Skip to main content

Tag: 2023

Newsletter Winter 2023



As the last of vestiges of autumn give way to the first frost of winter the woodlands of Wales, far from being dormant are busy with volunteers undertaking vital management work.  The social media updates from members are filled with images of volunteers hard at work building, clearing, planting and hosting festive events in their woodlands.  In a week that includes International Volunteering Day, we recognise the dedication and passion community woodland volunteers have for their woodlands.  Llais y Goedwig exists to support you, and to do this we need to know what you, our community woodland members, would like us to focus on.  If you haven’t had the chance to complete the Members Poll sent out a few weeks ago, now is the time as we be making plans for next year very soon.  
Coednet Online Christmas Marketplace
Looking for that perfect sustainable Christmas gift or searching for a supplier of woodland services?
The Coednet Christmas Marketplace is showcasing makers and companies that are working with or within Welsh woodlands.  From furniture designers, to basket weavers, tree surgeons to saw mills there is a vast range on offer.  
Visit the marketplace today, and if you would like to join Coednet and showcase your own work/services send an email to Jayne, the project officer for more details. Llais y Goedwig Members Poll
As mentioned if you are a community woodland group member and haven’t yet completed the members poll we are doing one last push before it closes next week.
We value all feedback and thanks to those who have already completed it.
The format is simple and it takes less than 5 minutes.  
Here are the links: English Cymraeg
Congratulations: TWIG funding announced
The latest successful Welsh Government / National Heritage Lottery Fund Wales Woodland Investment Grant awards include over half from community woodland groups and Llais y Goedwig members.  We congratulate them and look forward to documenting their experiences through the website and blogs.  Coetir Anian is receiving £90,462 to create a 50-hectare mosaic structure with dense thicket and high canopy forest in woodlands outside Machynlleth. Elwy Working Woods Ltd is receiving £249,248 to transform five small woodlands to provide wood to regenerate a micro timber industry. Sirhowy Hill Woodlands CIC is receiving £249,995 to transform the 85 hectare Sirhowy Hill Woodlands for the area’s communities. Llyn Parc Mawr Community Woodland Group Ltd is receiving £201,300 to restore and enhance a woodland on Anglesey which is part of Newborough Forest.
Llais y Goedwig has also supported; Halkyn Castle Wood Events and Education Ltd is receiving £96,000 to provide safe spaces in Castle Woods in Halkyn and encourage visitors.  (Coednet member) Care and Repair North East Wales is receiving £249,126 to develop and manage Dee Park in Shotton and expand facilities for local people. (received Dev Officer support)
Blog: The year that was, and the Llais y Goedwig AGM
In October Llais y Goedwig held our Annual General Meeting online.  It was well attended with members and friends from across the country.  Thanks go to Mike Robinson, the National Forest Liaison Officer for north east Wales for his presentation on the National Forest for Wales , and to Dr Jenny Wong for her presentation on wood fuel.  Both presentations are available by emailing us. If you were not able to attend but want an overview of the Llais y Goedwig year, you can read our handy summary ( 5 mins read).  Find a blog of the report here.  
Llais y Goedwig news
Funding success
It is a competitive landscape for any Third Sector organisation seeking funding at the moment, but we are delighted to announce the success of not one but three recent applications.  If you would like more information on any of the projects please get in touch with us here.
WCVA Strategic Volunteering Grant –  will support councils with bespoke work increasing volunteering opportunities in their green spaces.  This could be anything from an audit of volunteer policies, to building cross department support to access, or even a promotional strategy.
Gwerin Growers –  is funded by Welsh Government’s Local Places for Nature Challenge Fund, administered by WCVA.  We know that communities are enthusiastic home growers of trees, so Gwerin Growers will harness that enthusiasm by providing kit, training and a nursery hub within Powys – but with replicability Wales wide.  
Deall y Dail – will work with community woodland groups in Powys to understand the gaps in capacity and resources.  It will support access to volunteering from communities and profile community woodland groups at major events in 2024. This Grant is provided by PAVO Making a Difference in Powys, as part of the UK Government Levelling Up fund.
CommuniTree Community Tree Nursery Film & Training
The popularity of community tree nurseries continues unabated, with the CommuniTree training courses often full within hours of them being announced. Our partner Coed Cadw / The Woodland Trust in Wales has produced this informative and inspiring short film that provides an overview of the CommuniTree project including plenty of the participants. You can view the film here.  
These are the details of the next training events coming up. For more information and details please contact the project officer Jayne Hunt.
Tree Nursery essentials: pests and diseasesOnline: 13 Dec 2023 10:30 – 12:00 In Person:  24th January 2024 Coed y Tor Cowbridge
In this session, we will cover the risks that pests and diseases pose for nurseries. We will discuss the pathways through which they can enter and leave. Look at controls to mitigate against the risks and see what is involved with UKISG and Plant Healthy certification     To book the online event click hereTo book the Coed y Tor event click here  
Tree Nursery Essentials: locally sourced seed  Centre for Alternative Technology on the 9th of February 2024
This one-day course wth Dr.Jenny Wong will cover the case for using locally sourced native trees in new woodland creation and highlight that this can only happen if there is a reliable supply of seed to tree nurseries and more.  To book click here.
If you produce items from Welsh woodlands, or provide a woodland service consider joining the Llais y Goedwig online resource for sustainable woodland products and services.  We feature providers ranging from natural face balms and hand crafted walking sticks to bush craft events and charcoal.  
Check out the link here and share with your friends and family.
Links/ Updates
Questionnaire about public access to woodlandForest Research are gathering views on public access to woodland – if you are a group, manager or owner of woodland get in touch here
Biodiversity GuideWith biodiversity seemingly headlining every environmental fund and The State of Nature report predicting a catastrophic loss of species thanks to Climate Change this helpful guide from the Senedd Research on Biodiversity provides a clear overview with a glossary of terms used and important legislation you need to know about. Take a look here
Tree Equity ScoreJust released ! This mapping and data tool highlights the correlation between tree cover and health outcomes.  The tool was created through a partnership between American Forests, the US non-profit organisation that created Tree Equity Score, the Woodland Trust and the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare.  To discover more go the site
Funding
Dwr Cymru Environment Fund The new fund is designed to help third-sector groups develop and then implement ideas on how to help nature on our sites and the wider community.
To find out more go here

