Sustaining Gower Ash Woodlands

Set in the beautiful woodlands of Gower, this is an innovative project which engages Swansea’s most vulnerable and ‘hard to reach’ groups through accredited volunteer programmes. The process of actively managing the woodlands increases confidence & well-being as well as teaching practical skills and delivering accredited outcomes. This increases future opportunities for volunteers & benefits for the wider community.


What our volunteers say about ‘Sustaining Gower Ash Woodlands’

Spending my time here has reduced my anxiety and depression dramatically. Also I feel more motivated

Drug Aid ParticipantSeptember 2016

When I come to Down to Earth every Wednesday, I can’t stop my laughing, when I come to Down to Earth I forgot my all difficulty which I been through. It was my great experience in Down to Earth, Friendly People and staff in Down to Earth. Thank you down to Earth!

Swansea City of Sanctuary participantMay 2016

I gained new skills of woodland management, I enjoyed my time, met new people, friendly staff, generous, respectful. It is very important to me as refugee helps on integration process. Thanks.”

Swansea City of Sanctuary participantMay 2016

This course has had such an impact for my group. It is nothing short of miraculous.

Lee DennisDrugAid Cymru staff member

Who is this project for?

Sustaining Gower Ash Woodlands‘ is for:

  • Groups of 10-12 ‘hard to reach’  or vulnerable people from a referral agency, who are over the age of 24 (If you have a group of people under the age of 24, this project could be for you.)
  • You don’t need any practical experience, just a willingness to try something new.

What is this project about?

Woodlands are a beautiful place to be. There’s something about them which just makes people feel better, and that’s what this project is all about – enjoying spending time in the woods. We take groups of ‘hard to reach’ volunteers out into the woodlands around Gower and we work together to improve our local environment. We’re improving access routes so that it’s easier for everyone to enjoy the woodlands, and addressing invasive species (plants which are growing where they shouldn’t be). The benefits are obvious – our volunteers report increases in:

  • Self-esteem
  • Confidence
  • Levels of physical activity
  • Overall happiness

As well as gaining new work skills and experience and receiving Agored Cymru accredited training, our volunteers’ work makes the woodlands better for the whole community. It’s a perfect win-win situation for everyone.


We have three intakes throughout 2017:

  • February
  • April
  • September

Each programme runs for 8 weeks. Groups attend either Wednesdays or Thursdays, starting at 10:30, and finishing at 14:30. There won’t be sessions during school holidays because we know it can be difficult to cover child care.


You’ll initially be based at our Murton site, but once we’ve done some training sessions with you, we’ll be heading out into the woodlands of Gower. You can find directions, contact details & maps here. If you want to see more of what the site is like, head over here

What do you need?

  • 10 – 12 people who want to get involved in the project, and who are committed to attending for 8 weeks.
  • Transport: You need to be able to get to us. buses in the area are infrequent, so you’ll need to car-share, have a minibus, or be willing to get taxis.
  • A packed lunch. Don’t forget your sandwiches, we’ll provide the tea and biscuits!
  • Group members will need comfortable clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty. You’ll be outside, so dress for the weather. If people don’t have waterproofs, don’t worry, we can provide them.

Who is funding this project?

We’re able to offer this programme because of Natural Resources Wales. NRW is principal adviser to Welsh Government about issues relating to the environment and it’s natural resources.  These natural resources are things like our air, land, water, wildlife, plants and soil which provide us with our basic needs.

More information & publicity

If you want to have a chat, organise coming to see us, or to get more information, get in touch with Jon using our contact page.

If you’d like some publicity materials to show people, please download this leaflet

Funded Heritage Skills training programmes

Postcode Dream Trust – Dreamfund

Group opportunities