Young volunteers at the Felin Uchaf Centre on the Llyn Peninsula in  North Wales
Hauling stone on rollers  at the Felin Uchaf centre near Pwllheli, North Wales
International volunteers building a Celtic roundhouse at the Felin uchaf centre in North Wales
Volunteers building with cob at the Felin Uchaf Centre in Gwynedd , North Wales

News & Diary of Events


Bulletin Board:         May 2013


              Pics of the week...........




volunteers and trainees  raising the green oak frames for the new visitor centre





Bangor and Aberystwyth University Student Volunteers help traise the green oak frames



 Amy and Eleri finishing off the thatched ridge of the boatbuilding workshop



and over the past few months....




Volunteers raised the second phase of the cruck oak workshop by hand with block and tackle. All the framing and raising has been carried out entirely by trainees and volunteers.

  • New Green & Heritage Tourism Initiative

weve opened a new office at Canolfan Fenter Congol Meinciau Enterprise Centre  in nearby Botwnnog where Nia Griffith and Wil Parry are developing a Green and Heritage Tourism Initiative to:


    • deliver a two year long programme of training courses including accredited courses for both young people and established existing businesses. This will include working in close partnership with a local business skills training and support agency to provide a holistic programme of both practical and desk-based training courses to encourage and support the generation of new sutainable tourism enterprises in the region.


    • develop training placement opportunities for course participants with other local heritage & environmental centres

    • establish a permanent Tourism Enterprise Training Facility at the Felin Uchaf Visitor Centre


    the initiative is being funded by the BIG Fund’s Coastal Communities Fund



  • volunteering update
    • our residential facilities for traines and volunteers have currently available from May.Please refer to the PDF downloads on the Volunteering Section of the webpage for details.


  • The Felin Uchaf Appeal 

support Community Ownership..Please Help Push The Boat Out !

  • In order for the charity to permanently secure the land and buildings at Felin Uchaf for the benefit of everyone - for ever- we need to raise £270,000 to pay off the remaining purchase bank loan/ mortgage and therefore buy the property outright. We aim to raise the full amount through donations and pledges from forward thinking private supporters sponsors, businesses and trusts. Every one of your donations helps achieve another step closer toward the target. Your pledges will be called only when the full ammount is raised .To support the appeal or find out more please click here
  • Some Fantastic News! :
  • Match funding has been awarded by the Countryside Council for Wales toward the building of a new state of the art Visitor & Community Centre. The purpose designed eco-building will include a shop and catering facility as well as meeting room and office.  This means that from September we'll be looking for experienced eco-builders and craftspeople to help with the construction through to March 2014. Have you got the kind of skills we need...if so please contact us and download the volunteer information & application form


    the proposed new stone,earth and timber framed Visitor and Community Centre at Felin Uchaf to be built during 2012-13


consructional sketches of the green oak framed, stone walled & straw bale walled New Visitor Centre Building currently under construction by trainees and volunteers at Felin Uchaf between 2012 to Sept 2013

  • Green Oak Timber Framing & Reed Thatching Training 2013

    From September we will be looking for expereienced & motivated trainees/apprentices who would like to learn traditional woodworking skills in building the second phase of a new thatched, cedar clad, cruck-oak timber framed barn . Trainees will be able to stay at the centre, basic accommodation will be provided and trainees will be expected to help with all the various other jobs from gardening to housekeeping. For full details please see the Essential Volunteer Information posted on the contribute page

  • Oak Barn Raising update - phase 2  from 2012-14: the building of a new wooden boatbuiding workshop
  • We raised phase 1 : the woodworkshop's 5 trusses of cruck oak frame by hand. Many thanks to the 40 volunteers who took part in the raising team from all around the country, and to the many other supporters and well wishers who cheered us on. The next step will be cedar cladding the sides and reed thatching the roof.For more photos and information  follow the BBC link http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/northwestwales/hi/people_and_places/nature/default.stm


  • We are looking for volunteers keen to learn skills to thatch the huge workshop roof from this June onward





  • Office Opportunities: We are in need of help from people with good fundraising skills.  If you think you can help and would like to contribute towards a very worthwhile project then please do contact us


Diary 2013

Please Note:


Due to the volume of building work at the centre this summer we will not be hosting the usual programme of cultural events in the roundhouse - there may be a storytelling evening a month - so please keep a look out for postings- and there's the Annual Archaeological Festival here from the 11-13th July click here for details of the festival



Date Activity or event What to bring

Every Wednesday

9.30 - 4.30 pm

Local volunteer days

A wide range of activities from conservation work, organic gardening to stone walling, traditional building and woodworking.

Suitable for all ages and abilities,a great way to learn new skills, keep healthy and fit and share good company.

The 2013 Summer projects are:


  • reed thatching the main oak barn from June
  • building the new eco-visitor centre - carpentry & walling & straw bale work
  • reciprocal pole roofing & turf roofing thecob walled herb house
  • Organic gardening in the Community veg. and herb garden including harvesting seaweed & building new raised beds
  • coppicing the willow beds for basketry & charcoal material


shared lunch provided, bring workwear &

sturdy boots,


all safety clothing supplied as are tea,coffe and biscuits!


Every Tuesday during school term

School visits day.

