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WICKED Branching Out / Egin Spring 2012

February —April 2012 A Royal Presentation

Green Fair

Wildlife & Countryside Extravaganza at Teifi Marshes

Bank Holiday Monday 4th June 2012

Green woodcrafts Land art Make your own ‘pizza Wildlife discovery See inside for details


Branching Out As a follow-on from the reception in Llandovery with His Royal at Pengelli Forest, near Highness The Prince of Wales last Spring, Tir Coed Development Officer, Gwyneth Davies, took Tutor, Bob Shaw, and four of the

Eglwyswrw, (6 miles from Cardigan)

Starting with taster

young people to meet The Prince and present a gate to His Royal

sessions on 12th June

Highness. The Prince was delighted with the bespoke gate, de-

Contact Becky on (01570) 493224 or

signed specially for his Welsh home at Llwynywermod and incorporating the Prince of Wales feather emblem. The Prince spent some time talking with both Gwyneth and the young people and

Inside this Newsletter:

was particularly pleased to talk with Anna Thomas, who designed

• Communities And Nature

the gate.

• Engagement Gateway

HRH was particularly interested to learn that Tir Coed is in the • Engagement Gateway Powys process of setting up WiseWoods Wales, a social enterprise with funding secured for a full time Manager post. The enterprise will • Monitoring and Evaluation aim to offer progression to those young people who have com• Accreditation pleted the training but have yet to find employment, enabling them • Green Fair to continue to develop their new found skills. Thanks go to The • More Branching Out/ Cambrian Mountains Trust for supporting Tir Coed in forging a link Egin News with His Royal Highness’ Estate in Wales.

• Other News

Communities And Nature Teifi Marshes, Cilgerran - July 2011 to April 2012 Lead: Support: Tasters: Sessions: No. volunteer days: No. volunteer hours: Total no. volunteers No. current volunteers:

Jamie Miller Steve Parkin 4 32 158 948 11 4

The final session for the 4 volunteers at Teifi Marshes was held at the beginning of April. The group have completed 6 bespoke picnic benches, all individually fashioned from oak from the nearby Pengelli Reserve. They spent a wet & wild day taking the dismantled sections of the picnic benches from their work base (the old school house), to the field above the Welsh Wildlife Centre, where they re-assembled them. These beautiful benches serve not only as a functional addition to the reserve, but also as an impressive example of traditional woodcraft for the numerous visitors to the Centre. Over the 9 month duration of this programme, the volunteers have bonded well, and the close-knit group were sad that the project had come to an end. However, one of the group, Gary Phillips, will be joining the new Pengelli group in June as a voluntary Support Assistant. All of the regular volunteers from this programme and the Teifi Marshes programme that ran last year will be coming together to act as Support Assistants at the Green Fair in June that has been planned to celebrate their achievements, see page 10 for more details.

Progression Accreditation


Agored Cymru (OCN) Unit Level Woodcraft - Work & Finish a Simple Design in Wood


Construction of a basic Wooden Shelter


Total Achieved 4

Signed up to Furniture Making course


Signed up to an Animal Care course


Volunteering 3

CAN Pengelli project


Llandysul Paddlers


Communities And Nature Ffrwd Farm Mire, Pembrey February 2012 Lead: Support: Sessions: No. volunteer days: No. volunteer hours: Total no. volunteers

Andy Robert Nigel Little 9 54 324 10

A group of 10 young people, all aged 16 19 years, spent 9 days during February making



benches and new entrance fencing for this beautiful Nature Reserve, just north of Pembrey. The young people, who were part of a Prince’s Trust Team


worked hard to complete all of the works within the time allocated. During the programme, a visit was made by a group of Countryside Skills students from Coleg Sir Gar, who were impressed by the work the group were undertaking. A series of Primary school visits took place in April to promote both the Reserve and the new facilitates to local school children; see page 11 for more details. Agored Cymru (OCN) certificates will be presented to the participants in May at their final Prince’s Trust Team Presentation ceremony.


