Home » Over £1m in woodland grants awarded as Minister calls for more applications
National News Politics

Over £1m in woodland grants awarded as Minister calls for more applications

THE FIRST six projects that will form part of a Wales-wide network of woodlands for local communities to use and enjoy are each getting a share of over £1 million in grants.

The money has come from The Woodland Investment Grant (TWIG) – part of the Welsh Government’s National Forest programme.

The grant programme is run by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and it works to create, restore and enhance woodlands in Wales.

Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: “It’s been lovely to see the range of applicants awarded grants in the first round of The Woodland Investment Grant – from a new woodland in a school in Barry to the restoration of a degraded woodland on the Llŷn Peninsula. With more funding rounds to go, we want more people to come forward and apply for funding so they can grow beautiful outdoor spaces for their local community. We all benefit from woodlands- they help us and wildlife live healthier lives, they improve our wellbeing, and help us mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.”

The TWIG programme was launched by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in June 2022 and it provides grants of £40,000 – £250,000.

This is the first round of five over the next couple of years. Round 3 closes to expressions of interest on 16 February. 

Two of the projects being announced today in South Wales will create urban woodlands with one seeing school pupils collaborating on designing a woodland than can be accessed by everyone.

Another is aiming to replace a coniferous woodland with native trees in a stunning coastal location on the Llŷn Peninsula. 

Welcoming the grant announcements, Andrew White, Director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales said: “Funding natural heritage projects which help tackle the effects of climate change and support nature’s recovery is a key priority for The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales. The Woodland Investment Grant in partnership with the Welsh Government is just one of the ways that we are meeting this objective.

“From the creation of new woodlands and the restoration of others, these grants will also contribute to the National Forest for Wales initiative, enhance capacity to adapt to the climate crisis and bring direct health benefits to the people and communities involved.”

online casinos UK

The six projects being funded are:

  • Ymddiriedolaeth Nant Gwrtheyrn is receiving £209,060 for the ‘Coedwig Nant Gwrtheyrn’ project. On the Llŷn Peninsula, this project will re-establish a native woodland on the steep coastal slopes surrounding Nant Gwrtheyrn. The current coniferous trees are old and deteriorating rapidly and the dangerous condition of the trees and challenging terrain means even experienced hikers can’t get to the woodland. The woodland is an important part of the natural heritage of this spectacular setting for visitors. It’s also important to the wider community as tourism focused on the Llŷn Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is key to the local economy. This project will connect Nant Gwrtheyrn to local businesses in the nearby village of Llithfaen.
  • The National Trust’s ‘Stackpole Woodland Enhancements’ project is receiving £249,302. In Pembrokeshire, the National Trust’s ‘Stackpole Woodland Enhancements’ project is receiving £249,302 to combat climate change and restore ecosystems. Stackpole woodland is being affected by issues such as non-native invasive species which are slowly choking it. Contractors will map affected areas and treat or remove non-native invasive species such as rhododendron, laurel, balsam, knotweed, and pheasant berry which are abundant on the site. Work will also include removing dead and dying conifers replanting more native broadleaf species which will allow the native woodland to thrive. Pathways will be cleared and a disused forester’s hut will be converted into a space for bilingual interpretation with solar lighting, carved wooden seating and bike racks.
  • The Awen Cultural Trust’s ‘Enhancing Bryngarw’s Historic Woodland’ project is receiving £103,082. In Bridgend, this project will improve the health and quality of Bryngarw’s woodlands to provide a resilient and enduring piece of natural heritage, which is a safe haven for nature and people alike. It will be a thriving ecosystem that enhances biodiversity while also protecting a local community asset which provides a space for wellbeing, learning, and recreation. Among the works being  carried out will be large-scale habitat management works, public access and safety works, as well as community engagement events and educational activities. Invasive non-native species including bamboo, Japanese knotweed, rhododendron and Himalayan balsam will be removed.
  • Pontypridd Town Council’s Meadow Street Woods project is receiving £197,011. Pontypridd’s Meadow Street community is an accessible community garden re-invigorated from a derelict plot of land thanks to funding from the Welsh Government-funded Local Places for Nature programme run by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.  On the same site is a woodland that has been left unmaintained and this project will turn it into an urban woodland. Once the work is completed, it will be accessible and appealing for all in Rhondda Cynon Taf to enjoy and experience and will protect and enhance nature and biodiversity at the same time. The woodland will be ‘For the local community by the local community’.
  • Oak Field Primary School is getting £50,000 for its ‘Oak Field Community Woodland’ project. In Barry, Oak Field Primary school has created a wildlife area and pond and is in the process of establishing a community allotment. There is approximately one acre of overgrown land around this area and this project will see school pupils, the local community and experts working together to develop an urban woodland on it. Pupils and the local nature partnership will collaborate on designing the woodland to make it accessible to everyone and more mature trees and saplings will be planted. The children’s ideas will be used to establish areas to play and learn and also hedgerows to create new habitats for wildlife.
  • Dŵr Cymru is receiving £250,000 for the ‘Llanddegfed Lake Phase 1’ project. This project at the Llanddegfedd Reservoir near Pontypool will focus on delivering multi-purpose woodlands to create access for recreation, tourism, community engagement, education and learning opportunities as well as enhancing the woodlands. It involves three woodlands – Coed Pentre-waun; Coed Sluvad and Coed Cwmbwrwch. The two-year project will work with Gwent Wildlife Trust to survey the woodlands and prepare a woodland management plan. Visitors to the site will eventually be able to access all three woodlands throughout the year to experience the change of seasons and have the opportunity to get involved through volunteering and learning programmes.