Cilau West is owned by Michael Bunney and Pam Jones, who have partnered with Treegeneration to convert one of their fields into a small woodland.
The property is located near to Fishguard, in the deeply rural landscape of Pembrokeshire National Park, West Wales. The field that is to be planted lies adjacent to Ciliau Common, which is managed by the National Trust, and grazed by Welsh Ponies. Beyond the common, cliffs drop down to a rocky beach at the southern tip of Cardigan Bay, which extends northward from here for 60 miles. On clear days Bardsey Island is visible on the far side of the Bay.
The field is approximately 1.25 acres is size, and has been used previously as grazing land. It sits at an altitude of approximately 80m above sea level, and is exposed from the north to salt laden gales straight off the ocean. The plan is to plant approximate 800 trees, which will include a wind break along the northern edge to protect the rest of the woodland from the cold northerly winds. The rest of the site is to be planted with a mixture of native broadleaf species, and a smaller proportion of coniferous trees.
Michael and Pam's hope for the woodland is that it will provide a haven for wildlife, and will extend the natural habitat already being provided by the Common. The woodland will also play a part in combatting climate change, and will sequester an estimated 300 tonnes of carbon over the next 100 years. (The average carbon footprint of one person living in the UK, is currently around 12.7 tonnes per year.)
Planting is planned for the 2021/22 winter months, and it is the role of Treegeneration, as the developer, to ensure that the project is validated with the UK Woodland Carbon Code. This will ensure that the woodland remains as a permanent feature of the landscape for at least the next one hundred years, and that the land will be looked after using sustainable woodland management practices.
An application has been made to the Woodland Trust's MOREwoods grant in order to part pay the cost of buying and planting the trees. Later in the year, we hope to launch a crowdfunder in order to raise the remaining funds.
More information will be provided on the project as the year progresses.