Preparing for our work schedule

Each year our work season starts in September and allows us to work in our Woodland to the end of March the following year. This enables us to manage our woodland landcape without disturbing nesting wildlife.

A little bit of clearing required at our gate to provide a proper welcome to visitors

Nesting season here in the UK can last from February to the end of August depending on location, species and weather and is an exciting time for wildlife fans.

As a responsible woodland organisation we, at Caerphilly Woodlands Trust, abide by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the European Habitats Directive 1992, which means we plan our work schedule outside of nesting season and we never touch a site with an active nest.

The edge of the Rhondda No2 Coal seam

Yesterday evening we met with Ben Evans from the British Institute for Geological Conservation (BIGC), National Museum Wales to talk about what needed to be done around our Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) the areas of exposed and interesting geology within our woods.

Many people will never have seen where coal comes from so the BIGC with our volunteers some years ago excavated an embankment in the heart of our woods and cut away a nine metre high basin.

Visitors to our woodlands can see the Rhondda No2 coal seam without having to venture underground.

Ben Evans



Together we walked through each area and discussed the clearing of green growth over the rocks and what needed to be left and what needed a more concentrated plan of work.

What a super evening it was to walk the woods, sun dappled and brushed by a gentle breeze.


Looking through the tree canopy at the evening sunshine

Into the woods

We had a great morning exploring our Woodland with around 30 amazing School Children from Hendredenny School and their teachers. We were also joined by Steve Chamberlain from Llais y Geodwig and Kevin Eadon-Davies CCBC Countryside Officer.

We learnt about the history of our Woods and how it once was used to extract clay for making local bricks for the miners houses. This clay was carried on a narrow guage train along the dram track to be made into bricks and where there still remains an old chimney stack on the site where those bricks were once made. However over the centuries coal, iron ore, stone and clay have all been worked on this Coed y Werin site creating the many wet areas we use as ponds today.

The bridge over where the dram track would have been.

We explored the geology site where you will find over 350 million years of geological history revealed in the exposed rocks. We looked in the loose rubble for fossils that had been trapped in the layers of coal, mudstone and ironstone, formed when tropical swamps covered the area in prehistoric times.

We went on to learn about the rare and unique species of wildlife, flora and fauna found in our woods and the Children took rubbings from the posts installed in key areas indicating what could be found in those places.

We also looked at the many different tree types with our leaf & branch spotters and leaf ID wheels. We appreciated natures way in creating a beautiful tree canopy, dormice could travel through this canopy safely getting around the woods without having to cross on the woodland floor.

The Woodland Canopy

The Children then walked around the Long Pond discovering the waterfall and they learnt of the seasons and how that affects the woods and its inhabitants.

Concluding at the Bench we all sat and had lunch in the sunshine. It was a super morning, full of laughter and questions. It was a pleasure to show Team Hendredenny around our Woods.

Caerphilly Woodlands Trust are an active member of the Sustaining Caerphilly’s Landscape Partnership and have made brilliant use of this funding to help the local community explore and engage with a beautiful community managed woodland and learn about why this habitat is important and the wildlife that calls it home.

Said Kevin from CCBC Countryside Team

Some of the recent work, to create and install the rubbing posts and undertake an ecology report, has been funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government and supported by Caerphilly County Borough Council, the Sustaining Caerphilly’s Landscape Partnership brings together landowners, community groups and organisations to deliver a range of initiatives that help sustain, enhance and make accessible the beautiful landscape, its wildlife and heritage around Caerphilly and the lower Rhymney valley

Jumping the stream by the waterfall
discovering 350 million years of history within the rocks

Young Guardians of the Planet

Ysgol y Castell year 5 have been undertaking an eco project to look after the bees.

I visited Ysgol y Castell earlier this month and gave a talk to two classes in year 5 about bees and how important they are to us and the planet. The students were so keen to do their bit to contribute to a better future that they set up their Bee Bomb Business. The fruits of their hard work produced £250 which they kindly donated to us here at our Woodland Trust helping to keep Coed y Werin a sanctuary for nature.

We talked about the variety of pollinators and their habitats, how they are under threat and how everyone can take small steps to make a positive difference

We tasted some delicious honey my bees produced last year and I explained how the bees had made it. I hope I didn’t put them off this fabulous natural food packed with goodness.

