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Bardsey Island near the Felin Uchaf Centre  off the Llyn peninsula, Gwynedd, north Wales
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a Visionary, Land-Based Social Enterprise

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       pioneering a holistic approach to

              Education & the Environment,

                         to Culture & Community

    and committed to Inspiring

                                  Enabling

                                    and Empowering

  young people and their local communities.

      What we do......

 

 

 

  • provide a year-round programme of cultural events - including spellbinding storytellings and magical music evenings ......please see the news page for the current diary

 

                       Storytelling at Felin Uchaf Centre Roundhouse

 

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  • in additiion we opperate two Green and Cultural Tourism Initiatives:

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  • Byw ar y Fiw ( Welsh for "Living off the View" )- offering expert advice and mentoring for new and existing businesses in the green & heritage tourism sector...... please click here

    To download the full Autumn-Winter programme of talks, workshops and walking events organised through Byw ar Y Fiw please click here. The programme will be delivered in Welsh with simultaneous translation facilities available. A warm welcome to all.

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  • Tir y Môr - week long cultural holidays that include guided tours to local historic sites, traditional craft skills tuition, storytelling and music evenings.


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    The Tir y Môr experience will take you on a journey of discovery into the pulsing heart and spirit of Celtic Wales, its ancient past, its breathtaking beauty and its living traditions, opening a door into a mythic Otherworld right here on these westernmost shores....

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    to find out more please go to  http://www.tirymor.org/

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    Ynys Enlli at Midwinter Sunset . Between sea and sky lies a  portal to the Celtic Otherworld

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  • On the new CLAS Building and Volunteering fronts....

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The last oak peg has been driven into the New Visitor & Holistic Education Centre frame and the straw bale walling and lime plastering  is well underway... did you know that......

the volunteers have nailed over 4.5 km of cedar laths to the interior stud walls and are busy packing in 1,500 sheeps fleeces for insulation and then lime plastering it all up!

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The carved cruck oaked Centre for Living Arts and Science at the Felin Uchaf Folk School

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volunteers on a thatching course finishing the reed ridge of the new oak framed  workshop

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massive ring beams finish the green oak frames built by young volunteers at Felin Uchaf Centre             International volunteers on a straw bale  building course at the Felin Uchaf Centre 

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We are very proud to announce that Alice Midmore, one of our long standing volunteers, has been nominated as one of the winners of the Green Volunteer of the Year 2013.

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        Alica Midmore Green Volunteering at Felin Uchaf Centre North Wales

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We are also busy raising the oak framed barn of our vistor centre....

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Trainees and international young volunteer team at Felin Uchaf Centre

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....here are our current team of dedicated volunteers - both from nearby communities and as far away as New Zealand and China.

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  International Volunteers on an eco-building training course at Felin Uchaf Centre, Noth Wales

                          the raising team !

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           the raising team at the end of a hard day's lifting work 

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   young trainees and volunteers raised a beautiful oak framed building at Felin Uchaf Centre

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Volunteers are rasing the last 3 green-oak frames by hand with ropes and block and tackle - the way these frames have been raised in Wales for almost a thousand years

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plus....over the past months weve also done this....

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         Welsh oak was used to construct the green oak frames thet were raised by hand

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Weve raised another 5 amazingly beautiful cruck-oak frames for the second phase of the wooden boatbuilding workshop. Alice Midmore is currently building the first model boat in there for the Nefyn Maritime Heritage Centre and this month were taking delivery of our first restoration project a 14ft locally built clinker boat from Tudweiliog. The restoration project will start in June and continue through to next winter and be run with the help of local boatbuilding expertise from the team at Clwb Hwylio Aberdaron - Sailing Club

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       Young Trainees fasten the traditional Welsh Cruck oak frame togetherwith 500 hand made oak pegs

Framing facts:

  • Some 500 oak pegs fasten the joints over the entire frame.
  • Over 60 different people have had a hand in the construction to date from 32 different countries to date and counting....
  • All the timber has been sourced from local, sustainably managed woodland in Snowdonia.

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         Hand raising a Welsh Cruck Barn at the Felin Uchaf Centre, North Wales

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       " One, two, three.....HEAVE !"

