Most forestry plantations in Wales are on higher ground and valley sides, and typically comprise non-native varieties of larch, pine or spruce. Some forestry areas, such as Coed-y-Brenin and the Afan Valley, have developed into centres for outdoor leisure pursuits such as trail biking, orienteering, cross-country running etc. From a biodiversity perspective, some of the less densely planted stands can retain a semi-natural heathland ground flora and support a dedicated fauna and flora that might otherwise struggle to persist in the current Welsh landscape.

Some of the bird species adapted to living in our less intensively managed conifer plantations include the Willow Tit – one of the most rapidly declining species in Britain, Goshawk, Nightjar, Grasshopper Warbler, Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, Tree Pipit, Coal Tit, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest and the Crossbill: a conifer specialist unlikely to breed in other Welsh habitats.