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£300,000 invested in fragile Welsh habitats by The Woodland Investment Grant

Bluebells at Parc y Moch

WOODLANDS and communities in the Elan Valley and Eryri National Park are the latest to benefit from a Welsh Government environmental grant programme.

A grant of £247,194 will help protect the Elan Valley Celtic Rainforest – an incredibly rare habitat that is thought to be more threatened than the tropical rainforest.

The project will establish an extensive Elan Valley Celtic Rainforest woodland on sites to the south of Llangurig and the north of Llandovery, protecting the landscape which is home to rare birds, butterflies and insects.

And in North West Wales, the ’Developing Parc y Moch’ project run by Parc y Moch Community Investment Company has received £76,326 from The Woodland Investment Grant.

The funding will help transform Parc y Moch – a woodland off the A5 near Bethesda in the Ogwen Valley, into an outdoor and wellbeing activity centre.

The money – £323,520 in total, comes from The Woodland Investment Grant (TWIG) which is run by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

These latest awards bring the overall investment by the TWIG programme – which is part of the Welsh Government’s National Forest initiative, since it launched in June 2022 to over £2 million – £2,039,018.

The Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: “This funding will protect and restore Wales’ treasured and ancient Celtic Rainforest, as well as creating a learning and wellbeing space in Parc Y Moch.

“As part of our National Forest programme these projects will help to restore and maintain some of Wales’s irreplaceable ancient woodlands, which in time will form a connected network running throughout Wales, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.”

The TWIG programme provides grants of £40,000 – £250,000 to create, restore and enhance woodlands in Wales.

Today’s funding announcements is the third round of five funding awards to be made over two years.

Welcoming the news, Andrew White, Director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales said: “Funding natural heritage projects which help tackle the effects of climate change and support nature’s recovery is a key priority for The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales. The Woodland Investment Grant (TWIG) – run in partnership with the Welsh Government, is just one of the ways that we are meeting this objective.

“From the creation of new woodlands and the restoration of others, these grants will also contribute to the National Forest for Wales initiative, enhance capacity to adapt to the climate crisis and bring direct health benefits to the people and communities involved.”