 ...the completed cruck oak frames being raised by hand by trainees and students from our partners: the Tywi Heritage Skills Centre,near Llandeilo and young volunteers from 32 different countries all over of the world...

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          the new boatbuilding workshop at Felin Uchaf Centre, Gwynedd, North Wales

the names of each volunteer's home country has been carved in their own language over the massive oak beams ofthe final cruck frame

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here's a view over the amazing community garden that supplies us with all our nourishing biodynamic fruit and veg for the shared volunteer meals


Background to the project:

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Since 2004 the charity has been transforming a traditional Welsh farm that had been redundant for decades into a Holistic Education Centre & Community Enterprise. The main aim of the centre's current 15 year building construction plan is to establish an International Youth Initiative Programme inspired by the word wide movement of Folk Schools ( http://yip.se/about/the_program_and_its_aims/ ). In order to provide young people with continued support beyond their period of training or volunteering with us we have also established a business mentoring initiative to help stimulate and support new green business initiatives and rural enterprises in the community - that make responsible use of natural resources. The Felin Uchaf eco-center is situated at the heart of the Llyn Peninsula on the shores of the Irish Sea, in North West Wales, an area of outstanding natural beauty, rich cultural history and proudly Welsh speaking communities.

Within this rural Communities First Area there is a pressing need to create sustainable employment opportunities; our approach is to find inovative ways of using local resources to seed new enterprises. Our current projects: the building of a new eco-visitor centre, The organically designed Seed Building and the substantial Cruck-Oak Framed Boatbuilding Workshop aims to showcase just that : how locally sourced raw materials and traditional building skills can be creatively combined to construct contemporary workspaces for appropriately scaled rural enterprises.


All of the varied building and landscaping projects underway at the centre have been carefully designed to create skills learning opportunities that enable as many different people as possible to get involved in  the construction. We offer a broad range of volunteering and training activities from organic gardening to highly skilled eco-building & heritage skills training projects and provide a varied programme of cultural and social events aimed at empowering and enriching the lives of our youing people and their local communities.

Our ethos is simple: we believe that through providing holistic, inspirational, hands-on learning opportunities led by people skilled and passionat about what they do, within a cooperative, nurturing environment then people develop a positive “can do” attitude towards their own lives, their communities and our shared natural environment.

 

              "Whatever you can do or dream you can - begin it !

                           Boldness has Genius, Power and Magic in it"

                                                                                         Wolfram Von Goethe


The Felin Uchaf Project is an opportunity to learn new skills, to share experiences and to contribute to the community and cultural life of a very special part of Wales.

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Being a part of this project has been a positive and life changing experience for very many people. We very much hope you will be inspired to join us in our initiative and look forward welcoming you to the centre


We are currently:

     

  • Providing a wide range of volunteering opportunities aimed at helping people discover their own creative potential and bringing together people from different social and cultural backgrounds ......please scroll down this page for more details.

 

             building a reciprocal frame roof on a new cob house at Felin Uchaf Centre near Aberdaron, North Wales

 

  • Providing training and courses in a broad range of practical rural skills, heritage skills, eco-build methods and organic  gardening both here on-site and at venues to suit your individual training requirements - anywhere in the world ! We offer short and week long residential courses, working holidays, local and international volunteer work opportunities with residencies from between 2 days to 3 months

          for a look at how volunteers helped raise a new oak framed    wooden boatbuilding workspace you can follow the link:                               http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3C69Tmy0ak&feature=related

this year's main volunteer construction project will be the building of a green oak framed and straw bale walled eco-visitor centre. The work will be varried out entirely by volunteers and trainees and be an examplar of using local materials, of suststainable design and construction.

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The development of the visitor centre is supported by Communities and Nature, a strategic project led and managed by Natural Resources Wales, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. The underlying ambition of Communities and Nature is to increase sustainable economic benefits and create jobs by utilising Wales’ natural capital. For further information about the work of the Welsh European Funding Office please visit their website at http://wefo.wales.gov.uk

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  • Conserving and Enhancing the Habitats and Biodiversity within the existing farm and beyond, for the benefit of wildlife; the farmland is home to a number of rare plants and animals such as barn owls, hares and otters
  • Reviving the oral tradition of storytelling and music in the community with regular events in and around the centre (click here for the diary on the  News Page).

