Workshop celebrates Year of the Forest

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Members of the Bridgend Forest Education Initiative group got together for their first ever training workshop recently to celebrate the International Year of the Forest.

The group, whose members include teachers and learning support officers, learned wood working skills during the day, which was organised by the Forestry Commission Wales Woodlands for Learning (WfL) team.

The event was made possible with the help of the Forest Education Initiative (FEI), which provided FEI cluster groups all over Wales with £250 to commemorate this important year for woodlands.

Local business Dragonfly Creations showed the group how to use draw knives and wood drills to make bird feeders and wooden “flowers” out of sticks at the Rockwool Woodlands For Learning centre in Pencoed, Bridgend.

These skills will enable group members to teach young children how to use tools and to understand that wood is a valuable, renewable resource that can be made into a variety of useful items, such as spoons and chairs.

The properties of different types of trees were discussed to promote understanding of which woods could be harvested sustainably for different projects, which the group can work on with children and young people at their schools.

Education Officer Geminie Drinkwater, who set up the day, said, “Members learned how to use a shavehorse and wood knives and gained a better understanding of the many benefits woodlands and timber provide.”


A total of 14.3 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Government.

Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.

The Woodlands for Learning team delivers woodland-based learning experiences throughout Wales, supports the development and delivery of Forest School and facilitates the Forest Education Initiative on behalf of its partners.

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on

Visit News@FCWales for news, images, press office contact details and links to case studies.

Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email