Forestry workers have begun to fell hundreds of acres of trees in the largest ancient woodland in Wales because they have been infected by a fungal disease.
It is spreading through thousands of larch trees that are growing in the historic Wentwood Forest between Newport and Chepstow.
Years of conservation work by the Woodland Trust will be undermined by the felling of trees at Wentwood Forest.
Restoration work the charity began in 2006, involving the gradual removal of conifers to allow native broadleaf trees and characteristic ancient woodland flora and fauna to return, will be destroyed.
Much of Wentwood Forest was planted with confiers in the 1940s and 50s as a means of providing fast-growing wood for building. This has led to the decline of many species and unique characteristics of ancient woodland. Larch trees are part of attempts to restore the forest to its natural state.
Wales' largest ancient forest is to have many of its trees felled due to a fungus-like disease. Hundreds of acres of Wentwood Forest near Newport will be cut down. It's thought that the disease will continue to spread in the coming months and further felling will be required.
Natural Resources Wales says it will spend £500,000 immediately to try to stop the Phytophthora ramorum tree disease from spreading further.
An extra £2 million will be provided for carrying out future work.
Trees in Wales' largest area of ancient woodland - Wentwood Forest near Newport - are being felled due to a devastating disease.
The Woodland Trust says larches in have been attacked by Phytophthora ramorum, which can damage and kill trees.
Work has already begun to remove 500 acres of the woodland.
The disease is already affecting thousands of larch trees elsewhere in Wales, the South West of England, Ireland and Scotland.