Motorsport in Welsh woodlands has a long history. For decades, the country’s forests have hosted a wide variety of motorsports - from international rallies to grassroots club events.
An NRW-commissioned independent review looked at the possible tensions between hosting motorsports, its economic and social benefits and its commitments to respond to the nature and climate emergencies.
Stakeholders including motorsport organisations and businesses, local communities, government and local government, and other woodland recreation businesses were also part of the review process.
The findings of the review formed the basis of today’s decision which will see motorsport events held on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate for five years
Sir David Henshaw, Chairman of NRW’s Board said:
“As a land manager we take an evidence-based approach to all our activities, and sustainable management of natural resources is our core purpose.
“This is the type of difficult decision that NRW has to make as an organisation – balancing the economic, social and environmental needs of Wales, for now and for the future.
“The review concluded that, on balance, motorsports were compatible with the principles of the sustainable management of natural resources.
“As a Board we concluded that motorsports should be allowed in the forests we manage for the short and medium term, but this should go hand in hand with our ambition to enhance the forest environment. We expect to see these ambitions reflected in any new agreement.”
Dominic Driver, Head of Land Stewardship explained:
“We will now work with the motorsport sector and other forest users to map a route that protects the forest environment and reduces the impact of any future events.
“With our commitment to supporting a green recovery, we will work with Motorsport UK to put the environment at the heart of our discussions to drive towards a lower carbon, greener and more sustainable approach to hosting the events in the future."