areas from across the Welsh Government Woodland Estate which will join the network after being proposed by Natural Resources Wales.

The plans for the National Forest for Wales began in 2020 to create areas of new woodland and help restore and maintain some of Wales’ ancient woodlands.

Mark Drakeford, Wales’ First Minister, said: “I’m really pleased to see how so many communities are getting involved with the National Forest. The expansion will contribute towards creating a continuous woodland stretching from north to south, west to east, bringing long-term environmental, health and wellbeing benefits to all corners of Wales.

“The National Forest will create an enduring asset, similar to our Wales Coast Path, which provides many benefits, not just for our population today, but for generations to come.

“Congratulations to the new woodlands on becoming part of the National Forest and helping us to deliver this important ambition, which will change Wales’ landscape for the better.”

Alongside West Ford Farm, Oakfield School, Cogan Wood, Porthkerry Country Park, Bryngarw Country Park, Coed Cerrig, Dee Park, Erlas Walled Garden, Acton Park, Coed Hendre Ddu, Wentwood – Coed Cadw, Mere Path, Bath Wood, Mynydd Mawr and Coed Llanandras were given National Forest for Wales status.

The 12 Welsh Government Woodland Estates to join the National Forest will be: Cwmcarn Forest Drive and Risca Forest, North Ceredigion Woodlands and Forest, BBNP Woodlands and Forests (not Waterfall Country), Clwydian Range, Pembrey/Pen-y-Bedd, Crychan Forest, Alwen Forest/Llyn Brenig, Rhinog, Irfon Forest, Llyn Parc Mawr and Bargoed/Sirhywi.

They join the first 14 sites to be named amongst the forest which are: Gwydir Forest Park, Clocaenog Forest, Coed y Brenin Forest Park, Dyfnant Forest, Dyfi Forest, Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest, Hafren Forest, Coed y Bont/Coed Dolgoed, Presteigne Forests, Brechfa Forest, Afan Forest Park, Spirit of Llynfi Woodland, Wentwood and Wye Valley Woodland.