Refugees into Nature

by Deborah Joffe in Machynlleth, Wales, United Kingdom

Refugees into Nature
We did it
On 13th November 2023 we successfully raised £15,008 ( + est. £956.75 Gift Aid ) with 68 supporters in 42 days

We want to run wellbeing and volunteering activities for refugees and asylum seekers on our beautiful nature restoration site in mid-Wales

by Deborah Joffe in Machynlleth, Wales, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Additional funds will be spent on providing the activities for a second year, or for any other suitable nature-based activity which people who are asylum seekers and refugees want to try on our site.


Who are we?
Cambrian Wildwood is a charity focused on nature restoration and nature connection in the Dyfi Valley, Mid-Wales. We’re a small team of six staff supported by dedicated trustees, committed volunteers and generous friends in the local community and further afield.

1695999234_djones_woodlanders_004.jpg

What do we do?

We hold the lease on 140 hectares of formerly degraded farmland at Bwlch Corog, just outside Machynlleth. We’re custodians of a mixture of rare Celtic rainforest, wood pasture, heathland and blanket bog. Our aim is to restore these habitats to allow a wide range of species to thrive and to mitigate against climate change. 

But we’re not just interested in habitat restoration! At Cambrian Wildwood we believe that everybody has the right to experience nature and wild spaces, and benefit from the improvements this brings to physical and mental well-being. That’s why we have developed a collection of programmes aimed at encouraging a diverse range of people to get outside, learn new skills, develop relationships and build confidence. 

Why are we fundraising?

1696251449_city_of_sanctuary_collage_2mp.jpg

Over the years, through our monthly volunteer days, we’ve been fortunate to build a strong relationship with members of Wolverhampton’s City of Sanctuary who support refugees and asylum seekers. They have made a huge contribution to land restoration at our site in Bwlch Corog - they’ve planted trees and sphagnum plugs, slashed bracken, put up yurts, de-barked larch poles and chopped wood. We simply couldn’t have achieved what we have without them.

What we’ve learned during these volunteer days is how important a day spent in nature at Bwlch Corog can be.

“I feel tired but very happy today, it’s wonderful planting trees.” – Esmerelda

Refugees and asylum seekers are often traumatised by their experiences, leading to poor mental health. Many have no experience of living in a city and miss the countryside deeply. Being in nature can relax and inspire, offer brief respite from day to day worries and give families a chance to just ‘be’.

Being able to welcome members of this community to our volunteer days has been great, but we want to do more. We would like to offer our volunteers and other refugees and asylum seekers the chance to come on a nature well-being day or a short camp, with their children if they have them. Our skilled Community and Education Manager, will work with City of Sanctuary to design a wonderful programme of activities including nature crafts, woodland games, bushcraft skills and cooking.

Could you help us offer enjoyable experiences and happy memories to take home?

With match funding from the Save Our Wild Isles fund, your donation will be trebled and help us even more!

  • £25 will give us £75 and help one young refugee to attend a nature well-being day
  • £100 match funded to £300 will pay for 6 refugee families to attend a nature well-being day
  • £250 will create an amazing £750 and bring seven refugee families to a two-day well-being camp 

We appreciate any contribution you are able to make. 

Thank you!

Got an idea like this?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.