Horticulture Wales and the Woodland Skills Centre are thrilled to be continuing their partnership over the next year in Flintshire and Denbighshire, thanks to a Shared Prosperity Funding award for Horticulture Wales.

The Woodland Skills Centre in Bodfari is a community-owned, not-for-profit Social Enterprise company set in 50 acres of woodland with allotments, polytunnels, a heritage orchard, and a vineyard, offering a range of traditional craft courses, community engagement, growing opportunities, and health and well-being events.

Horticulture Wales, based in Wrexham University’s Northop Campus, will continue to promote innovative and traditional growing methods to businesses, communities, and schools across the two counties.

Together, their core values align with Wales’ Well-Being of Future Generations Act and will promote local, sustainable food security alongside non-food and ornamental crops, woodland, and environmental management through traditional and innovative methods.

Photographed: Rod Waterfield, founder of Woodland Skills Centre, and Laura Gough, Head of Enterprise at Wrexham University

Rod Waterfield, founder of Woodland Skills Centre, said, "This is a great opportunity for both our organizations to continue to grow and support the region together. We have an established orchard, vineyard, allotment area, and polytunnels available, which will benefit people across Denbighshire and Flintshire. We are looking forward to trialing new crops and growing methods in our polytunnel and, of course, welcoming new volunteers."

Photographed: Rod Waterfield, founder of Woodland Skills Centre, and Laura Gough, Head of Enterprise at Wrexham University, outside Woodland Skills Center, Bodfari

"Together, we will also be supporting orchard management through workshops. Many schools and communities have been gifted Heritage Orchard Trees but do not have the expertise to look after them, and we want to ensure the trees are nurtured for future generations."

Laura Gough, Head of Enterprise at Wrexham University, said, "We are thrilled to be continuing our work with Woodland Skills Centre. As well as sharing innovative and traditional horticultural practices across Denbighshire and Flintshire, our collaboration will target new audiences, with our Project Development Officers reaching out to new schools and communities across the region."

"This project sits within the University’s Enterprise Office, so we are able to signpost many businesses towards short courses to help their businesses, entrepreneurial skills development and promote volunteering opportunities amongst our students. It also complements degree modules across a range of subjects."

Mark Roberts, Hort Wales’ Niche Crops Officer, said, "Our Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) systems in Northop showcase various modern growing methods and will be used to help give high-value crops the best start possible, ready to transplant to the polytunnels and further afield."

Becky Bird, Hort Wales’ Project Development Officer, said, "We would love to see as many schools across the two counties learning about Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) systems, such as hydroponics, and be able to offer these growing systems into schools for young people to learn how food can be grown. We already have links with several schools in the area and want to build on this to enable them to create their own growing communities."

For more information:
Woodland Skills Centre
www.woodlandskillscentre.uk

Horticulture Wales
www.horticulturewales.co.uk