Construct Ancillary Structures to Access Routes

Progression Level




Employment Have positions with local retailers once their PT programme is completed


Communities And Nature Poor Man’s Wood, Llandovery - April to September 2012 Lead: Support: Tasters: Sessions: No. volunteer days: No. volunteer hours: Total no. volunteers No. current volunteers:

Jamie Miller Ray Miller 4 3 29.5 177 6 6

4 young people took part in taster sessions; the group made their own stick chairs as an initiation into the new volunteer programme at Poor Man’s Wood. With the kind permission of Carmarthenshire County Council, the chair-making was held in Llandovery market square, in the centre of the town, and was very well received by local people and shop-owners; even the Town Crier came out to announce the start of the programme. Early bluebells welcomed the group into the stunning Poor Man’s Wood Nature Reserve, which is hidden away just outside Llandovery. One outcome of the Tir Coed CAN project is increased interest in the Reserve, which, thanks to the publicity created by the project, is being discovered by local people who never even knew of it’s existence. This enthusiastic new volunteer group, which has since expanded to 6, will be making a kissing gate, entrance archway, bridges, entrance signs and benches for the Reserve; they have already made progress with the benches and archway. All of the volunteers will be undertaking the level 2 Agored Cymru (OCN) unit ‘Construct Ancillary Structures to Access Routes’.

One of the young people, who has previous experience as a woodland manager and spoon-carver, has applied for a voluntary position with the National Trust in Brecon.

Feedback “It is wonderful to see the town hall being used especially in encouraging our youth to learner traditional rural skills.” Fiona Walker, Chair of Llandovery Chamber of Commerce

Engagement Gateway Coed Tyllwyd, North Ceredigion - February to April 2012 Lead: Support: Tasters: Sessions: No. volunteer days: No. volunteer hours: Total no. volunteers No. current volunteers:

Bob Shaw Rob Smith & Ffion Farnell 4 17 89 637 8 6

A new group started work at Coed Tyllwyd in Mid-February. The group have:

• Coppiced a small area of the woodland using hand tools;

• Carried out maintenance work on footpaths in the woods;

• Cleared areas of bramble; and • Learnt how to make craft items and gates from wood.

One volunteer left the course at an early stage to work in a canteen, another has dropped out during the course. Two of the current volunteers will have progressed to employment before completing their Agored Cymru accreditation. In April, the group took a stall to Aberystwyth Plant Fair of the items that they had made. It was a great learning experience for all involved. Although there was much interest in the craft items, the best selling products were the garden gates and charcoal (i.e. the more practical/ useful items).

The stall was very useful in raising

awareness of Tir Coed’s work at Coed Tyllwyd.

Progression Employment Managing a caravan site English Teacher Abroad

1 1

Further Learning

Accreditation Level

Prince’s Trust Team Programme


Total Volunteering

Coppice Products


In Progress

Volunteering at Coed Tyllwyd


Engagement Gateway Green Castle Woods, Carmarthen - February to April 2012 This project is delivered on a Woodland Trust site, near Lead: Ben Watson Support: Louise Ellar No of taster sessions: 4 Sessions: 5 No. volunteer days: 26 No. volunteer hours: 190 Total no. volunteers: 7 No. current volunteers: 4


Although 7 young people were originally referred to the project, 3 of these have not attended any of the sessions, while the attendance of others has been very sporadic. Consequently, it has been very difficult to develop any sense of team work to date. However, 3 new participants have joined the group recently, with a further 2 new referrals due to join in May. The group are working towards the Level





“Construct / Install Ancillary Structures�. As part of this unit 2 different types of structure have to be built.

The first chosen structures to be constructed are these very unusual, large tree guards to protect recently planted trees.

During May a mobile sawmill will be brought in to convert a Douglas Fir tree, which has been felled on the Woodland Trust site, into planks to make benches for an outdoor education area that is being developed on the site. This group is due to continue until the end of May. A report on the development and progression of group members will be included in the next Newsletter. Accreditation

Construct / Install Ancillary Structures




In progress

Engagement Gateway Powys Bolbro Woods, Abermule, Newtown - February to April 2012

Lead: Support: Taster sessions: Sessions: No. volunteer days: No. volunteer hours: Total no. volunteers No. current volunteers:

Colin Titley Carol Thomas 4 10 14 613 11 6

The weather has been challenging but the young people have braved the sessions. All the participants are enjoying the experience, are working well and engaging with the project.