After tasting some of the honey the students each made individual bug hotels from flower pots, dried reeds, twigs, stones and hay.

Thank you Year 5 Ysgol y Castell and a huge thank you to Miss Curran for organising it. We look forward to welcoming you to our woodland, Coed y Werin, soon.

Paper & Crayons in the Woods

Bring your children along with paper and caryons to try out our woodland rubbing posts

We have had a lot of tasks to plan for, most of which we can’t start until after nesting season in September but one great task we have been able to do was to install a number of Rubbing Posts for visiting children to take rubbings of the types of interesting things that flourish within our woodland. We have 10 posts in all.

As you will see they look great and help visitors along the trail spot key animals, plants and trees. Download audio trails https://www.caerphilly.org/about-us/ you will spot the audio key sites along the trail to help you understand the history behind this great SSSI site which means it’s a special site of scientific interest.

The geology of the site is considered of great importance being one of only two remaining places where these extensive sequences of Upper Carboniferous strata can be examined. Coed-y-Werin designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of this. We have a great plan ahead of us and we are always in need of willing volunteers to help us with our tasks to look after this magical place.

If you would like to become a volunteer to look after Coed y Werin feel free to either direct message us on our FaceBook page, contact us through our Website or just call 07855 239 074 and we will be thrilled to welcome you to our great team.

HRH Prince Philip 1921 -2021

On behalf of the Members of Caerphilly Woodlands Trust, I would like to extend my sincere and deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen on the passing of her husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all members of the Royal family.

He will be remembered as a devoted husband and lifelong public servant, who put duty above self and was an example to us all.

HRH Prince Philip 1921 – 2021

We would also very much like to acknowledge a generous donation made to Caerphilly Woodlands Trust by one of our members in memory of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The Royal Family has asked people to consider making a donation to a charity in his memory rather than send flowers.

https://www.royal.uk/floral-tributes

The Tree Charter

Last November we made a film to celebrate Tree Charter Day.

A day for the whole of UK society to unite in celebrating the value and importance of trees and woods to people. It also marks the start of National Tree Week each year.

Communities, schools, organisations and individuals mark Tree Charter Day each year with activities and events that celebrate and reinvigorate the relationship between people and trees.

Click here to see our Tree Charter Film

These helped to define the 10 Principles of the Tree Charter, ensuring that it stands for every tree and every person in the UK:

  • Sustain landscapes rich in wildlife
  • Plant for the future
  • Celebrate the power of trees to inspire
  • Grow forests of opportunity and innovation
  • Protect irreplaceable trees and woods
  • Plan greener local landscapes
  • Recover health, hope and wellbeing with the help of trees
  • Make trees accessible to all
  • Combat the threats to our habitats
  • Strengthen our landscapes with trees

Our 17th Annual Meeting

Caerphilly Woodlands Trust had its 17th Annual Meeting on the 23rd February where after several years of steadfast and passionate leadership of our woods Avril Owen stepped down for a well earned break. Avril will still play a major role in driving forward the future of our woodland but taking over the helm Jayne Garland has committed to the task of stepping into Avril’s rather large shoes.

This past year has been a challenge for many but what has become clear is that nature rescued us during this pandemic where people sought sanctuary for their mental and physical health and wellbeing and we are determined to repay the favour by looking after our woodland and enhancing it further for our visitors and wildlife that live in our woods.

said Jayne

Click below to see and hear our message on thanks and support from our Patron Iolo Williams

Award Winning Project

The Award Winning Caerphilly Landscape Partnership is a collaborative project with Caerphilly County Borough Council and local community groups including Caerphilly Woodlands Trust, funded through the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Management Scheme which is part of the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. 

Jayne Garland – Caerphilly Woodlands Trust & Phil Griffiths CCBC

After many discussions were held with community groups, a multi-functional approach landscape masterplan, based on the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, was created by WYG Landscape Architects, co-produced by working with Caerphilly County Borough Council and local community groups.  

The plan was sensitively created to bring about making the landscapes work harder for all the diverse end-users, improving resilience to climate change and based on the resources available to manage the landscape in a sustainable and practical way.

