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First Minister announces new Coetiroedd Bach funding at Caernarfon school

The next round of funding for the Coetiroedd Bach/Tiny Forest scheme is now open, the First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today while visiting Ysgol Pendalar in Caernarfon.

The Tiny Forest grant aims to create very small woodlands, encouraging biodiversity and nature, with all sites becoming part of the National Forest. To date 10 Cortir Bach/Tiny forests have been supported.

Ysgol Pendalar’s Coetir Bach/Tiny forest includes well-established trees, while additional features include a tarmac path to enable wheelchair access and a larger seating area around a fire pit.

The school’s tiny forest is used as an outdoor classroom by all pupils on a Wednesday, and the First Minister along with Minister for North Wales Lesley Griffiths were pleased to join them today.

The First Minister said: “I’m pleased to be here today at Ysgol Pendalar to see the impact of the Coetiroedd Bach scheme on the day the next round of funding applications opens.

“It’s great to see the positive impact nature and being outdoors has on the children.

“While these spaces aren’t big, they can have a huge impact on biodiversity and our wellbeing. These nature-rich,accessible green spaces provide opportunities for creating rich biodiversity, being capable of attracting more than 500 animal and plant species within the first three years.”

Minister for North Wales Lesley Griffiths said: “It’s a pleasure to see the pupils reconnecting with nature, and having the opportunity to be outdoors learning and having fun.  Being able to enjoy the outdoors in this way is a positive experience for everyone.”

Head of Ysgol Pendalar Deiniol Harries said: ‘Who would have thought that we’d be able to have our very own tiny forest, in our back garden! This has given our pupils the opportunity to recognise trees that are native to their habitat and to see what wildlife can be found here, on their very own doorstep.

“ This truly has been a great asset to our school with weekly forest school sessions offering pupils the chance to be at one with nature and to understand the importance of being outdoors and to feel how it benefits our well-being.’

Organisations, communities and individuals who want to create new small, densely planted woodland, roughly the size of a tennis court, managed in collaboration with the local community, can apply for grants of between £10k and £40K for each forest site (up to £250k for multiple sites) until 8 May.

The fund is administered by the National Lottery and facilitated by Earthwatch Europe which will support organisations and communities with advice and guidance on preparation work, planting and maintaining the site.