We have had good support from a number of local partnerships, including Careers Wales, Powys Training, Newtown Probation Office, Newtown 16+ Team and Newtown Youth Intervention.

In addition to the project days, one young person is now volunteering for Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust for one day per week.

One of the young people from the previous Powys Engagement Gateway group has been volunteering with Colin Titley (the Tutor) throughout the Winter and is now supporting the current group as a peer mentor. It is great to see him give advice and share his experiences with the young people of this new group. He will be taking up a place at Newport University in Autumn this year to study Creative Music—hopefully his woodland experience will influence his music! Accreditation Level


Sustainable Woodland Management 2: Introduction to Woodland Management


In progress

Construct Ancillary Structures to Access Routes


In progress

Monitoring and Evaluation Monitoring Questionnaire Positive feedback comments from project participants. How do you feel this project has helped you? “New skills, friendships and

“Taught me new skills & helped

something to look forward to!”

me with Teamwork. I’m more confident with what I

“I found out I have

can do”

woodwork skills!” “I thought I lacked the “Inspired me to look at different opportunities”

physical energy to do the course but I have managed it - It’s given me confidence”

“It’s made me realise that I

“Got a better idea of what I want

never wanna do this sort of

to do and what I can achieve

work but I’m grateful of the

but also feel more confident that

skills I’ve learnt”

I’m accepted for who I am and learnt new skills along the way”

“It got me out of the house

Do you think you have achieved more than

and kept me busy!”

you expected to? “Yes, learnt skills to help me in the future”

“Yes, definitely - I can do things that I never thought I could do”

“Yes, learnt a lot about woodwork & trees”

“Yes, I was nervous to begin with as I didn’t know how to use tools & stuff but now I can”

“Yes, I can use my new skills in job finding”

Accreditation Millennium Volunteers Achievements Branching Out / Egin participants who have recently had their volunteer hours recognised for giving enough time to their projects to achieve 50, 100 and 200 hour Awards are as follows: 50 hours Craig Thomas 100 hours Miles Ames David Clark Ben Morgan Jet Shimidzu Damian Ratcliffe Patrick Robinson Aaron Simpson Lyall Spencer

200 hours Jack Bluett Gary Phillips Daniel Massey

Well Done All!

GREEN FAIR Wildlife & Countryside Extravaganza

Monday 4 June, 11.00 - 4.00 @ The Welsh Wildlife Centre, Cilgerran

Help to celebrate the achievements of the Branching Out volunteers @ Teifi Marshes Try your hand at Green Woodcrafts Get creative with Land Art Make your own ‘Ceredigion’ pizza Discover more about the wildlife on the Reserve

Activities range from free - £5

More Branching Out/ Egin News Young People give access to Nature Lovers It was all hands on deck when young people from the Prince’s Trust hosted 42 children from local Primary Schools at Ffrwd Farm Mire Nature Reserve, Pembrey, where they have been working hard to improve facilities as part of their ‘Team Challenge’.

