STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES AND PLANS

We aim to play the fullest part that we can during the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 by restoring habitats over a larger area and increasing the abundance of wildlife.

Recognising the essential role of connecting people to wild nature, for the benefit of the individual and the planet, we will continue to deliver and further develop our inspirational activities with children, youths and adults.

Our priorities for 2021-2030:

  • Continue the Primary Schools programme and the Youth Camps at Cambrian Wildwood
  • Start programmes for adults at Cambrian Wildwood, including Wild Living camps and programmes for special groups, for example people in addiction recovery, asylum seekers and young carers
  • Increase the land area of Cambrian Wildwood through the acquisition of a neighbouring property
  • Continue activities to restore natural habitats at Cambrian Wildwood
  • Increase wildlife at Cambrian Wildwood by leading reintroduction projects for water vole and red squirrel; and supporting other species projects, for example pine marten and black grouse
  • Engage with neighbouring landowners, including Natural Resources Wales, to support habitat, species and access improvements

Our five Founding Principles have a number of associated Strategic Objectives which shape our Strategic Plans for 2021-2030:

To own and manage areas of land in Wales, including at least one large area

Objective

Cambrian Wildwood, or Coetir Anian, is focused on an area in the north of the Cambrian Mountains, to the south and east of the Dyfi estuary. Our aim here is to hold around 1,200 hectares of land, and work in partnership with neighbouring landowners such as Welsh Government towards a long-term goal of creating 3,000 hectares of wildland.

Current status

125 year lease on Bwlch Corog 142 hectares

Plans

Pursue opportunities for acquisition of properties neighbouring Bwlch Corog. Fundraising for land purchase following successful proposal.

Objective

To initiate or support local projects in other parts of Wales when opportunities arise. Potential areas are:
Rhinogydd in Snowdonia National Park;
Pembrokeshire;
South Brecon Beacons/Heads of Valleys.

Current status

None

Plans

Continue to communicate with individuals and groups from other parts of Wales who contact us with ideas.

Objective

Pursue opportunities for small areas of wild or potentially wild land near to urban centres as potential sites for projects, working closely with local communities.

Current status

None

Plans

Pick up discussions with Welsh Government on Community Asset Transfer of Skellys, 1.5 hectares on outskirts of Aberystwyth.

To preserve wild land or restore land to a wilder state with thriving natural habitats and abundant wildlife – by carrying out habitat restoration and introducing native species that are locally absent, within existing constraints, whether environmental, economic or social.

Objective

Habitats will be restored in the Cambrian Wildwood area from ecologically degraded pasture and conifer plantation to native woodland, heather moorland, blanket bog and other habitats. Other sites will be preserved or restored as appropriate. Landscape considerations are paramount to provide a feeling of wildness: artefacts such as fencing will be removed where feasible.

Current status

Habitat restoration at Blwch Corog:
Native woodland – preserving existing ancient woodland; expansion of tree cover through natural regeneration and tree planting; restoring conifer plantation to native species.
Blanket bog – 11km of drainage ditches blocked.
Upland heathland – horses and cattle introduced.
Most internal fencing removed on volunteer work days.

Plans

Plans:
Continue grazing by large herbivores and continue no fence tree planting a few hundred trees each winter.
Continue restoring larch plantation to native species by thinning, ring-barking and high pruning.
Complete removal of internal fencing when planted trees established.
Acquisition of conifer plantation property – restore to native woodland, bog and heathland as commercial trees are harvested, using natural regeneration.

Objective

Species will colonise the Cambrian Wildwood area due to habitat improvements or be reintroduced, following IUCN guidelines. Wild large herbivores, or domestic breeds close to their wild ancestors, will graze the project area. Horse, cattle, bison, roe deer, red deer, moose will be considered at appropriate stages. Other mammals will be introduced when feasible, with initial focus on water vole, and pine marten in conjunction with a programme for restoring red squirrel. In the longer term, we will look at the feasibility of wild cat. Wild boar is likely to migrate to the area in the long term. Large carnivore species are beyond the scope of our projects. Bird species are expected to recolonise naturally, and some species may be considered for reintroduction.

Current status

Large herbivores:
Breeding herd of Konik horses introduced and present year round.
Additional summer grazing with Highland cattle to reduce molinia.

Baseline mammal survey completed, recording following mammals:
Red fox Vulpes vulpes
European badger Meles meles
European otter Lutra lutra
Hazel dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius
Wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus
Bank vole Myodes glareolus
Short-tailed field vole Microtus agrestis
Mole Talpa europaea
Grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis
Bat species Microchiroptera group, probable pipistrelle species Pipistrellus sp

Additional mammal observations:
Pine marten introduced to locality by VWT and observed at Bwlch Corog: impact on grey squirrel is variable and not currently reliable.
Roe deer.
Brown hare.

