Blaen Bran Community Woodland
Located in the County borough of Torfaen in in Upper Cwmbran, Blaen Bran Community Woodland was an early site acquired by the Forestry Commission in the 1930s. Since 2005, the woodlands have been managed by the community of Cwmbran, a town of approximately 45,000 people, with a vision to make the woodlands attractive, accessible, and to prevent damage to the area from people starting fires, dumping litter and off road motor‐biking. After much consultation, it was decided by the community to manage the woodland with a spirit of ownership and a sense of place with the people of Upper Cwmbran and to make improvements to the woodlands for the benefit of the whole community, improving footpaths, signage and access gates, and generating a social calendar with walks and talks, and special event days to engage with as many people as possible.
Blaen Bran Community Woodland has sought to generate income too, to make the woodlands self-sufficient and a benefit to its community. As well as being a place of enjoyment and relaxation, the woodlands can be hired for events such as scout camps and pony trekking, and the selling of timber, and the applications for funding have all raised money to put back into the running of the woodlands.
With a dedication to community engagement and creating local interest and ownership in the woodlands, the Blaen Bran Community Woodland has this motto:
Persistence – keep going because you don’t know what may change tomorrow
Planning – always in pencil, because things always change
People – coming together, can achieve a lot – not least of which is having fun