The key for the Forest gate was finally released by Natural Resources Wales to our project at the beginning of September. The volunteers from the village wasted no time in getting into the Forestry of Crynant East and starting work clearing areas for seating, cutting back the encroaching brambles along the paths and installing our first chainsaw sculptures.
The aim of the project, which is sponsored by the Community Council, is to make the Forest more accessible and attractive to our local community so that we can enjoy the walks and see some of the stunning views from the Beacons to the Mumbles and appreciate how lucky we are to have all this on our doorstep.
The felling of large areas of Larch has given opportunities to open up areas of the forest so views can now be enjoyed that had previously been screened by tall conifers. This, in turn, has opened areas for a variety of plants and creatures to move in making the forest more attractive and interesting. To make the most of this we are putting in seating and picnic tables at appropriate spots throughout.
Our forest stretches from the carpark opposite Cefn Coed, along to the gate off Brynawel and all the way up to Sarn Helen Roman Road. We’ve added a few surprise landmarks along the way. We have had chainsaw sculptures installed: a badger at the gate from Brynawel, a tree trunk with baby owls and a bench that sits on a giant acorn and pine cone.
We have installed five benches so far and two picnic tables. In the next couple of weeks, weather permitting, we’ll get the remaining three seats in and the mushroom sculptures installed.
The next phase will be to get signposts installed so people can be confident in finding their way around the forest. This will be followed by information panels with maps, and information of the birds, plants and history of the forest.
Many of us are aware of the need to get a bit more exercise and counting steps is a gentle way to start, so we have counted the steps between the various seating and viewing points and will put this information on the signs and panels so you can see how far it is to the next landmark or seat.
All this work is being undertaken by a handful of volunteers from the village. The more volunteers who help, the more we can achieve. If you would like to help in any way, please get in touch to be added to our mailing list. That way you will know when we are doing things and can get involved if you’re able to help.
Jobs are varied, you can dig holes for seats or strim brambles, you can count steps or look for additional paths, take pictures and gather information. You may well have ideas of your own. If you want to be involved in the project in any way please get in touch with either myself on 07811268971 or Heidi our Clerk on 07970 647012.
Thank you for taking the trouble to read this.
Chair of the Community Forest Project