Blog

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

Happy new year from all at Caerphilly Woodlands Trust

We started the new year with our first scheduled work day at Coed y Werin on the 9th January and commenced some hedge laying and some clearing around Waterfall Way.

Before

This Sunday 16th we set about clearing some willow from the silted up area by the Long Pond in preparation before the de-silting work starts at the end of the month.

Many thanks to our amazing volunteers. We look forward to seeing you next Sunday morning. Volunteers always welcome.

Let there be light

The work session today was about finishing work clearing the scrub-boggy area near ‘Waterfall Way’ to let in more light and encourage wild flowers and mosses to grow.

This work is all in line with our ‘5 year management plan’ from an ecology plan produced for us as part of the Caerphilly Landscapes Project, to collate and summarise existing ecological data pertaining to the site which informed the production of our current management plan for the period from 2020 to 2025.

The report was produced by Sturgess Ecology

The waterfall and Scouring Brook stream were looking lovely today after the recent rainfall.

Mindfulness & Bushcraft

Rain won’t stop the determined.

We have held some great ‘Mindfulness Bushcraft’ sessions at Coed y Werin gaining new skills whilst on a journey of wellbeing.

Leaving our worries behind we embarked on a journey of personal discovery. We ‘Soaked’ up the serene atmosphere Coed y Werin has to offer whilst learning woodland crafts of shelter building, whittling, foraging, and so much more.

We enjoyed great activities with fabulous company, in amazing surroundings, undertaking challenging but rewarding tasks.

Instructor Drock – The tools for learning about safe use of equipment

We explored mindfulness – nature connection practices and skills to help manage stress, enhance well-being, to build personal resilience and to help increase our ability to cope with difficult or stressful situations.

Tree Charter

We talked about how to use the natural environment to give ourselves the headspace we sometimes need, to take a breath of clean, fresh air.
Trees are not only an essential part of a healthy ecosystem they also play a great role in making people feel better. Being in the woods enables better uptake of oxygen, improving our lung and heart systems giving us clarity and the feeling of wellbeing.

Instructor Chris – Basic Instructions before setting up camp

The feedback so far, from the delegates, has been really positive many saying how much they are looking forward to the next session. The six session course, continuing through November, is fully booked but we hope to deliver more in the future.

Delegate Sarah learning whittling skills

The sessions are being delivered by Chris Partridge and Drock of Coed Lleol the sessions 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.

CAERPHILLY WOODLANDS TRUST WINNING GREEN FLAG RECOGNITION

We are thrilled once again to be able to announce that for the fifth year running Coed y Werin has been successful in achieving the Green Flag status.  This is a great accolade to the Trust and proof that the hard work and determination, in all weathers, by Trustees and our Volunteers has paid off in once again achieving this award

The land (23 acres) was saved from being developed as landfill by the local community who in 2002 got together to purchase it with a grant from the Local Authority. The Charity ‘Caerphilly Woodlands Trust’ was set up where Trustees were appointed and a strategic management plan, with the help from ecology and geology specialists, was put in place.

Over these past 17 years the dedicated team of trustees and volunteers have tirelessly continued their work with, from time to time, help from local youth groups, schools and businesses turning the woods, now known as ‘Coed y Werin’ the ‘People’s Woods’ into the tranquil wooded haven that it is today.  

Within Coed y Werin is an area that is a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the unique geology, dating back to the carboniferous period, some 350 million years. The rest of Coed y Werin is a Site of Important Nature Conservation (SINC) with an ancient woodland, dating back to 600AD.  We can confidently boast that over 80% of ancient woodland flowers can be found on our site.


“It goes without saying that if not for the help of Trustees and volunteers, we would not have achieved this prestigious award, a recognition of their hard work and dedication”

said Jayne – Chair

Caerphilly Woodlands Trust

Over these past 17 years, guided by our management plan, we have gradually removed conifers and reintroduced indigenous broadleaf species of trees.  This work, opening up the tree canopy and forest floor, has provided greater creation of the natural biodiversity. But there is always lots more work to do and everything we do helps us achieve our aims to meet our Charter to:

  • 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


I want to give a massive shout out to all our wonderful volunteers who contribute their time freely to this amazing community activity. Volunteers in Wales have a value of at least £757 million per year but give their time for nothing but for the benefit of their community.


If we are to build a better and safer world for our children and grandchildren we will need the dedication and good will of volunteers like these more than ever. They are truly priceless.

Said Jayne

If you are interested in joining the Caerphilly Woodland Trust or helping out as a volunteer please contact us via our Facebook Page, twitter or through our contact information on our Webpage.

