ONE of the top-performing Objective One programmes in Wales has just won the praise of its funders.

Cydcoed Woods for All - which uses Welsh woodlands to deliver jobs, new green space and community benefits - is run by the Forestry Commission in Wales.

In a little over two years Cydcoed has helped put new life back into the Welsh economy, delivering more than £2.3 million to projects throughout the Objective One area of Wales - but only by taking an innovative approach.

The Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) financial control team recently chose Cydcoed for a routine detailed investigation including on-site visits to three projects - and officers visited one of the completed community projects at Roseheyworth in Cwmtillery.

Cydcoed manager Dominic Driver said: "For years the woodland at Roseheyworth, Cwmtillery, served as hunting grounds for the landed gentry, but now members of the Lower Arael View Tenants and Residents Association have created a woodland activity area where they can hold fetes, barbecues and picnics in the 25 hectare oak and beech woodland using a £30,000 Cydcoed grant.

"Rene Le Huquet of the tenants association did a great job of explaining how much the project meant to the people who live nearby and explained how money from the Welsh Assembly and the European Union had given local people the power to get what they wanted done in the wood."