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21st April 2010 HRH PRICE CHARLES VISITS LOCAL WOOD...............
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HRH The Prince of Wales paid a surprise visit to Wye Wood recently whilst on a private visit to his estate in Herefordshire and participants of the Wye Wood Project were delighted that the Prince was able to spend time with each member of their group discussing the benefits Wye Wood has been able to offer them.

Wye Wood, which grew out of the successful Herefordshire Sustain Project (part funded by The Duchy of Cornwall), offers supported health improvement and training opportunities for individuals referred via a range of agencies, including the mental health service and the probation service. Participants learn traditional woodland skills such as coppicing, hurdle making and pole lathe turning. All activities take place at woodland sites, one of which is on the Duchy Estate, at Aconbury.

The Prince took the opportunity to learn more about the project by talking to staff and volunteers about their work. During the visit project staff were able to demonstrate the success of a small project and discuss with him the potential benefit of similar projects being developed elsewhere in the country.

Continued . . .

HRH Prince Charles in Wye Wood.

A press release from the Wye Woods Project said: 'Prince Charles was extremely interested in the traditional crafts and skills which form the basis of the work we do', said Kate Tudge, Project Manager, adding that 'he himself enjoys participating in hedge laying.'

'We were delighted that he was able to speak to each and every one of the participants at the project on the day of his visit. He was particularly impressed with the Bird Feeders.'

'Wye Wood Project offers participants a valuable opportunity to gain confidence in an environment away from their day to day lives. Some people who attend the project have never picked up a hand tool before, or even visited a wood before, whereas others have worked as joiners or craftsmen. The supportive environment of the project means that participants and volunteers learn from each other, gaining in self confidence and skills'.

'We have had several participants, who have been previously long- term unemployed, move through the project on to employment. Often people join the project as a participant with significant health or social problems, attend for several months as a participant before moving on to volunteer with the project making goods for sale or working on woodland contracts.'

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