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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 August 2006, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Village campaign secures woodland
Campaigners walking through Troserch Woodland
Villagers were asked for 5 each to join the campaign
Villagers who launched a fund-raising campaign to buy 76 acres of ancient woodland on their doorstep have secured a 115,000 grant to purchase the site.

Locals in Llangennech, near Llanelli, feared if Troserch Woodland fell into private hands, public access to the land may be stopped.

Generations had enjoyed the site but there were few official rights of way.

Now they will receive a grant which means the woodland will become public property.

The Troserch Woodland Society - which was formed by campaigners in April - plans to create additional paths and bridges opening up more of the land.

The Morlais River flowing through Troserch Woodland
The woods boast breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife and a network of paths to explore
Greg Wilkinson, Troserch Woodland Society

It delivered 2,000 leaflets to houses in and around Llangennech which borders the woodland on the banks of the Morlais river.

The campaign also won the backing of Llangennech Community Council, Llanelli Green Network, Carmarthenshire Council and the Woodland Trust.

Society secretary Greg Wilkinson said: "The woods boast breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife and a network of paths to explore.

"A lot more people have been coming to the woods since we began our campaign - more than 160 have paid the subscription to become members.

"The funding came just when we needed it and we hope to complete the purchase at the end of August and get everyone together in September when the real work starts."

Most of the paths on the land were "permissive" - in other words, not official public rights of way.

But routes can be used by the public with the permission of the landowner.

The grant to buy the woodland came from Cydcoed - a Forestry Commission Wales community woodland project, which is funded by the European Union and Welsh Assembly Government.

Project officer Ben Maxted said: "Community ownership gives local people real power to control their local environment and to create the kind of woodland they want.

"We are very pleased to have been able to help and we are looking forward to seeing the results."


SEE ALSO
Village bids for ancient woodland
06 Jun 06 |  South West Wales

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