Arts, Health & Wellbeing Lottery Fund (Wales)Grants of up to £50,000 are available to support partnerships of organisations from across the arts, health, social care and third sectors for high-quality creative projects that deliver health and wellbeing benefits for the people of Wales. On how to apply click here
Training
The Llais y Goedwig Winter Series We are planning a series of winter webinars so we can all embrace spring in our woodlands bursting with ideas and inspiration.  We are partnering with some fantastic organisations to bring these to you; they will include bee ID in woodlands, how to host a bio blitz in your woods, planning new tree planting, the new 30 by 30 legislation and more!   The final events will take place in person at two sites in south east Wales; a coppice festival and traditional hedge laying training.   To register your interest in the Llais y Goedwig winter series email here.

MWMAC Last of the year training sessions from MWMAC.  If you have a FFF training plan you must get in touch with them ASAP.   To look at the courses go here
Jobs
Project Officer, Swansea Community GreenspacesAre you someone who has a passion for nature and being part of grassroots movements to protect it?This role will include proactively advising groups, engaging local communities, organising training, and delivering practical activities.
Check out the details here
People Engagement Officer – Natur Am Byth ( Angelsey) Would you be interested in joining a team to help conserve the most endangered species in north-west Wales?We are seeking an enthusiastic individual with a passion for nature conservation to  to secure a long-term future for curlew and water vole in the Cefni Valley on Anglesey.
For information to apply click here
and finally … winter wreath making and other group festivities
Now is the time to wrap up and gather willow, holly, pine cones and mistletoe for your festive wreath.  Follow Georgie Newbery as she collects and makes a beautiful willow wreath, so you can have your own beautifully foraged sustainable woodland decoration.
Don’t forget to check out other community woodland wreath making, festive reindeers and Christmas tree sales, calendars too! Woodland Classroom has a family wreath making on SaturdayBangor Forest Garden has a wreath making SundayTremains Woodland Rangers are selling handmade reindeerBlaen Bran are selling calendars of their woodlands to fundraise.
Coming up next month in spring: community woodland buildings, spring woodland , events, training and more!