Our project area was across a diverse landscape surrounded by the densely populated urban areas of Caerphilly, Cardiff and Newport. Our unique landscape has been and is under pressure in relation to landscape management and recreational access. In many ways our project area represents a microcosm of the South Wales landscape, a landscape that needed to be better connected to urban areas, particularly St. James which was ranked as the most deprived community in Wales in 2014

The study was directed and carried out by a WYG team of chartered landscape architects, working closely with us the community groups, CCBC and a GIS consultant.  The study provided an ambitious set of proposals to facilitate a sustainable and collaborative approach to landscape management and public access, an approach thought to become an exemplar for sustainable landscape management in South Wales. Our plan, designed by WYG, was for practical application to provide meaningful benefit to people, landscape, heritage and ecology.

This collaborative approach developed a high degree of community and landowner buy in, resulting in a landscape managed in a collaborative and sustainable way to benefit biodiversity, heritage and the wellbeing of residents and visitors through improved access to landscape and nature and to tackle competing multiple priorities between different user groups to create a more resilient and multi-functional landscape.

The Masterplan produced by WYG was winner of the ‘Local Landscape Planning’ category at the Royal Chartered body Landscape Institute Awards (LIAwards 2019).  The prestigious Awards Ceremony was held at the Troxy in London on Thursday 28th November where also attending, Sir David Attenborough was presented a lifetime achievement award for connecting people, place and nature around the world.  The judges were astounded with the standards of entries and were delighted to be able to Award WYG recognition of their outstanding work.

Sir David Attenborough
receiving his lifetime achievement award at the Landscape Institute Awards 2019

Lee Morris, Director – WYG Architects said

“this was a complete team effort from start to finish, from the quality and ambition of the brief, the commitment and enthusiasm of the community groups together with the guidance and encouragement of the countryside’s team at CCBC”. 

#LIAwards2019 @WYGgroup @Attenborough #greeninfrastructure
Lee Morris & Louise Ball – WYG Architects

As a result of the project we now have a Community Ranger supported by CCBC who is employed to help all our partners deliver the Caerphilly Landscape Partnership action plan.

Caerphilly Woodlands Trust is proud to be part of the co production of the project

BE ONE IN A MILLION

Caerphilly Woodlands Trust are taking part in the Coed Cadw @WoodlandTrust campaign to mobilize one million people to pledge from the 30th November to plant a tree. 🌳

You could be one in a million.

For our part we at Caerphilly Woodlands Trust have pledged to plant 100 trees and will be planting them on Sunday 1st December at Coed y Werin as part of the UK wide Woodland Trust campaign #BigClimateFightBack because #EveryTreeCounts

Every single tree really does count. If you can plant a tree, or want to get involved by joining us on Sunday 1st December, you will be part of a fantastic contribution to fight back against one of the biggest issues facing our generation today, climate change. You’ll literally be ONE IN A MILLION.

Help us fight for the future of the planet by being one in a million on the 1st December at Coed a Werin #Nature

Join the campaign like little Nia Lewis, age 5, from Hendredenny Parc Primary School who is planting a tree in her own garden or Join us here at Coed y Werin to plant one of our 100 trees https://www.facebook.com/169043506442137/videos/464065624313697/?t=0

🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳

The Big Climate Fightback

In Partnership with the Woodland Trust and many other woodlands across the country we have pledged to plant trees as part of the ‘Big Climate Fightback’ which is why on the 1st December our volunteers will be planting 100 new bare root trees in Coed y Werin

Every tree counts

Trees are the ultimate multi-taskers, helping to combat the two environmental emergencies facing our planet: climate change and biodiversity loss.

They absorb carbon, fight flooding, reduce pollution, nurture wildlife and make landscapes more resilient.

Reducing our carbon emissions will never be enough. It’s vital we grow a UK-wide patchwork of trees and woods – not just by planting, but also through natural regeneration. The woods, hedges and green spaces we create buffer existing habitats, tackle climate change and reverse wildlife decline – all at the same time.

“so after opening your first door on your advent calendar come and join us in planting for the Big Climate Fightback at 10 o’clock in Coed y Werin”