Growing Heart | Calon Yn Tyfu


We thought it would be good to list here some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in the spirit of open communication and we  hope these answers help

Who owns the woods ? The woods are owned by Calon yn Tyfu Cyf. / Growing Heart workers cooperative. A small workers cooperative based at Henparcau farm Bwlch y groes.

How did you  buy the woods ? We were succesful in applying for a Cyd Coed grant for £502,000 which we then used to purchase Ffynone and Cilgwyn woods.

What are You going to do with the woods ? To get the funding Calon yn Tyfu Cyf. made a bid to Cyd Coed outlining a 20 year plan of woodland management and community engagement. Which included the transformation of the woods from conifer plantation to Native broadleaf trees with edible fruit and nut trees included. Engaging the community by running open days and training opportunities, in various aspects of the plan.

Why  do you manage it the way you do ? Previously the woods were a single age crop, that was planted during the 1960’s. By adopting different management techniques in various compartments we will be able to transform the woodland structure as well as produce the materials we need along the way. This so far has included clear felling a small area, about 15 % of the total woodland, into which we have now planted a diverse range of native species with edible fringes. The areas chosen were those planted first and had already reached maturity. Most of the clearfell area is flat which will enhance future edible forestry and enable coppice woodland management systems in the future. Also some ares of Western Hemlock have been felled that was growing on a Plantation on Ancient Woodland Site (PAWS) which is important to remove because it’s heavy shade is detrimental to other plants. By removing it, the remaining flora should start to return, replanting with native trees will speed up the restoration process. The next phase will be to thin the remaining conifer areas, to give the conifers we leave more room to grow and allow light to reach the forest floor which will encourage natural regeneration.  The purpose of all these actions is to make the forest more suitable to the needs of the future, enabling the production of more products that will be needed in a changing carbon economy, this could be described as future proofing, ensuring that there will be less need to import things, as they will be growing locally. As well as future proofing in terms of climate change, planting locally adapted species, and creating age diversity should provide a more stable crop long term.  Coppice systems also reduce the need to replant as the roots regrow when the trees are cut.

Can anyone access the woodlands ? Yes, if you want informal, recreational access you are welcome to explore, we would ask you to obey the forestry warning signs and stay away from where we are actually carrying out forest operations. In the future we will dedicate the land under (CROW) countryside rights of way legislation which will ensure public access in the future.

What about formal access? if you want to use the woods in a structured way we have a policy and procedure we will need you to follow, these are designed to ensure the enjoyment and safety of everyone and as such we ask that you respect them they are listed below.(shortly)

Can anyone join the cooperative? yes, but that doesn’t mean everyone will be able to. To explain, we have an open joining procedure which means we don’t discriminate against anyone, however, we are a workers cooperative, which means those wishing to join need to both work, and be able to cooperate with the existing group  It is quite demanding but extremely rewarding if your willing to make the effort. Although we can’t always guarantee paid work,  if you are interested we will endeavour to create work. Most people start part time and gradually increase hours as they develop an area, we pay fair wages and as such we are creating meaningful employment for those involved, in a way where they are able to control their own work area. This is a culture shock for some and can take a considerable amount of time to adjust to, as such we always prefer to go slowly and get it right.

What if i just want a job ? sometimes we do have paid employment for people who aren’t interested in joining completely, we prefer to employ people with a long term commitment but sometimes we just get so busy we need extra help, if you leave your details with us we will contact if we have a vacancy.

What if i just have some great ideas for the woods and want to influence whats happening there ? Well, let us know, we are always interested in hearing good ideas, as we don’t claim to know everything. We  are currently exploring ways to include the many and varied skills and ideas in the locality.  Once we have consulted on this, we hopefully,  will have found a mechanism that suits most people.