Copyright © 2021 Llais y Goedwig All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Unit 1
Dyfi Eco Parc
Machynlleth
Powys
Wales
SY20 8AX

BLOG: Read all about the Llais y Goedwig Year (2022/23)

For anyone that was unable to attend our AGM in October, but wanted to see what we have been up to, here is the report that was delivered by our Programme Manager Maria Wilding.

Llais y Goedwig Yearly Report

Autumn 2022

Autumn 2022 onwards saw us pretty much returning to pre-Covid levels of activity – our summer events of the Royal Welsh Show and the Eisteddfod took place for the first time in 3 years in 2022 and gave us a chance to reconnect with members and the general public in Wales, showcase the great work of Community Woodlands across Wales and continue through 2022 and 2023 with a renewed appetite for all things Community Woods!

This year we have continued to support member groups via the website, online, the newsletters and in person through our Development Officers across Wales delivering targeted assistance relevant to each group.

The Annual Gathering

The 2023 Gathering was held on Anglesey in May with 64 attendees from member groups and partner organisations coming together to explore local Community Woodland sites, discuss topics (as diverse as: the National Forest, Forest Resource Plan consultations, orchard management and managing a site for red squirrels) as well as taking the opportunity to learn practical techniques and share ideas to take back to their own woodland groups.  We enjoyed some spectacular weather, great food, and our thanks go to the groups on Ynys Mon who helped make the Gathering a success. 

Project update

The RDP funded Dewis Gwyllt project ended in October 2022 after three years of researching the feasibility and development of non-timber forest products with woodland groups.  The completion of this project coincided with the beginning of Goods from the Woods; informed by member feedback and Dewis Gwyllt research, this nine-month project had a remit to set up and run a marketing platform for sustainable woodland goods and services in Wales.  It is great to report that the COEDNET website is now live, showcasing the best of Wales’ woodland products. If you haven’t yet joined – Llais y Goedwig members have a free listing and there will be an online Christmas market from November so please get in touch if you would like to be part of that. 

Another successful work stream has been the  CommuniTree project, working in conjunction with Woodland Trust to enable small and community tree nurseries to start up and expand. It has continued into a third year with more courses, workshops and networking.   

Contract Work

Our contracted work with local councils continued with a renewed contract with Bridgend County Borough Council to help manage a local nature reserve Bedford Park, and I’m pleased to report that Kaz and her groups of volunteers have transformed the site.

We also helped to manage a series of activities under an ENRaW funded project across Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taff (RCT) and Merthyr council areas with the Cwm Taf Nature Networks project.

Our largest contract over the last year was ‘My Tree, Our Forest’ – a 12-month Welsh Government/Woodland Trust campaign to deliver the ‘give-away’ hubs and ‘plant a tree for me’ aspects of the programme linking with a wide range of community groups across Wales.

During the project we managed 56 hubs giving out trees to the public, landowners and organisations and arranged planting on 190 sites nationally.

NRW Enabling Community Woodlands

We are in the second year of a two-year contract supporting woodland groups with Community Management Agreement on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate, this has been an interesting work stream working with the NRW Permissions team, and we are now negotiating an extension to the contract.

WCVA

We are pleased to announce we have been awarded a WCVA Strategic Volunteering Grant to run a project between October 2023 and March 2025 to work with Local Authorities in Wales to develop their volunteering offer for groups on their land. More details of this project in the next couple of weeks.

Organisational Overview

The past year has been our first without core grant funding and has been a test of our adaptability in delivery models – moving to a blend of contract work and grant funds. It has been a challenging but rewarding year which has tested our flexibility – but we’ve risen to the challenge, and we feel a stronger organisation for it.

