A GROUP of campaigners fighting to stop the felling of Garth Coppice have agreed a deal with the forestry company in charge of the operation.

Garth Coppice is a 38-acre mixed woodland and wildlife habitat around one mile from LLansantffraid-ym-Mechain and is home to several buzzards, owls and goshawks as well as bats and other animals.

The deal with forestry company Tilhill will see the preservation of all deciduous trees in the forest and around 20 per cent of the coniferous trees will only be thinned rather than clear felled.

The agreement follows several months of campaigning to save the Garth Coppice woodland which is owned by the Beauclerk Estate and located near Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain.

The Save Garth Coppice campaign team successfully halted felling of the woods in March this year on the grounds that the felling activity being undertaken by Tilhill Forestry was disturbing known nest sites of Buzzards and Goshawks.

According to the Woodland Trust there are fewer than 600 Goshawks in the UK and Garth Coppice is a long standing nesting site for the species.

The felling was stopped after wildlife photographer and Powys resident Ellie Rothnie alerted Tilhill to the presence of the nesting sites in March.

Ellie Rothnie then launched a high profile campaign and enlisted the support of numerous wildlife photographers and conservationists around the world to campaign to save the site from clear felling.

A petition launched by the campaign team gained more than 3,000 signatures in just over three weeks and succeeded in enlisting high profile support across the globe including the backing of a leading US based music industry publicist, Tony Michaelides.

Following the announcement of the agreement, Tilhill is set to commence felling of the remaining conifer area not protected by the agreement this Autumn and replanting of the felled area will follow soon after.

Commenting on the agreement, campaign co-founder Ellie Rothnie said: “At a time when wild habitats face unprecedented levels of threat from man made activity, it feels like we have given the wildlife in this wood a real chance.

"In a perfect world, the wood would have been left untouched given the flora and fauna it supports, but this outcome is far better than the place where we started which would have resulted in the clear felling of the entire habitat.

“There are a huge number of people we need to thank for their support and encouragement throughout the campaign including wildlife photographers such as Shropshire based Mark Sisson, Neil Macintyre, Kevin Morgans and Scott Latham.

"We’ve also had fantastic support from everyone from the Woodland Trust to Extinction Rebellion.

"It will be hugely sad to see the majority of the woodland felled but I really hope the agreement we have reached will provide some respite for the many species this unique habitat supports."