Did Cydcoed grants for community woodland development deliver social and economic results?
Around £16 million in Cydcoed grants supported over 160 projects in Wales t o make use of woodland for community developments. Forest Research analysed whether the projects achieved 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.
- 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
- 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
- Report – An evaluation of Cydcoed
Funders and partners
Commissioned and funded by Forestry Commission Wales.
Completed in November 2008.