TIR Coed, the mid and west Wales outdoor learning and wellbeing charity, has launched an ambitious six-year project to engage 17,000 disadvantaged people in a host of skills based on land, ranging from staple food cultivation to traditional heritage craftsmanship, having received funding support from the UK government.
The charity’s AnTir project has received £170,261 from the Community Renewal Fund for the initial feasibility phase of the scheme, which is underway in Ceredigion before the full project is rolled out in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and the Powys.
The project will seek to address social, economic and well-being inequalities in rural areas while mitigating the impact of global climate change at the local level.
The name AnTir is derived from the Welsh words “Antur” – which means adventure or enterprise – and “Tir”, which means land.
The project grew out of a growing recognition of the physical and mental impacts on rural communities and individuals by localized issues such as economic inequality, limited employment opportunities, transport and support infrastructure failings and a growing disconnection with nature, coupled with global issues of climate change, species loss, resource exploitation and dependence on international supply chains.
The AnTir project seeks to address many of these issues by providing hands-on training in sustainable land management and food-growing techniques to improve physical and mental health and well-being while rejuvenating on-going heritage skills. of extinction, improving self-sufficiency and food security and improving natural habitats and biodiversity in rural Mid and West Wales.
The project follows extensive consultation with land managers, farmers and conservationists to identify current and future land management skills shortages in the four counties and similar areas, particularly with respect to concerns traditional and heritage craftsmanship, the disappearance of which is likely to have a long-term negative impact on the landscapes that have shaped rural Mid and West Wales over generations.
Teresa Walters, Acting Chief Executive of Tir Coed, said: “We are delighted to have received such a large grant from the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund to support the feasibility stage of the AnTir project.
“Receiving a grant of this size illustrates the very real impact of these social and economic inequalities on rural communities and recognizes that the proposals put forward by Tir Coed can go a long way to addressing these issues for the future.”