Making A Living From Our Woodlands


Making A Living From Our Woodlands

Hi, my name is Dylan. I live in Snowdonia and depend on the woods for a living. I work mostly with native trees, growing them, planting them, protecting them, felling them and using them.

I run a small local provenance tree nursery, selling to all sorts from large charities and companies to people wanting a few trees for their garden. I spend all year growing the trees but mostly sell them in the winter planting season. If I am involved with the planting and maintenance, my work extends to protecting the young saplings from surrounding vegetation like bracken, or grazing sheep and feral goats.

In contrast to planting trees, I also lay hedges, coppice hazel and willow, and create many different products. Willow is used for a wide range of crafts, from small baskets to riverbank weavings for erosion control. Hazel is used to make hurdles or pegs, blackthorn makes walking sticks, and fallen trees can be transformed into benches or fence-posts.

Rhododendron is a real problem in our woods on which I spend a lot of time clearing and preventing their seedlings from growing bigger. Where I work, this long-term struggle is currently funded through the Celtic Rainforest Project, which targets particularly important woodlands across Wales. Another invasive problem has been the arrival of Ash Dieback, which means that I am having to fell the dangerous ones. When cutting down these old trees, I try to preserve as much of their ecological value as possible. For example, I leave a high stump to maximize retained carbon and nesting or feeding sites for birds and insects, and a variety of cuts can be used to make artificial hollows or rotting cavities for the same reason.

This is how I make a living out of the woodlands, but we all depend on them, from the roofs on our houses, to the pages in our books, and to the air we breathe.

For further details, enquires and comments please contact the Project Officers at
Telephone: 01766 770274
Address: Snowdonia National Park Authority, National Park Office, Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd. LL48 6LF

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