Tir Coed Tutors Kelly Cutler and Eifion Wakefield have been leading service users in woodworking activities at Canolfan Meugan, a community support base which supports both adults with learning disabilities and the elderly in Cardigan.

During the course, which took place on one day a week over six weeks, the group whose participants ranged in age from 30 to 96, constructed bird boxes and bird feeders which will be sited within the grounds. They then embarked on making some festive reindeers using traditional woodworking techniques.

This course followed on from a similarly successful course run at Canolfan Padarn community support base in Aberystwyth. Over 10 weeks service users at the centre created insect hotels (or “Bee B&Bs”) to generate habitats for the more than 200 species of solitary bees present in the British Isles. Populations of these crucial pollinators are on the decline, and one of the most direct ways that we can combat this is the generation of suitable habitats around the garden. The variety of tunnel apertures and nesting materials in the boxes creates spaces for a variety of insects, which will hopefully prove to be cosy homes around the garden at the centre.

Tir Coed is a charity and social enterprise that engages people with woodlands through volunteering, training and bespoke activities that develop skills and improve woodlands for the benefit of everyone. Both courses were very well received. The success of both was largely due to the rapport developed between the tutors, service users and support staff.

Janet Broome, Support Worker at Canolfan Meugan said, “The course was of particular benefit to the older people in reigniting their memories of previous experiences and enabling them to work with their hands again after many years of retirement.”

The course was funded by Ceredigion County Council, via the Welsh Government’s Environment and Sustainable Development Grant administered by Rachel Mills from the Environmental Control Team.