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Natural Resources Wales grants help to keep Welsh countryside accessible for all during Covid-19
Communications & Engagement Manager - Wales
A series of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) grants has helped environmental charities keep green spaces accessible to the public during Covid-19.
Coed Cadw (the Woodland Trust in Wales) received a grant from the NRW’s Strategic Allocation Fund, with the primary purpose of supporting the sector in adapting to the new Covid-19 environment, and continuing to make the countryside safe and accessible for visitors.
The Strategic Allocation Fund highlights National Resources Wales’ ambition to put tackling climate change and the loss of nature at the heart of Wales’ pandemic recovery plan.
During the autumn of 2020, Coed Cadw benefited from the fund, receiving a grant of £267,762.
Credit: Ed Midmore / WTML
This was used to undertake the thinning of ash trees badly affected by ash dieback at Coed Cadnant - an urban woodland providing a valuable recreational resource for the communities of Peblig and Cadnant in Caernarfon. Timber was extracted using traditional horse logging techniques, improving the long-term safety of the wood for visitors, as well as creating canopy gaps for other native species to regenerate.
Work was also carried out at Common Wood, a plantation on an ancient woodland site on the Gower Peninsula. The area suffered from poor access, dominance of bramble, and a history of planting with non-native trees. Under ecological supervision, Coed Cadw made improvements to enable better access, improve the habitat and aid future ancient woodland restoration.
Kylie Jones Mattock, estate manager from Coed Cadw explained:
“Demand for access to the countryside has been growing steadily, but 2020 saw a phenomenal increase in visitors to our woods, with lockdown prompting people to seek solace and exercise in the green spaces on their doorstep.
"Coed Cadw manages over 120 woods in Wales that are free for visitors to enjoy, and we were proud to be able to keep our sites open throughout the pandemic - and heartened by the many comments from visitors who found them a lifeline in this most difficult year. The Strategic Allocation grant has enabled us to keep up with the essential safety, access and conservation work that must go on behind the scenes to keep sites safe and welcoming, for wildlife and people, at a time when our fundraising efforts have been severely restricted.”
Notes to editors
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The Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife. The Trust has three key aims:
- protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable,
- restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life,
- plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.
Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,200 sites in its care covering approximately 29,000 hectares. These include over 100 sites in Wales, with a total area of 2,897 hectares (7,155 acres).
Access to its woods is free, so everyone can benefit from woods and trees.
The Trust’s Welsh language name, “Coed Cadw”, is an old Welsh term, used in medieval laws to describe protected or preserved woodland.