Familiarisation Visit to Longwood Community Woodland near Llangybi.
The familiarisation visit to Longwood took place on a rather cold Saturday (October 13th ); the day was organised for people involved with community woodlands and also private woodlands in Ceredigion. The day was intended to showcase Longwood Community Woodland to other individuals and groups involved with woodlands in Ceredigion, and also to highlight various sources of support available. Over 30 people attended the day which consisted of information and presentations, a guided tour and then a workshop and consultation exercise.
Please click on this attachment to view photos: Longwood Visit Photos
The first half of the day consisted of six presentations of various sources of support available to private woodland owners and community woodland groups. Talks took place in Longwood’s Woodland Amphitheatre and the group was first welcomed and given a short introduction to the woodland by Phillip Swaine, a committed and long-serving Longwood Ltd Director. The first presentation was by Loretta Wigfall (Rural Community Officer) and was about the Cynnal y Cardi project and information on what kinds of projects could receive support and how. Following this there were several interesting and informative presentations by Maria Wilding – Project Officer for the Ceredigion Social Enterprise Growth Fund, Ffion Farnell – Development Officer for Tir Coed, Nigel Petts- Coed Cymru Officer, Roger Davies – Director of Llais y Goedwig (Welsh Community Woodland Association) and finally by Barbara Anglezarke, Forestry Commission Wales – Woodlands for People.
After the morning of presentations the visitors were keen to get warm and on their feet so they set off for a guided walk around Longwood. The walk was led by Longwood Directors which gave the group plenty of opportunity to ask questions about Longwood’s development. Longwood covers over 300 acres so attendees were treated to a mini-bus lift for some sections of the walk.
After the lovely walk the visitors met back up at the Forest School area for packed lunch; the group had a small fire and were able to have a go boiling their own water for tea using a storm kettle. The group were also able to have a go at some green wood turning in a short workshop led by Rob Smith before completing feedback and consultation documents. The end of the day was a great opportunity for people to talk together, develop ideas and share joint aims and interests. We have other familiarisation visits in mind for woodland groups for the new year and look forward to developing new and innovative projects with them in the future.
Here are some comments from the group on their experience:
“ Seeing a progressive community woodland – very encouraging – Inspirational”
“Good networking, great location”
“A very worthwhile visit- very pleased we came- lots of useful info and contacts – thank you for the invitation”
“ I think that ‘familiarisation visits’ like this one are very important – offering a chance for small charities, community groups etc. to look at collaborative opportunities to increase and strengthen their numbers”
“Lots of contacts and opportunities to swap ideas – it was great to hear that other people had similar problems”