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Green Flag 2022/23

Once again Caerphilly Woodlands Trust and its volunteers won the prestigeous Green Flag Award, the recognised standard for outstanding green spaces.

We’re proud to be helping nature’s recovery by protecting our native woodland, its species rich hedgerows and creating this biodiverse space for the community to enjoy.

One in six species in Wales is under threat. It’s a shocking statistic but if we work together and take urgent action, we can reverse this decline.
By working with and supporting volunteers we are empowering young and old within our community to drive this environmental change. It takes bold action if we are going to create a more sustainable and resilient future for our children and their children.

“Therefore it goes without saying that if not for the dedication of Trustees and volunteers, we would not have achieved this prestigious award, a recognition of their hard work and dedication. I want to give a massive shout out to all of our wonderful volunteers, past and present, who have contributed 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 indeed truly priceless”


said Jayne – Chair – Caerphilly Woodlands Trust

Work Season 2022/23

We started with a flurry of activity firstly with installing 50 dormouse boxes wthin the woodland as part of the People Trust for Endangered Species dormice monitoring

Box 22

Hazel dormice are enigmatic and endearing. They are also threatened with extinction. National monitoring shows the population of hazel dormice has declined by half since 2000 with the species hanging on mostly in southern parts of England and Wales. Climate change, as well as changes in woodland management, farming practices and loss of hedgerows, have all taken a heavy toll on their living space. Dormice are good indicators of animal and plant diversity, and dormouse-friendly habitats are also good for woodland birds, bats and butterflies which is why we’re working hard to reverse the decline and promote recovery.

Hazel dormice rely on good tree and shrub diversity to provide them with food when they are active. They will feed on shrub flowers in spring, insects over summer and fruit and nuts in autumn. Their specialised diet isn’t available over winter, so they hibernate on the ground for about five months until spring.

Such a long hibernation reduces their active period and they generally produce only a single litter (although they may occasionally produce two litters) of four young, usually in August or September. On average dormice live for three years but they can live up to five years in the wild.

Thanks to Sandra and Peter Wells, ecologists, for sharing thier time and expertise with us to help install 50 Dormouse Boxes within our woods and for commencing the program of monitoring.

Peter Wells and Dai Lloyd (CWT volunteer) plotting the GIS location

General Maintenance Day

Today in Coed y Werin we undertook some tidying and a bit of general maintenance within the woods, checking for fallen trees and obstacles and looking to where we will need to widen the rides, also known as tracks, come September.

Our management plan tells us we need to create more light in the woodland to create some really good open habitat and we don’t need to remove trees to do this, instead widening the rides creates excellent wildlife habitat.

Today we used coppiced wood, we had stored from earlier in the year, to fix a hedge around the long pond. Although a very hot day, and quite physical work, it was carried out under the dappled shade of the tree canopy.

Dormouse Monitoring

So it started out a sunny morning!

Lovely start, I met up with two of my fellow Trustees and we discovered a small nest, not sure if had falled from a tree from a gust of wind or had been victim to another creature, I later asked our Patron, Iolo Williams, what bird may have once been its owner and he thought it was probably a siskin.

That little nest and some owl pellets and another Goldfinch fallen nest were all put safely away for the school Nature Table.

The purpose of our visit into our woods this day was to meet two lovely ecologists, Sandra & Peter, who have volunteered to help Monitor our Dormice. We walked around the site and looked at where the best Dormouse locations were to commence the plan of monitoring.

I have now registered the site as part of the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) so the journey begins to learn more about our furry little residents.

Sadly PTES’ national monitoring shows the population of hazel dormice has declined by half since 2000, with the species hanging on mostly in southern parts of England and Wales.  So you see it’s important that we help inform the research with out local information about how well they are doing in our woodland.

Eventually we all had to run for cover as the heavens opened and drenched us all.

We have some exciting times ahead.

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.