CAERPHILLY Council Cabinet is fully supportive of a new collaborative arrangement with Natural Resources Wales to manage one of the county’s top visitor attractions the Forest Drive at Cwmcarn, following a major investment along the seven-mile route.
During the operation to remove diseased larch trees, a significant refurbishment of the site saw the resurfacing of the forest drive and the installation of eight new recreational areas along the route. This includes three new accessible play areas, woodland sculptures, all-ability trails, a sensory tunnel, and a number of new picnic and BBQ sites.
The new additions will complement the wider facilities of the site which include the Ravens Café, and gift shop, overnight accommodation including new luxury lodges, glamping pods, in addition to a number of recently expanded bike and walking trails and new adventure play areas. Visitors can also try out a new E-Bike at the site in a try before you buy pilot.
Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council, Cllr. Philippa Marsden said,
“We are a forward thinking authority and we are committed to developing partnerships with organisations who share our values, working with Natural Resources Wales is a good demonstration of this commitment. It was devastating when the Forest Drive had to close but it was managed very well by NRW, the investment into the site has been significant and I know residents and visitors will be absolutely thrilled to see the new recreational areas that have been created.”
Geminie Drinkwater, Project Manager from Natural Resources Wales added:
“We’ve been working with Caerphilly County Borough Council for some time on our plans for reopening the Cwmcarn Forest Drive, and we’re pleased to have reached an agreement which will help to secure the long-term sustainability of this much-loved attraction.
“The re-opening of the site was delayed in March due to the Covid-19 level 4 restrictions, however, as restrictions are being eased, we anticipate that the re-opening date will be announced in the coming weeks.”