In April 2013 Tir Coed were awarded £21450.52 by the Cynnal y Cardi project, which is funded by the Wales Rural Development Programme with support from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The funding was awarded in order for Tir Coed to develop their Community Outreach Initiative Project, and help to establish and trial run the VINE Initiative. Within the project Tir Coed has delivered a number of events intended to increase participation by the local community in woodlands that the charity works in.
It was raised at the beginning of the project that Tir Coed was not very well recognized as a charity due to a lack of development of publicity and different media, and that the local community had not always had the opportunity to participate in Tir Coed run activities as they were aimed at specific groups. The Tir Coed Community Outreach initiative aimed to improve the overall image of, and public awareness of the work of Tir Coed, as well as create more opportunities for community participation and consultation on possible activities to take place within woodlands in Ceredigion.
As well as providing funding for a number of publicity materials including adverts, website development, leaflets, flyers, banners and information boards the Cynnal y Cardi funding has contributed towards a large number of hand tools and equipment such as Pole Lathes, saws and protective clothing for the charity. The funding has also supported a series of activities, training days, and events held in woodlands and villages in Ceredigion in 2013, such as a woodland fair event in Llanfarian in July, and a working with wood workshop in Lampeter in October. The project has also supported the early development of the VINE project by funding open community consultation meetings in Lampeter and Llanfarian in December, and providing laptops for use by the new VINE Initiative Project Officers in Ceredigion. The Cynnal y Cardi project aims to encourage new partnership working between different groups within the community, and as a result another part of this project has involved improving links between Tir Coed and local primary schools. This was achieved by the purchase of wooden benches which have been placed in primary schools in Llanfarian and Llangybi and some children from both schools have also been given the opportunity to participate with some wood work activities led by Tir Coed.
All involved with the Cynnal y Cardi project and Tir Coed’s Community Outreach Initiative have been very glad to see these increased opportunities for community participation and consultation in Ceredigion’s woodlands as well as opportunities for community training which all result in positive effects for the environment and local rural communities. Cynnal y Cardi would like to thank all the Tir Coed staff and volunteers for their work on this project.