The teenagers spent 3 mornings leading groups of

children on a nature discovery trail before taking a peek at the contents of small mammal boxes with help from Reserve Warden, Lizzie Wilberforce. The Wildlife Trust Reserve, just north of the village of Pembrey, has open access but there are no formal footpaths into the reedbed itself, which, up until now had to be viewed from public and permissive paths that run along the site’s boundary. Thanks to the incredibly hard work of Prince’s Trust Team 148, a new boardwalk has been installed that leads from the public footpath into an open area of the wetland, where pools, water-filled ditches and fen provide a home for wetland bird species including reed and sedge warblers, reed bunting, water rail and also the Cetti’s warbler, with its incredibly powerful and explosive song. The enthusiastic Prince’s Trust team also made significant improvements to the Reserve entrance, where a tatty kissing gate and some broken fencing has now been replaced with beautiful oak post and rail fencing and the whole area has benefitted from some serious TLC. Reserve Manager, Lizzie Wilberforce commented: “The way into the reserve now looks much more welcoming and we hope that lots of people will come and visit and learn about this nationally important wetland and really experience the feeling of being immersed in the reedbed.” Prince’s Trust Team Leader, Ifor Griffiths, commented: “As a community project, the building of a fence, benches and the boardwalk at Ffrwd is certainly the most challenging and enjoyable project I have been involved with and for the young people on Team 148 it has raised a huge sense of achievement and pride. 9 days were allocated for the completion of the project and the entire project was completed on time. The Tir Coed trainers had an excellent manner, they were upbeat and inspirational; their patience and understanding towards the young people earned them enormous respect from the group.”

More Branching Out/ Egin News n

Support Worker Training The Support Worker Wood Construction training course completed with a further 7 sessions running during February. The course was developed as a result of demand from Tir Coed Support Workers for training in wood construction skills, to aid the transfer of skills to young people. The timber for the Visitor Shelter was paid for by the Ty Glyn Davies Trust, a charity which works to provide holidays for children with special needs. T



visitor shelter at Ty Glyn Davies Walled Garden in Ciliau Aeron is a delightful addition to the gardens. “We are all really pleased with the new shelter which will be greatly appreciated by all the garden users. Thank you for making it all possible and to everyone for making it such an enjoyable experience.” Ros Laidlaw, Ty Glyn Davies Trust Participant Feedback

“I learnt lots – I want to do more roundwood construction! A brilliant way to get to know other Tir Coed workers … Well worth it, thanks.” “It (the course) will enable me to support other people better having had an experience of being supported through these skills myself.” “It was all great, yet another fantastic training delivered by Tir Coed! Thank you.” Cefnogwyd gan YMDDIRIEDOLAETH MYNYDDOEDD CAMBRIAN Supported by the CAMBRIAN MOUNTAINS TRUST

Other News Tir Coed Social Enterprise Tir Coed’s new social enterprise - WiseWoods Wales / Coed Call Cymru - now exists! It has now been incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and is fully registered with Companies House. Mr Andy Bakewell, who currently runs a training company - Environment Skills Training - has been appointed as the Manager and will be taking up his post very soon. Continue to watch this space!

Europe Day The WCVA is organising a reception at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay on May 9th to celebrate projects that have received European funding. Tir Coed’s Engagement Gateway project has been chosen as one of four projects throughout Wales to be featured and to deliver a presentation as part of the Reception. A film crew recently visited the Coed Tyllwyd group to film them at work and to interview some of the staff and volunteers. The film, which will be shown at the Reception, will be available on the Tir Coed website very soon.

Graduate Placement Ffion Farnell has joined Tir Coed for April and May as part of a Go Wales Graduate Placement. The Go Wales scheme contributes towards the cost of employing a graduate for a placement of up to 12 weeks. Ffion is helping Tir Coed to develop the new VINE Project (Volunteering In the Natural Environment). Ffion is carrying out consultation with local groups and organisations to evidence the need and support for woodland sites that can be developed with and for the local community, with an emphasis on giving local volunteers the practical skills to sustain the work over the long term. Ffion’s report will be used to determine how best to progress the VINE Project.

Agored Cymru News The Annual Quality Review which took place in February proved to be an extremely positive & fruitful dialogue with Agored Cymru. It was a chance to discuss a wide range of relevant issues relating to the continuing developments of Tir Coed as an accreditation centre. There was a huge amount of information exchanged and Tir Coed was complimented on it’s systematic pursuit of improvement to achieve high standards; with internal standardisation format & structure being highlighted specifically in the final report as ‘Good Practice’. In April the External Verifier visited one of our Partner organisations to assess progress, systems and formal agreements as well as viewing samples of learners work from both Partnership groups. This too was a very successful visit although we still await the final report.

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