Coed y Bobl
Coed y Bobl is a community woodland and nature reserve situated in Devil’s Bridge (Pontarfynach), Ceredigion. The 6.82-hectare site is located ten miles west of Aberystwyth (grid ref; SN735762). The woodland is just ten minutes walk from the centre of the village, and just two minutes from the primary school, along the B4343.
From the village turn left before the war memorial and carry on up the road and past the school, the entrance to the woodland is located on the first right turn after the school. If you have any difficulty locating it please ask at Devil’s Bridge Stores or the Hafod Hotel.
Following a public meeting in 1999, Coed Cadw (The Woodland Trust in Wales) identified that there was public support for the establishment of a community woodland in the area. At the time the Woodland Trust (W.T) were launching their ‘Woods On Your Doorstep’ scheme, in celebration of the millennium, the scheme was conceived as a ‘bottom up’ participatory process. A public appeal was then launched in order to buy the site; the fundraising drive involved a partnership between the Woodland Trust and the community of interest. The funding to buy the site came from several different sources: 54% from the Millennium Commission and 22% from the EU and the Forestry Commission. A pledge leaflet was produced and posted to all residents in a geographic area as far afield as Aberystwyth and Llanilar, the public following the appeal raised the remaining 24% of the money
Following the purchase of the site a second public meeting was held in order for the public to consider the layout of footpaths, ideas for a name for the site, and what ‘millennium feature’ the community would like. In October 2000 a public tree planting day took place and the participating members of the community voted on the name Coed y Bobl (The People’s Wood) and agreed where to put the main paths and for the millennium features to be a tree grove based on the Ogham calendar, and a pond.
In late 2008, members of the Coed y Bobl Trust and other community woodland groups or trusts in Wales, in partnership with Coed Lleol established the community woodland association for Wales ‘Llais y Goedwig’. ‘Llais y Goedwig’ now provides a platform for community woodlands and associated issues on a national and UK scale. If you would like to find out more about community woodlands in Wales, go to the website www.llaisygoedwig.org.uk.
Since the woodland was established the volunteers and the site have won a series of awards, in 2002 the CYB volunteers won the Woodland Trust’s ‘Volunteers of the Year Award’, the site has won four awards from the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society. Gold and silver awards were won in 2006 under the ‘Woodlands for Wales’ and ‘Meirion Davies Perpetual Cup categories’; in 2008 the site won gold again in the ‘Community Woodlands Social’ category, and a ‘Special Class Award’.
Most recently the woodland has won the ‘Green Pennant Award’, a prestigious national award that recognises high quality green spaces in England and Wales that are managed by voluntary and community groups. Coed y Bobl is currently one of only 15 sites in Wales to win the award .The Award is part of the Green Flag Award® scheme, the national standard for quality parks and green spaces. For more information on the Green Pennant Award go to:-