West Wales and The Valleys RSG Meeting
The First Startree Regional Stakeholder Group for the West Wales and The Valleys (WW&TV) region, was held on the 11th September at Coed y Brenin's woodland centre in Mid Wales.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the Welsh Government, Research establishments, local and national landowners groups, community woodlands managers, support agencies, and NWFP producers. We have started with a small group of key people, and will develop the membership of the RSG as the project develops to include stakeholders relevant to particular phases of the project.
The WW&TV regional Stakeholders will help to disseminate information on Startree to their networks and contacts and will assist in the data collection in some cases. They will help us guide the project to make the best use of the resources available and ensure that Startree has a lasting impact on the development of NWFP in the region, by increasing its profile and developing new opportunities.
The meeting began with an overview of the Startree Project and continued with themed discussions on the current NWFP in use in Wales, as well as the potential for the development of what is still quite a small and little known sector in the region.
A key feature of the meeting, and one we hope to continue in future meetings, were presentations by RSG members on their work with NWFP's. We were lucky to hear from David Wainwrightof Tropical Forest Honey, who produces honey from hives in woodlands and moorlands around Mid Wales as well as importing from small producers in tropical regions, and Clare Revera of Out to learn Willow on their products, projects and courses using willow.
The next RSG is planned for late spring in 2014 when we will be discussing the results of the current data collection exercises, and the way forward for NWFP in Wales.