Our proven ability to deliver on larger scale contracts (as noted above) working in partnership with other third sector organisations has meant an increase in partnership opportunities within the sector.

The blended income model will continue to be how we fund support for members over the next year.  With the support of staff, board and members we have a mixture of ongoing contracts and smaller grant fund ‘pots’ so that we can continue to support the network to both grow and develop.

This new way of working has meant a revision of staff roles, as well as examining our skills and capacity, and our Llais y Goedwig team have adapted as needed to continue to deliver our aims. 

This year we have bid farewell to Cara Wilson our CommuniTree Officer who is now an ally in the NRW People & Places team, and one of our original development officers Sara Wynne Pari who is studying for an MSC at Bangor University.  We also welcomed

new staff member Martyn Davies who will be covering Southwest and South Central Wales along with existing staff.

Llais y Goedwig Membership

Once again, we’ve had a busy membership year, which reflects the focus on woodlands both for community wellbeing and climate change outcomes, and this perhaps also reflects renewed interest in these areas following the Covid Pandemic and restrictions that came with it.  We now have 124 full community woodland members from across Wales.

New members this year come from every corner of our country and include:

Goedwig Gymunedol Dyffryn Tanat, Bwyd am Byth, Rosehill Quarry, Ynysdawley Playing fields association, Natur Ystradgynlais, Gwendreath Environmental Education, Colwyn Bay Conservation and Environment Federation, Gelli Deg Dyfi, Llanbrynmair Pathfinders, Woodworks CIC, Friends of Wern Mynach, Friends of West Park, Merthyr Mawr Conservation Volunteers, Rabbitt Hill Community Woodland, Cemaes Bay, Nature for all, Friends of Henllys LNR, and Coedwig Creu – apologies if I’ve missed anyone off the list

So welcome to the network folks.   Please do engage, ask questions, contribute your experiences, and ask for help when needed – it is what we are here for.

Board of Directors

The Llais y Goedwig board are all volunteers representing the diversity of our members and supporters.  Their time, energy and effort in steering Llais y Goedwig should not go unrecognized as it has been a year of, at times, challenging decision making regarding the ongoing management of the Forestry Hub in Machynlleth, staff roles and the future

shape of our income streams, all the while taking into account the wishes and needs of our member groups.

They’ve supported with the organisation through, what have sometimes been, difficult times for them personally as well as professionally.  So, thanks to the current board members: David, Fay, Chris, Suzy, Joey and Ian.  As of this AGM Joey is resigning as a Board member and Suzy is stepping down for a year.  We hope to welcome more Directors before the end of the AGM as they are a vital part of how we operate. 

If you feel you would like to play a part in steering LlyG through the next few years as a member of the board of directors or as a member of the Policy Advisory Group please do get in touch to talk over ways you can contribute. 

The Forestry Hub

Some of you might know that we’ve been managing a shared office space in Machynlleth since 2016 – Originally at Unit 6 in Dyfi Eco Parc and now in a larger space at Unit 1.  The ‘Forestry Hub’ was initially funded by Welsh Government but with careful management by Llais y Goedwig has become self-sustaining with almost 30 desks occupied by other forestry and related organisations and small businesses. It brings in a small but reliable income for LlyG  as well as useful storage space. An added bonus is that it also enables us to connect with forestry and environmental organisations who we share the office with.   We are in the final stages of negotiating a further lease with Dulas the organisation who manage the building. 

And finally … to round off

 A big thank you to everyone! – especially to our staff for their hard work, but to everyone who has attended events and contributed to the network over the past year and a bit. 

All our hard work over the past few years has meant that Llais y Goedwig’s profile at strategic levels in NRW, Welsh Government and with other environmental organisations has never been higher – we are increasingly being seen, not only as an organisation to be consulted, but also one who can help deliver on many levels and on multiple agendas.

Llais y Goedwig still exists for and is directed by you the members – it’s your amazing work that is the inspiration for what we do and we really need you to keep talking to us and telling us what works and what doesn’t, and what you need to thrive as community woodland groups in Wales.

[ENDS]

      

  

   





©2024 Llais y Goedwig