Treherbert, Rhondda Cynon Taf

WEBSITE – welcometoourwoods.org

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The Upper Rhondda Fawr has around 10,000 residents. Its settlements are surrounded by some of the most dramatic and natural resource rich landscapes in Wales. Proud of its strong local identity and history, the community recognises lack of opportunities due to little local employment, health issues and withdrawing public services. There is positive community spirit and co-operation to try to solve such issues.
Our vision is to attain and demonstrate new ways of managing natural resources and local spaces for health, wellbeing, training and employment.

The area had Communities First status due to typically low qualifications and skill levels, scarce and poorly paid employment, coupled with health issues. Public services are disappearing, natural resources and open spaces are becoming neglected; or unused liabilities rather than assets.

Key community aspirations identified are:

  • More jobs and economic opportunities from the local landscape, e.g., timber and woodland products and services, local food production, community energy
  • Better woodland access, improved recreation facilities and more health activities
  • More community say and involvement regarding the landscape and how it is used in the future
  • Building partnerships and local supply chains to managing the landscape to achieve lasting change

We seek to achieve lasting change through consistent co-design/co-production across sectors, working with natural resources sustainably, demonstrating evident economic and social benefits locally, and a model which could be used more widely in RCT and Wales. Outcomes and outputs to demonstrate milestones and success along that pathway include:

  • Learning and flexible employment opportunities through woodland management and timber processing; local food; renewable energy; leisure and tourism; related cultural activities
  • Local trading consortia, more local business collaboration, more businesses
  • A more diverse, enterprising and resilient local economy based on natural resources, landscape and low carbon products and services generally
  • Increased involvement across the whole community in their local environment through volunteering, social events and activities leading to better connectivity and cohesion
  • Sustainable shared management of a landscape that is more resilient, more productive and less prone to flooding, fire and anti-social behaviour

Welcome to our Woods