Rural Department in Spring

25 April 2023

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Chris Hyde, Rhian Howells and Tomos Davies talk about some key projects this Spring so far.

Forestry for Timber 

Tomos Davies has recently been taking advantage of the increase in demand for timber by selling a mature standing crop located on a managed estate in the Vale of Glamorgan. The plantations on the estate were historically planted to provide sport and timber for the estate sawmill, but after decades of under management we have recently tendered the blocks and received significant interest.

The demand in the last 12 months has been pushed by an increase in demand for logs to burn domestically, with log burner installations up dramatically, a reaction to the recent gas/oil price hikes as a result of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine in Feb 2022.

Some of the plantations will be clear felled and re-stocked with mixed species whilst others are thinned which will open the canopy and allow a greater diversity of plants in the underwood. This active management, along with the financial return for the estate will provide the estate with healthier plantations. With a push for sustainable materials it is likely that timber will only become an even greater demanded resource for building etc.

Ongoing management of the plantations will be crucial and should provide the estate with a dependable, sustainable and long term income stream.


New Land Boundaries for a Proposed Wind Farm near Caerphilly

On a lovely sunny day last week, Chris Hyde and a land owner met with a representative from Bute Energy to walk the boundaries of a proposed wind farm project. With access to the different fields being such a high priority with cattle and horses needing to be moved with ease between enclosures , the team took care to make sure that the boundaries were accurate and well-defined.

This project is an important step in the development of new renewable energy in Wales. Cooke & Arkwright's work will ensure that the project proceeds smoothly and efficiently.

We are excited to see this project develop over the next few years and see it as a valuable contribution towards Net Zero targets.


Mackintoshes at Dawn

Rhian Howells braved the rain for an on-site meeting to discuss the best route for some new agricultural water piping on tenanted farmland on the Estate. Despite the downpour, everyone was prepared with their hardiest waterproofs, including the trusty Mackintoshes.

During the meeting, the group considered the most effective route for the new water piping system and how it would facilitate the distribution of water to connected troughs over farmland. They also talked about the challenges that may arise during the installation process and how they could be overcome and how the new system would affect the surrounding environment and wildlife, and how they could minimize any negative impact.

Despite the rain, the meeting was successful, and the group managed to agree on the best route for the water piping, even with some soggy paper plans.

Jane Shankland is very approachable and responsive as well as having sound all round experience of rating law. The Council has benefited greatly from Jane’s support, sound advice and skill and the Council will continue to use her services.

Louise Horner, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council