The area of Carmarthenshire known as Brechfa Forest and Llanllwni mountain stands on the site of the ancient forest of Glyn Cothi which became a Royal Hunting Forest.

Offering rich habitats for wildlife and forest trails enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and horse riders, the landscape owes much to the laws and charters that governed ancient forests. These laws decided the punishment for offences against both ‘venison’ and ‘vert’ and defined common rights for local residents.

The ‘Robin Hood’ version of forest history and the ‘Norman yoke’ view that forests were reserved for royal and aristocratic recreation with high fences and harsh penalties for peasants who set foot in them are both common misunderstandings of the history of our ancient forests. Even the view that forest is a heavily wooded area is informed by the recent trend of industrial forest management. Traditionally a forest was an area covering both open grazing and woody cover where wild animals and birds could thrive.


Download Local History – Forest Law pdf  (1.1Mb)