The Coed y Bont Community Engagement Project used 24.2 hectares of woodland for the benefit of the community. Here, local people could ‘have their say’ and get involved in activities to improve their environment. The project helped to ensure that the woodland continues to be a great place for people to enjoy wildlife, stay healthy and become more educated with regard to wildlife and conservation.
Local volunteers were trained in the use of brush-cutters and small tools, enabling them to better maintain and manage the site. These skills, together with basic conservation training, can also be passed on to new volunteers. The woodland can now be used as an educational tool, involving the community in wildlife and by organising events open to the public.
Other activities of the project included the opportunity for nursery/primary school children to work with a community artist to develop interpretation material; to learn all about the wildlife that might be found in Coed y Bont while secondary school children created sculptures and designs of the wildlife for the picnic area, shelter and paths.
There was also opportunity for secondary school children to learn about the pine marten relocation project into local forestry through talks given by The Vincent Wildlife Trust. Children also assisted in the construction of the Pine Marten nest boxes.
A shelter was also constructed in the woodland (construction overseen by Natural Resources Wales) and now provides a dry area for visitors to eat, meet and learn.
The local community celebrated the improved woodland at the official opening in September 2016.
Cymdeithas Coedwig Cymuned Pontrhydfendigaid