WELSH charity Tir Coed is successfully reshaping the way we think about supporting and promoting outdoor and traditional skills by launching a new qualification and digital workbook for people attending its courses. 

After five years of planning, the charity has developed a recognised woodland skills qualification, ensuring that successful trainees achieve a formal qualification in recognition of their hard work while also boosting their future employment opportunities.

Available at Level 1 and 2, with options to gain an extended award or certificate; trainees will be able to achieve a qualification equivalent to a high grade GCSE by attending a 12-26 week programme of Tir Coed courses.

The new qualification has been developed using specially created digital workbooks, with all coursework and testing carried out on electronic tablets supplied by the charity. This bringing together of traditional outdoor skills and the latest technology increases inclusivity and ease of use in the woodlands while also familiarising trainees with using the latest IT equipment in a work setting.

Tir Coed CEO Ffion Farnell said: “We are absolutely delighted to be launching our new courses by offering trainees a nationally recognised qualification.

“The new digitised workbooks, designed to increase inclusivity, creativity and enjoyment, give learners far greater autonomy while working towards their qualification and also promote the use of modern technology within a traditional skills setting.

“The use of digital workbooks also means that in the unfortunate event of a future lockdown we are able to continue training remotely.

“The range of units available through our comprehensive training and progressions programmes – means the more you attend, the better your practical experience and now, the higher your qualification.” 

The latest intake of trainees at Tir Coed’s Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys sites are already working towards achieving their qualifications using IPads for the duration of the course. 

Tir Coed gratefully acknowledges the support of the Outdoor Learning Wales Network for adding the charity’s woodland units to its long-established Learning in the Outdoors qualification. 

Tir Coed would also like to thank Cynnal Y Cardi (Ceredigion LEADER) for funding the development of the digital workbooks, and six Ceredigion I-pads. And, the National Lottery Community fund for supporting staff time to develop the qualification as part of Tir Coed’s LEAF Project.

Tir Coed is a registered charity supporting skills-development and wellbeing by linking people to land and woodlands. The Aberystwyth-based charity has been providing outdoor and woodland skills training in West and Mid Wales for 22 years.