Celebrating Trees in Art, Creativity and Learning

We had another very busy and productive day with children from Hendredenny Park Primary School learning about the importance of trees.

Trees; homes for wildlife, planting trees for the future, keeping us healthy in body and mind, making landscapes stronger and being there for everyone.

We were accompanied by a super film crew @FfocwsMedia who documented the days events and activities interviewing teachers and children.

Each student planted their own tree, kindly donated by ASBP, the children putting their name next to each so that they might come back to check on its growth.

They followed the rubbing post trail and they used their skills to identify trees from leaves and the twigs only stopping for lunch at base camp under the shelter the children helped to set up having hot chocolate and a tasty snack from the camp fire.

These children are the guardians of the future, ensuring we have a livable planet for their generation and beyond. A wise person would say the world was not given to you by your parents it was lent to you by your children. Learning and sharing the importance of nature and the part trees play in this is essential. Decisions we make today will radically alter the landscape and environment we leave to them in the future.

We had a super day, I can safely say the children were all inspired by the woodland surroundings and I’m sure all of them slept well that night, I know I did.

Thank you Hendredenny Park Primary School @year3hddp for visiting us. We hope to welcome you back soon.

Thank you also to Steve Chamberlain from Llais y Goedwig for being base camp leader and Kevin Eadon-Davies CCBC Countryside for helping to make this possible. Fellow Trustee Vernon and I truly appreciated your support on the day we could not have done it without your help.

Never Too Young To Volunteer

This past Sunday was a great work session. Great weather and some fantastic volunteers who repaired a number of areas around the pond plugging the gaps where hedging had been damaged or lost over the past year.

We were privileged to have been offered, by the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products, 100 trees which we gratefully accepted and used to help maintain the boundaries of the woodland paths

We also had a special helper for the morning, Seren Osbourne aged seven, who came along with her parents. Seren planted a number of trees along a length of pathway now known as Seren’s walk.

You are never too young to volunteer. Thank you Seren.

ASBP Donate 100 Trees to Caerphilly Woodlands Trust

ASBP donate much-needed trees to celebrate 100th member milestone

The non-profit sustainability organisation The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) donated 100 trees to the Caerphilly Woodlands Trust to celebrate reaching their 100th member milestone.

Now the breeding and nesting season is over, this autumn the Trust will start planting the much-needed Holly and Hedgerow trees in their local woodlands Coed y Werin.

ASBP has a growing presence in Wales and over the past few years has been collaborating with Dylan Jones at Caerphilly Council for their annual awards programme. Last year’s sculptural awards were handmade from local Ash & Cherry at a workshop in Aberbargoed by Dylan and MA design student Phoebe Oldfield, and it is hoped that the 2022 Awards trophies can be made from thinnings from Coed-y-Werin.

Jayne Garland, Chair of Caerphilly Woodlands Trust, was thrilled to receive these young trees and said work to start placing them within the gaps in Coed y Werins hedgrows will start this coming Sunday.

Aproximately 19.4% of Welsh land area is covered by woodlands and trees. It is estimated this soaks up 1.84 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) each year.

Trees also help clean harmful pollutants from the air; it is estimated Welsh woodlands removed 16,211 tonnes of PM10 in 2015.

Trees are not only an essential part of a healthy ecosystem they also play a great role in making people feel better, improving health and wellbeing, increasing our oxygen uptake and improving our lung and heart systems. That’s why woodlands are a great place to visit or even volunteer.

said Jayne

Find out more about ASBP and their work at https://asbp.org.uk. or
contact Caerphilly Woodlands Trust to become an ‘environment improver’ by becoming one of their amazing volunteers.

Mindfulness & Wellbeing

Caerphilly Woodlands Trust is thrilled to be hosting a series of mindfulness sessions delivered within our woods at Coed y Werin by a woodland mindfulness practitioner.

Research has shown spending time in woodlands can lower heart rate and blood pressure, improve oxygen uptake, lung and heart sytems are improved, reduced stress hormone production, boost the immune system, and improve overall feelings of wellbeing.

These sessions have been sponsored by Welsh Government SMS rural development fund as part of the Caerphilly Landscape Partnership Project in partnership with CCBC.

Places are limited & free to members and volunteers or £10 to non members which will also provide you with a one year CWT annual membership. More events like this are planned – a good reason to join.

To pre book a place on these sessions (pre booking essential) please contact Chrispartridge@smallwoods.org.uk or telephone 07759 954 088

Mindfulness Sessions

Coming soon to Coed y Werin

If you are interested in attending six weekly sessions of mindfulness in our woodland contact us to learn more

It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much.

Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.

Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. Mindfulness can help us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. You can take steps to develop it in your own life by joining our sessions coming soon to our woods.

Places limited

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