Natural Resources Wales & Woodland Trust pledge support for community woodlands at Royal Welsh 2014

Posted on July 30, 2014 by

At a special reception ‘Developing a Community Woodland Culture in Wales’ at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show 2014, attended by over 25 interested individuals, woodland and third sector organisations, Llais y Goedwig brought together the CEO’s of two current strategic partners, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) & Woodland Trust/Coed Cadw, to promote and discuss joint work for the future.

In speeches made by Dr Emyr Roberts, NRW CEO,  Becky Speight, the new CEO of the Woodland Trust, and David Williams, one of the voluntary Llais y Goedwig Board Directors, and representative from Blaen Bran Community Woodlands (pictured above), the considerable benefits of community woodland work in Wales were outlined and acknowledged, as well as clear plans for future support laid out.

Natural Resources Wales

For Natural Resources Wales, Dr Emyr Roberts emphasised the ongoing support for both LlyG and the Woodland Trust/Coed Cadw, and the value of working collaboratively with third sector organisations to gain a greater ‘reach’ into local communities, as well as to  learn from and support each other. This approach to working co-productively is set out in the NRW Corporate Plan –working with local communities to get more people involved in place-based decisions, and develop plans together – and relates directly to the Programme for Government with the aim to ‘ensure that woodlands are for people – serving local needs for health, education and jobs’.


Dr Roberts outlined that NRW aim to achieve this through strengthening, developing and promoting their key Woodlands and You scheme, which facilitates access to these woodlands for an incredibly wide range of activities, events and projects, in particular the delivery of local economic benefits – enterprise, jobs and training – making the most of those woodlands not currently included in NRW long-term harvesting contracts and close to communities.  He cited the Wisewoods Wales project and Golygfa Gwydyr, both LlyG members, as good current working examples.

Woodland Trust/Coed Cadw

For the Woodland Trust/Coed Cadw, Becky Speight highlighted the value of community woodland work across the UK and that of peer to peer learning organisations such as LlyG, as well as the historical work of the Woodland Trust in supporting community woodland work with initiatives such as ‘Wood on your Doorstep’, the work of the Woods under Threat team and free tree packs .  In Wales Becky outlined how they aim to  will develop this work with partnership work in collaboration with LlyG, supporting community woodland events, networking and research, as well as the recent recruitment of a Woodlands Trust/Environment Wales Officer Andy Richards to support groups on the ground, and an Esmee Fairbairn application for £3M funding for a  5 year programme of advice through online hub, community woodland mentor team, start up grants, development of community ownership projects.

 Strategic Working Relationships

Llais y Goedwig has established working relationships with many organisations (both statutory and independent) in the forestry and voluntary sectors in Wales. When it comes to forestry in Wales it is vital to seek out and work with organisations that support community woodlands. Currently Llais y Goedwig has active partnership agreements with Natural Resources Wales, the European Forestry Institute (Star Tree), and a Memorandum of Understanding with the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw).To read these agreements visit Llais y Goedwig partnerships.

 Read the speeches

Download Dr Emyr Roberts, CEO Natural Resources Wales speech

Download Becky Speight, CEO, Woodland Trust speech



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