Vale of Glamorgan
Funding amount:
EAFRD (WG RC_RDP Wales) contribution

A feature of the Welsh agricultural landscape is the small woodlands that are scattered widely over the countryside. Many of these woodlands are under managed due to their size as the high cost of larger forest machinery make it uneconomical to manage or harvest. This also has implications for biodiversity as single age structures of trees are less diverse than varied age structures and areas choked by brambles restrict natural regeneration of trees and structural diversity. Another disadvantage of larger forest machinery is the challenge of minimising environmental disturbance. Timber harvesting can leave deep ruts where heavy machinery sink, leading to poor regeneration because of soil compaction, and sedimentation in waterways because of soil surface runoff.

Agriculture and Forestry - Forest Scene


The use of low impact machinery has the potential to offer great benefits to the small woodland owner in Wales. These are small light weight machines such as tracked skid steers and articulated alpine tractors that have less impact on the topsoil and can also be used in less favourable weather conditions. Michael Lewis and Andrew Thomas are both farmers in the Vale of Glamorgan who are facing problems accessing their farm woodlands and are therefore investigating the benefits of low impact machinery to identify the most appropriate methods of minimising environmental disturbance.

Project Design:

  • The woodland sites will be surveyed and four representative study areas will be identified based on their uniformity in surface and subsurface site conditions (such as soil type, slope, stand density etc.).
  • The project seeks to quantify the volume of water and sediment concentration losses from four treatment areas, including a control (no harvesting), conventional harvesting, and two low-impact forestry methods using an alpine tractor and a tracked harvester vehicle.

Reports, Videos and Articles

Technical Publication, Issue 18 (November / December 2018): Comparison of the r…


(September 2018): Will John (ADAS) Forestry sites being cleared:

EIP Wales, which is delivered by Menter a Busnes, has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

European Innovation Partnership (EIP) is part of the Co-operation and Supply Chain Development Scheme (CSCDS) delivering under Measure 16 (Article 35 of Regulation (EU) 1305/2013). The CSCDS is an important element of the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The EIP delivers under sub Measure 16.1 of the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014- 2020. 

Further project information:

Will John
Email project contact