AN educational woodland charity is set to move from its current home at Cilgerran to Pengelli Woods.

Coppicewood College, set up in 2006 and which employs three part-time instructors and volunteers, is dedicated to the promotion of traditional woodland management through sustainable methods, which includes coppicing and the use of hand tools and provides training in woodland-based traditional rural skills and related crafts.

It is currently based in a private piece of woodland of 14 acres which was a part of the Coedmore woods estate in Cilgrerran.

However, the lease on that woodland comes to a close in June 2021 but following agreement with the Welsh Wildlife Trust, the college is looking to establish a new £40,000 woodland workshop at Pengelli on a 25-year lease.

Bruce Slark, who runs the venture along with wife Kathy and Nick Barnes and his partner Barbara Goodwin, said: “The lease is not being renewed at our Cilgerran site but we were with Nathan Walton from the Wildlife Trust and did some work at Pengelli over the years and he suggested that we might look to go there.

“It is an amazing place and a site of Special Scientific Interest and our new workshop there will be built by ex-student Jamie Miller, who runs local business Ty Pren.”

A bequest left to the Wildlife Trust will help finance the project, while the college itself has raised £10,000.

A £16,000 grant application has also been made to the Sustainable Development Fund Committee at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority which is due to be heard later this month.

A report to the authority states: “The project is seeking funding to build a new workshop; a round wood timber framed building so that they can relocate Coppicewood College.

“The new location of the college is within easy reach of the current site and will preserve the woodland community that has developed around the college over the years.

“Building a new workshop in the new location at Pengelli woods will guarantee that Coppicewood College can continue delivering quality woodland courses, training groups and individuals to sustainably manage woodlands and build up a rural business of their own; and to support areas of natural beauty aligned to the principles of the national park.

“The payment of this application would be subject to gaining planning permission and discharge of all relevant conditions.”

Mr Slark added: “We attract students from all over the country and from abroad. We had two French students in our last intake and an application from the USA.

“With the threat of global warming and the need to plant trees, we believe there will be growing opportunity for work in traditional woodland management in the future and we want to play an important part in that process.

“Moving to Pengelli will give us greater scope and hopefully lead to an expansion of our activities, while the Wildlife Trust and other organisations will also be able to use the building.”