History of the Calon yn Tyfu Cyf/Growing Heart Co-operative
Established in 1996 as part of the Henparcau environmental project, the focus of the co-operative has been on providing basic needs, initially setting up organic fruit and veg production and firewood supplies, for both members and the wider community.
To help finance operations and development, we also started tree planting and collecting tree seed throughout the UK, alongside the firewood supplies and other aspects of the business in West Wales.
In 2006 the forestry side of the project increased in scale, after we received a Forestry Commission Woodlands for All/Cyd Coed grant to purchase the 325 acre site of Ffynone and Cilgwyn woodlands that adjoin our existing base at Hen Parcau farm.
Since then we have been developing our ethos around whole systems, from seed to saw, through developing a sawmill to add value to the mature larch and douglas fir growing in our woodlands, as well as managing the hardwood understory for firewood supplies. As a not for profit co-operative we generate funds and then use any surplus to fund new areas of development.
Firewood supplies and beyond: what we do now
The Calon yn Tyfu co-operative currently works with wood in a holistic way – from seed collecting, tree planting and forestry management, through to processing wood which becomes carcassing and cladding on sustainable local buildings and is firewood supplies to heat the homes of people in our community. You can order firewood from us here.
With the world rapidly changing, we are aware of the challenges that individuals and communities face, from peak oil to social isolation, and so we have sustainable design at the centre of our work. We seek to model a living, working example of sustainability that meets local needs.
We have explored a wide range of approaches to managing what we do, from use of horse and axe, through to efficient modern day machinery. The cooperative works to upskill and train local people as part of our team and collaborates with a range of partner and community organisations. We are dynamic and creative and see the Calon yn Tyfu co-operative continuing to pioneer new ways to support both the environment and local community in the future.
We’ve been selling firewood supplies since 1996, with lots of loyal customers, and always recommend where possible for people to purchase in the summer months. Firewood is the ultimate sustainable heat source as it’s grown locally, has low energy inputs and is renewable. Ffynone and Cilgwyn woodlands grows about 2000 tons of timber every year.