Evaluation: Cydcoed grant scheme


Did Cydcoed grants for community woodland development deliver social and economic results?



Prince Charles talks to Bob Griffiths, project officer, and Rob Seymour, manager, Cydcoed Woods for All. Foreground is Simon Hunt, Coed Cymru.

Around £16 million in Cydcoed grants supported over 160 projects in Wales t


o make use of woodland for community developments. Forest

Cydcoed - AfanTrails

Research analysed whether the projects achie


ved their longer-term objectives: helping high capacity community


groups to influence decisions about their locality; making woods deliver long-term local social, economic, and environmental benefits; and supporting individuals to play a positive role in their local community.

Key findings

  • Empowering – groups reported that having the remit and money to develop, manage and deliver on a project had been empowering
  • Strong communities – 80% of groups thought their project had helped develop stronger ties within their community
  • Quality of life – 84% of groups thought the community’s quality of life had improved
  • Partnerships – working together was important to success where partnerships were negotiated and managed by the group
  • Significant contributions to the Welsh Assembly’s social and environmental justice agenda in Wales

Social impacts:

  • Community members are able and willing to participate in the local processes of decision-making and find it an empowering and cohesive experience
  • More than half of interviewees said that involvement in Cydcoed had considerably improved their overall health and well-being, which is particularly important for projects in the South Wales Valleys where health deprivation is among the highest in Britain

Economic non-market benefits to the wider community:

  • Costs avoided to the education sector may exceed £107,000 per year
  • Recreational benefits may reach £15 million per year
  • Costs avoided to the NHS may be as high as £815,000 per year
  • Environmental benefits are around £840,000 per year

Publications and presentations

Funders and partners

Commissioned and funded by Forestry Commission Wales.


Completed in November 2008.


Anna Lawrence