THE Vale council has secured more than £8,000 in funding from the Forestry Commission for woodland management at Porthkerry Country Park.

The grant aid will be spread over the next four years to enable contractors to carry out selective thinning in different areas of the woodland, based on a long-term management plan.

Country park ranger Mel Stewart said: "This winter we will have contractors on site working on the western section of Mill Wood. “The public should be aware that chainsaws and lifting machinery will be active in the area. Warning and information notices will be prominently displayed."

Funding for the work is coming from the Forestry Commission's ‘Better Woodlands for Wales’ grant scheme, designed to create high quality woodlands which enhance the landscape, are appropriate to local conditions and provide a diverse mixture of species and habitats, providing social and community benefits.

Countryside and commons manager Steve Latham said: "The selective thinning of the woodlands will remove weak, diseased and overcrowded trees, leaving room for the best trees to grow. “It will also help improve the structural and ecological diversity of the woodlands."

The work is partly funded by Forestry Commission Wales through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013. The plan is funded through the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Union.