SDF Grant Assessment Panel

19/01/2011 @ 10:00 - National Park Offices

Minutes

1. To appoint a Vice-Chairman for the ensuing year

2. To receive apologies for absence

3. To receive any disclosure of interest by Members or Officers in respect of any item of business

4. To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the SDF Grant Assessment Panel held on the 17th November 2010

5. To consider the report of the SDF Administrator 

6. To consider the following applications:

SDF 0308 – Training skills for the Management and Maintenance of Woodland and Wetland Habitats
Pembroke 21C Community Interest Company (the CIC) requires SDF funding for a project that will train local people in traditional land and woodland management skills, whilst also benefiting the local environment by creating and enhancing important habitats and increasing biodiversity. The project will also provide opportunities for volunteering and employment and raise revenue for the benefit of the community.

The training and management activities will take place on two sites close to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park boundary at Hentland Farm near Pwllcrochan and the National Trusts Kingsmill woodland close to Castlemartin.

Four people will be trained as trainers in land and woodland management and as Open College Network (OCN) assessors with the British Trust For Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) and a partnership agreement with BTCV will be set up to work towards the CIC becoming a recognised OCN training centre with Agored Cymru. The CIC will work with local organisations in and around the National Park to identify and recruit local candidates for training and to achieve OCN accreditation with the aim of employing a small number of the qualified trainees to work as part of a team to improve and manage woodland and wetland projects across South Pembroke, but especially in the National Park.

The revenue that is eventually raised from the training programme, sale of the coppiced crops and products made with the wood taken out of the woodland will be used to sustain these and develop new projects in and around the National Park.

The intended outcomes of the project are:
• New habitat created at Hentland through the planting of short rotation willow and hazel coppice to be used for environmental projects such as river bank stabilisation, as well as a buffer zone of broadleaf woodland
• Improved woodland at Kingsmill by thinning the woodland, clearing and laying paths and bridges, which will be available for the local community to use and enjoy
• Improvements in biodiversity contributing towards the Local Biodiversity Action Plans
• Guided walks and talks on both projects for the general public to increase their understanding of the local environment
• An accredited training progamme in wetland and woodland management skills for local people
• Increased employment and volunteering opportunities in the National Park
• A team of skilled people to carry out and manage similar projects in the National Park area of South Pembrokeshire
• Increased revenue to sustain these and to develop other projects in the area
• Greater access to and enjoyment of areas of the National Park previously inaccessible


SDF 0309 – Bee Farm Building Coedcanlas
The Wild Honey Company is seeking funding from SDF to further develop a sustainable bee farm by constructing a sustainable agricultural building. This building is essential for the future success of the business and breeding queen bees adapted to local conditions and disease resistance. From this base all equipment will be made, maintained and stored. Full honey boxes will be returned from the surrounding countryside, the honey spun out of the combs in an extracting room and then stored in barrels prior to packing into jars. Breeder Queens, Queen rearing colonies and mating nuclei will be kept there and there will be a room dedicated to the labour intensive process of breeding disease resistant bees. Developing local disease resistant bees that can tolerate and maintain low levels of varoa mite is extremely valuable.
The building will be wood and have a biomass boiler and solar panels to meet heating needs. It will showcase a viable sustainable business that using a natural resource benefits biodiversity, the environment and the community. The project will also raise awareness of the value of honey bees and all pollinating insects, which leads to an understanding of the food chain, biodiversity and our survival in an ever changing environment. In addition it will provide pollination, local honey, employment and preserve a traditional agricultural activity in an innovative and contemporary way.

SDF 0310 – Traditional Housing Energy Answers (THE Answers)

Homes in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park are part of its character and contribute to the aesthetic of the landscape. Through this project the West Wales Eco Centre will identify and tackle the barriers for householders in improving the energy efficiency of ‘hard to treat’ homes within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
The project will accurately measure the energy efficiency and energy use of 20 hard to treat homes. They will use digital methods, some recently developed, which will sample key indicators such as humidity, temperature external climate and heat flow every 10 seconds for each house for 1 month during the heating season. They will then provide householders with a treatment plan for their home with thermal images to help them understand where heat is being lost from their home. They will then monitor the houses in the same way the following heating season to assess the effectiveness of the measures. The findings of their research will be disseminated widely through advice events, production of literature for householders, and the data will be available to stakeholders.

(Hard to treat homes are those without cavity walls or loft spaces and it is therefore difficult to improve their thermal performance.)