A WOODLAND community activity, health and heritage group has received a major funding boost from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The National Heritage Lottery Fund is backing activities in Buckholt Wood
The National Heritage Lottery Fund is backing activities in Buckholt Wood (National Lottery)

Following a successful programme in 2023, Buckholt Bryngaer Community Interest Company has been awarded £99,265 in funding to support its work in 2024.

This year, there will be a nine month community-focused programme at Buckholt Wood near Monmouth, which will include:

Community engagement days led by Gwent Wildlife Trust, including dawn chorus and woodland flora outings, conservation and bat walks;

Forest Fun days for young people with disabilities, home-educated families, days out for Ukrainian families, and a range of targeted days for young people arranged through the county council;

A community archaeology programme led by Churchill Archaeology, covering three sites within the wood, including the historic Iron Age hill-fort located in the south-west corner and Henry Williams’ ruined cottage;

Volunteer bracken-bashing and clearance days on the hill-fort;

A dual-language poetry and music festival on the hill-fort to celebrate the Welsh language and heritage of this ancient monument,

The first two community events are already scheduled: the Dawn Chorus Walk, is at 6am this Saturday, May 18, and the Woodland Flora and Wildlife Walk is at 10am on Wednesday, May 29.

Bluebells in the Buckholt Wood
Bluebells in the Buckholt Wood (Beacon)

To sign up visit the Buckholt Bryngaer eventbrite page. Further dates and details will be announced shortly.

Hannah Ramsay, Monmouthshire Council Community Development Co-Ordinator for Ukrainian Families based in Monmouthshire, said: “It is brilliant that the project has funding – the days provided for community members are amazing and the benefits both short and long term are huge.

"Partnerships with CADW and GWT mean that people are learning about the history and wildlife of their area as well as supporting their health and wellbeing.

"We are very much looking forward to more days and opportunities with the project.”

An infographic of the Buckholt Bryngaer CIC's activities
An infographic of the Buckholt Bryngaer CIC's activities. Image: Buckholt Bryngaer CIC (Buckholt Bryngaer CIC)

Kate Churchill, founder of Churchill Archaeology, said: “This is such an exciting opportunity – not only to explore the origins of the Buckholt, but also to bring the community together and have fun learning about our heritage.”

Meg Chambers, Projects Co-Ordinator for The Marches Family Network, said:

“Marches Family Network are over the moon to be able to visit the Buckholt Bryngaer Project in the summer holidays.

"The opportunity to get out into the woodlands, relax and have fun is a fantastic opportunity for our families to have, we’re so thankful that the funding came through!”

Buckholt Bryngaer CIC is an organisation running activities to get people into woods, health and heritage.

A spokesperson said: "We believe in the power of nature and are passionate about sharing this with the local community.

"To learn more about us, visit our instagram page: @buckholt_bryngaer or contact us on [email protected]."

A spokesperson for The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: "Our vision is for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone, now and in the future.

"That’s why as the largest funder for the UK’s heritage we are dedicated to supporting projects that connect people and communities to heritage, as set out in our strategic plan, Heritage 2033.

"Heritage can be anything from the past that people value and want to pass on to future generations.

"We believe in the power of heritage to ignite the imagination, offer joy and inspiration, and to build pride in place and connection to the past.

"Over the next 10 years, we aim to invest £3.6billion raised for good causes by National Lottery players to make a decisive difference for people, places and communities. heritagefund.org.uk

"Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter/X, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery #HeritageFund."