Blaen Bran Community Woodland.
What is Blaen Bran all about? Well its 100 acres of amazing Welsh woodland above Upper Cwmbran for the use of the whole community.
We are a charity predominantly relying on volunteers to run events and to maintain and manage the woods.
Blaen Bran may be the only community run woodland in Wales to have planted an arboretum, which features species native to South Wales. This area alone is of
amazing educational value, and in addition we have a forest school facility known as Parsons Wood.
So how can you all get involved? Well, we invite visitors to join our “Friends of Blaen Bran” scheme which has a nominal membership fee. You can follow us on Face book and soon to be a brand new web site with loads of information on the woods, events and a members only area with even more interesting information on the woods and the things that live there when we all go home.
Blaen Bran receives no regular government funding and so to keep the woodland available for the whole community to use, we rely on grant funding when available, building partnerships with local companies and businesses and the support of the community. We are grateful to Torfaen CBC and Cwmbran CC for recent funding support.
For access, there are two main car parks allowing access to the site. As the site does not have postcodes, you can use the following GPS coordinates in the Google Maps search box (and maybe in your sat nav) to locate them :
Blaen Bran Car Park : 51.66605, -3.053136
Mountain Air Car Park : 51.676655, -3.046304
The Blaen Bran car park involves a bit of a climb to reach the top areas, whereas the Mountain Air car park is higher up the mountain if you want a less strenuous scenic walk, although it involves driving up a single track road and be aware to avoid the animals on the common land!!
The map shows the main tracks and footpaths of the woodland.
In May of 2015 Blaen Bran has employed a new member of staff to work with volunteers and to help manage the woodland, if anyone would like to volunteer with Blaen Bran they can contact Steve Smith on 07434042627.
All at Blaen Bran are happy and proud to be working with TVA ( Torfaen Voluntary Alliance) and, for the first time, working with young people who are completing the Millennium Volunteers Programme.
Blaen Bran are also happy to work with companies and organisations who support their staff to carry out volunteering days.
So if you think “I’d like to volunteer but don’t think I can do things in a woodland” give Steve a ring. You never know, you may have a skill we need, and enjoy yourself in a great place at the same time.
Regular activities include brash burning, bracken bashing, fence repairs, track maintenance, tree planting, Dry Stone walling etc. Well supported events include Easter Egg hunt for youngsters, bonfire night BBQ (no fireworks, as dog friendly) themed walks, gatherings and volunteer BBQs.
Some of the things we have done in the last few weeks.
1 – Volunteer BBQ.
2 – Dry stone walling training with Keep Wales Tidy.
3 – Fencing (post and wire) training.
4 – History Walk.