         For a prieview of  night in the roundhouse please follow the link:                                           http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4QxlPGnl0w&NR=1

  • Providing an outdoor- field study resource for schools and colleges on such themes as ancient technologies, experimental archaeology, Celtic heritage, sustainable land use, ecological and traditional building methods and biodiversity

 

  • Growing our food on the centres 23 acre Community Organic-Biodynamic Farm and providing the trainees & volunteers with wholesome Organic-Biodynamic Vegetables and establishing a Wild Pharmacy - community herb garden to revive the growing and use of indigenous hebs

 

  • Providing support and training for a wide variety of probation service users such as young offenders groups and probation service clients on community service placements and host young people on John Muir and Duke of Edinburgh Award Schemes

 

  • Providing a vital support for Educators and promoting holistic educational methods inspired by the Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf educational approach

 

  • Hosting international volunteer youth camps, forest school and Gwerin Y Coed/Woodcraft Folk Camps and student work experience opportunities

 



  • There are many ways you can get involved with the project from participating in the skills courses to volunteering or through helping to support the charity financially and becoming a member.  Just take a good look at these website pages and see what were offering and what best suits you.
 

 

Arleen Sinclairfrom Scotland  cutting tenons on a green cruck oak frame at Felin Uchaf Centre

Volunteering in 2014:

 

did you know that....during 2013 over 150 different volunteers from both the local community and from all over the world gifted a staggering 15,000 precious hours of their time, energy and good company to the Felin Uchaf Centre ! In return they recived a warm welcome, learned some amazing skills and forged some wonderful friendships.

"  Thank you so very much for the warm welcome you gave us and your wonderful hospitality. These past months have been a fantastic experience, we feel so lucky to have been a part of your work here and have loved every minute. Thank you also for teaching us so many new skills, for introducing us to this beautiful part of the world and its history and magic, and for giving us the confidence to pursue our dreams. "      Ed and Jo, volunteers

 

If you live locally to the peninsula then every Wednesday is a Local Volunteer Work Day from 10am to 4.00 pm click here for more information. Please contact the office if you would also like to come along on other days .

 

           traditional skills training courses at the Felin Uchaf Centre

 

 

for Residential Volunteers :

 

This year we will be giving accommodation priority to those volunteers who have experience in eco-building, carpentry or organic gardening.

 

The main project this summer will be building a new Eco-Designed Visitor centre - this will involve:

    • green oak timber framing ( to June )
    • straw bale and lime-clay plastering (June onward )
    • traditional slating techniues - random & diminishing course with swept valley slate dormer joins ( July onward) .
    • carpentry and jonery - making all the internal furniture and cupoards, doors, windows stairways etc for the new visitor centre

     

We are also looking for people with experience in fundraising skills. You may be able to help at the office here at the Centre or from your own location if you live further away.  Please contact Dafydd Davies-Hughes, Project Manager

If you are considering coming to volunteer at the centre then please click here for more information on the VOLUNTEERING page

 

Important reminder for prospective volunteers: All the work is physically demanding and you will need to be fit and well. Please be aware that even during the summer : conditions can be windy, wet and sometimes cold out here on the peninsula and you are advised to bring a set of warm clothes, waterproofs and a good quality warm sleeping bag.....and ( during the summer...) suntan cream of course !

 

 

         volunteers prepare for a round the world journey from the Felin Uchaf Centre near Aberdaron , Pen LLyn, North Wales

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To support the Felin Uchaf Appeal

please send your donation now.

thank you


Pablo Pilon a carpenter from Pau France helps volunteers  raising the green oak frames by hand



Storytelling in the Earthouse at the Felin Uchaf Centre, Gwynedd, North Wales


Haymaking at the felin Uchaf Community farm project, gwynedd, North wales

Earthouse Interior at the Felin Uchaf Centre, Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd, North Wales

 

The earthouse at the Felin Uchaf centre, Gwynedd , North Wales

 

 

Plastering the cob pillars on the Earthouse at the Felin Uchaf Centre, North wales

 

 

Young volunteers building a celtic roundhouse at the Felin Uchaf Centre, North Wales

built of local Welsh Oak by young trainees and volunteers at Felin Uchaf Centre near Aberdaron Wales

 

 

 

 

 

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