Birds: from an initial list of 1 species in 2017, now have records of 23 species.
Highlights include red grouse, snipe, curlew, hen harrier, grasshopper warbler, short-eared owl.

Baseline invertebrate survey completed, with some nationally and locally rare species present.

Pollen analysis of soil cores to show presence of plant species over time going back 7,000 years has been completed. One out of the two reports has been received.
Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Alder (Alnus glutinosa) reintroduced to site, about 200 trees.

Plans

Large herbivores: continue with current strategy of year round herd of horses and summer presence of cattle and review in the light of experience and developments. Monitor impact of numbers and species of herbivores on vegetation.

Water Vole: research feasibility for water vole; if necessary establish working group to address presence of American mink in Dyfi catchment.
Red squirrel: establish working group with members of Mid Wales Red Squirrel Partnership, Wildwood Trust, Wales Squirrel Forum, with goal of restoring red squirrel to locality.
Beaver: continue communication with Welsh Beaver Project.

Birds: Black grouse reintroduction to neighbouring property currently being coordinated by Mick Green. We are partners supporting the proposals.
Continue to improve habitats for moorland birds through current management.

Welsh black bee: two naturalistic hives donated by Cornelia Horl. Possibility of sourcing colonies from Steve Watson or Paul Cross at Bangor University.

A few hundred trees of various species to be planted annually using ‘no fence planting’ techniques. To continue indefinitely until no longer required.

To work with neighbouring landowners to facilitate integrated access, to establish continuity of habitats and to form partnerships for species reintroductions.

Objective

 In the Cambrian Wildwood area, we will engage with Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Government to seek greater areas of natural habitats in the neighbouring public woodland, to form a partnership for species work, and to establish trails for walkers and riders.

Current status

Have responded to 2019 consultation on Cwm Einion and Upper Rheidol Forest Resource Plan and achieved minor revisions. Corner of NRW property next to Bwlch Corog already converted to heathland and native woodland. Further habitat restoration of larger block is due to follow harvesting of current young stand of Sitka spruce.

Plans

Continue to engage with NRW to seek bigger and sooner habitat restoration.
Will consult with NRW on species restoration proposals and establish partnership where required.
Propose a trail away from forest roads between coastal/estuary area and Bwlch Corog through NRW forestry, linking with Wales Coastal Path on the way, Prince Llewelyn Ride on our site, and Glyndwr’s Way after Bwlch Corog.

Objective

We will explore opportunities to work in partnership with other landowners in the wider area.

Current status

Current status:
Cefn Coch (JH): Cattle from Cefn Coch summer grazing at Bwlch Corog.
Dynyn: established communication with owners and confirmed shared goals; the Dynyn horses are the main constraint on shared grazing across the 2 properties. Black Grouse introduction is current main theme.
Dolgoch: Woodland Trust has established communications with owner and some increase in native tree cover has been agreed.
Caerhedyn: Woodland Trust has established communications with owners. Discussions on blanket planting of native woodland vs natural regeneration and introduction of grazing by Highland cattle in partnership with RSPB and Jeremy Cartwright.
RSPB: Interested to work with us where opportunities arise. Landscape connectivity via Dynyn or Maesycilyn/Brwyno plantation forestry.

Plans

Continue to establish relations and discuss potential for projects.
The project will continue to promote green bridges to government. Green bridges will be an important feature in providing habitat connectivity for wildlife and trails for people across the A487 and railway in Dyffryn Dyfi. These would connect the estuary and Cors Dyfi and Ynys Hir reserves to the tributary valleys and Pumlumon uplands.

To encourage people to access and enjoy our sites by providing low impact walking, cycling, wheelchair and horse-riding routes, facilitating responsible wild camping and enabling a broad cross-section of society to visit the wild land.

Objective

Access routes and wild camping pitches will be established and maintained where appropriate. Signage will welcome visitors to the site and provide direction for public and permissive bridleways. Our policy of free and open access will be publicised on our websites.

Current status

Bridleway along boundary with Cefn Coch fenced off to enable riders to use Public and Permissive Bridleway sections without concern about stallion. Public and permissive bridleway sections are signposted with our own logoed signs.
Trails mown through molinia annually to enable access around site.
Other trails created by the large herbivores enable more access.
Bracken slashing annually plus grazing maintains some open areas suitable for wild camping in the bracken-woodland edge area.
Compost toilet completed, to provide basic facility for visitors to site.

