Pioneering Scouts head for the woods

Bookmark and Share Nod tudalen & Rhannu

This news story is now over a year old and information may no longer be accurate or up-to-date. It might also contain obsolete links.
Please use our search link on the left to look for more recent information.

Two Scout troops are working towards their Forester Badge by raiding nearby woodlands to make useful objects from branches found along paths and track sides.

The 2nd Rhiwbina Scout and 1st Abercarn Scout troops asked Forestry Commission Wales for permission to gather sticks to make “spars” – the name given to de-limbed branches – from Abercarn and Gwyddon woodlands near the villages of Abercarn and Cwmcarn in the South Wales valleys.

Using a variety of hand tools such as secateurs, bow saws, loppers and small hand axes, the Scouts will join the spars together using rope to make furniture and other camp equipment.

The art of using ropes and wooden spars joined by lashings and knots to build anything from wash stands, tables and chairs to larger structures such as bridges and towers is called “pioneering”.

The name comes from the 18th and 19th century military engineers who went ahead of an army to “pioneer” a route, which could involve building bridges and towers with rope and timber.

Community Ranger Emma Louise Felkin said, “We were happy to give permission to the Scouts to collect sticks from paths and track sides.

“This will help to keep to tracks through the woodlands clear and will hopefully help them to appreciate the value of woodlands.”

Caption: Scout leader Lynn oversees the work as Scouts set about making a wooden trestle which can be used as a base for things such as bridges and towers.


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.

For more information on Abercarn and Gwyddon woodlands, contact Emma Louise Felkin on 02920 886863, mobile 07824 857541.

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on

Visit News at 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