Plans

Continue maintenance.

To host a range of organised activities on our sites, including research and monitoring, conservation work, nature experience, cultural and educational activities; to hold programmes for school children, youths and adults from specific groups, including those who do not normally connect with nature.

Objective

Educational and nature experience programmes offered to Primary Schools in local area of project site: developed and delivered in partnership with schools. To include sessions in school and on site.

Current status

3 groups per year start on the 3 year Primary Schools programme, so working with 9 school groups concurrently. Transport to site is provided by project. All funded by SMS.

Year 1:
Autumn: 1 day in school, followed by 1 day on site – learning about habitats, the site, the project, collecting acorns, plus activities. And 1 more day in school to sow the acorns and learn about the life-cycle of an oak tree, famous oak trees and activities to do with trees.
Spring: 1 day on site followed by 3 days in schools – creative art project.

Year 2:
Autumn: 1 day on site – bushcraft, especially fire lighting.

Year 3:
Plant the oak trees they have grown from seed.

Nature Arts Drop: nature and art activities presented on a set of postcards and provided free with all materials required in a cotton bag. Provided to 600 children in three age groups. Response to pandemic situation.

Plans

To continue the Primary schools programme in its current format.

Objective

 Wild camps with nature experience programmes of several days on site offered to young people of secondary school age: ancestral skills, nature observation, mindfulness and other activities. Delivered by charity in partnership with specialist activity providers. Connections made with Secondary Schools and other organisations working with youths.

Current status

2019 we held 2 camps. 2020 we were ready to hold 6 camps, but all were cancelled due to the pandemic. Expecting to hold 6 camps in 2021.
Lead provider for these camps is Jane Robertson, supported by an assistant with similar experience of leading wild camps, and the Education Specialist from the Coetir Anian staff. Transport to site is provided by project.

Nature Arts Drop: nature and art activities presented on a set of postcards and provided free with all materials required in a cotton bag. Provided to 600 children in three age groups. Response to pandemic situation.

Plans

Continue holding 6 youth camps per year in current format.
Additional programme open to alumni of the youth camps, for 16 to 18 year olds. Group of around 15 people with about 10 days of camp per year for 3 years during school holidays and weekends. There will be one ongoing group at a time. Going deeper into wild living, bushcraft, ancestral skills, nature connection, mindfulness, etc.
Project providing transport costs to ensure inclusivity.

Objective

Programmes will be developed with partners for adults from specific groups who would derive particular benefit from our service: for example, people recovering from addiction, refugees, young carers, people from deprived areas. Plus local community events.

Current status

Annual Open Day held in 2018 and 2019.

Some limited use of site by other providers.

Volunteer Work Days – Already holding 11 per year at Bwlch Corog, generally last Saturday of the month. Carrying out land-based tasks. To date these have included: fence removal, tree planting, bracken slashing, timber framing and other construction tasks on compost loo and shed.

Plans

Volunteer Work Days – To be continued in current format. Future activities will include construction of simple roundwood bridge, more tree planting, more bracken slashing. Networking will increase public knowledge of these days, plus referrals from partner organisations. They provide a good opportunity for people struggling with a variety of mental health issues to get outdoors and take part in practical activities.

Proposals coming under the general heading of ‘Adult Programmes’ for specific groups of people who would benefit from what we offer. The programmes will all follow a similar format, with activities such as craft, bushcraft, art, conservation tasks, etc, on offer, and plenty of time for socialising with food and hot drinks round a camp fire. Single days out plus 5 day camps. We are developing projects with the following groups:

Midlands based groups working with asylum seekers – 
Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary
Church of St Chad and St Mark in Wolverhampton
Hope Projects in Birmingham

Penparcau Community Forum – nature experiences for people from deprived area.
Credu – Supports adult and young carers in Powys.
Camad – Hub for volunteering in Machynlleth area, linked to network of local organisations.
Rekindle – Small Steps Project, works with young people suffering from mental health.

Changes UK – Community Interest Company working with people with addiction.
Kaleidoscope – Addiction recovery charity.

Transport to site to be provided by project.

Wild Living Camps – open to general public, to be run commercially.

Local community and family events:
Continue to hold Open day annually.
Other themed celebration days, 5 per year friom this list:
International Dawn Chorus Day
International Day for Biological Diversity
World Environment Day
International Bog Day
World Honey Bee Day
World Habitat Day
World Wilderness Day
National Tree Week

Themed days could incorporate activities such as:
Guided walks
Storytelling
Wildlife tracking
Botanical survey
Overnight camping
Bat detection
Moth trapping
etc….

 

Cymraeg