Please contact Dafydd at the office if you would like to arrange for your school to visit the Centre

Workshops themes include: The Celts, Experiential Archaeology, Eco Building, Ecology & Conservation, Organic Gardening & Rural Craft Skills

Activities may include fireside storytelling in the roundhouse,site archaeology, bread making in a clay oven,building a wattle and daub wall or traditional cob wall, thatching and artwork, growing organic veg and herbs and nature studies- we have 23 acres of farmland managed as a nature reserve.


Remember to bring sensible outdoor clothing and footwear .....and waterproofs!



Current Acivities Gallery........ 



               fireside storytelling and music      building the new shower house    constructing a roundhouse roof


           traditional skills apprentiships     volunteering on the oak barn project    framing the next phase of the cruck oak barn


    pizas in the roundhouse    school performance            clay oven building course               storytelling with children



        stages in building a cob compost tiolet:

     laying the stone foundations      cob/earth walling                     timbering the roof         locally sourced reed thatching



        lime plastering and limewashing the finished cob-earth wall           Mark dancing the cob wall down on the Seed Buiding


         timbering the roof                   cob walling the Seed Building              coppicing hazel poles            stone walling


        fishing in the Bardsey Sound                            clay oven baking                                 the grass cutting volunteers....


                      candle-lit storytelling & music with over 90 people in the earthouse               Urien fishing for supper !  



       volunteers enjoying lunch fresh from the community gardens          making raised beds           laying out the oak frame


        stacking the oak beams            harvesting seaweed         willow weaving  building the stone walled barn foundations   


          school visit - baking bread         raising the green oak barn                dry stone walling

Recently Awarded Funding:  



Firstly to all our members for your continued vital suport and to everyone who has generously donated towards the project

Awards For All Wales -Dec 2008, £5000 to build a new volunteer workspace

O2 It's Your Community Grant- Feb 2009, £1,000 to wards the building of the new stone, straw bale and turf roofed shelter in the Community Herb Garden

Criminal Justice Intervention Wales & Drug Intervention Programme- May 2009, £82,000 investment toward the repayment of the initial property purchase loans

The Rosa Butler Trust - April 2009, £1,000 Towards the Community Land Initiative

Charitable trust (Anon.)- May 2009, £2000 Towards core funding costs.

Mantell Gwynedd WCVA Gwirfol Youth Led Grant  May 09 £400 toward the purchase of new equipment for a dedicatedyoung people's office space at the Centre

Environment Wales Project Grant June 2009 £4,600 towards new publicity and exhibition matterialsfor a touring exhibition from the end of summer onward

Mantell Gwynedd's Galluogi Gwynedd Grant June 2009 £10,000 towards capital items for the construction of a new oak framed and thatched workspace

Council For the Protection of Rural Wales CPRW Jan 2010  £500 grant award toward meeting the centre's core funding costs

The Ernest Cook Trust Feb 2010 £2,000 to support environmental education programme for young people

Environment Wales(5th year of support) Feb 2010 £5,500 awarded towards Project Manager costs

Cymorth Gwynedd March 2010 , £6,000 towards improving young volunteers' facilities at the centre

Tidy Towns/Keep Wales Tidy, £1200 towards purchasing tools and matterials for new habitat creation and woodland management

Gwynedd Youth Fund- youth resources fund July 2010- £6,000 toward development officer costs

WCVA Engagement Gateway Sheme July 2010 £51,000 over the next 2 years for developing education and training resources for volunteers at the Centre

Llyn AONB Sustaiable Development Fund July 2010- £20,000 over the next 3 years towards volunteer development officer staff costs.

WCVA  Volunteering in Wales Fund , June- £ 23,000 towards voluntreer projetcs officer costs

Anon. Chaitable trust, June - £2,500 , unrestricted funding /donation

Countryside Council for Wales, August - £5,000 , capacity building revenue grant

Comunities First Trust Fund, January 2011 £1,700 - New IT equipment

Countryside Council For Wales, Jan 2011 - contract to make special carved oak gates & benches for Ynys Llanddwyn Nature Reserve worth £7,000

Environment Wales - Feb 2011, pre-project grant, renewable energy sources - wind turbine feasability study in partnership with the West Wales Eco-centre  £4,000

Big Lottery Fund Community Wildlife Fund , May 2011, for running a varied programme of wildlife events and primary schools environmental projects , £7,000

Countryside Council For Wales Access and Interpretation Grant February 2011, for developing access and rural craft skills learning opportunities at the centre , £ 12,000

WCVA GwirVol Opporunities Grant , March 2011, for developing a range of volunteering opporunities for young volunteers at the centre , £9,000

Environment Wales Project Grant, May 2011 , for developing the rural skills training hub - capital items - thatch etc £8,600

Countryside Council For Wales Communities & Nature Grant - July 2012 -£ 100K ( Welsh Office / European Deveolpment Fund) 2012-Sept 2013 for the building of a new Community and Eco-Visitor Centre


Big Fund - Coastal Communities Fund -August 2012 £200K 2 year revenue funding employing 2 staff to develop & deliver a Green and Heritage Tourism Project





imagethe roundhouses at Christmas

Building a wattle and daub wall for the Celtic Roundhouse at the Felin Uchaf Centre
wattle and daub

oak trees arive at the Felin Uchaf Centre for the new Cruck Barn workspace

oak for the barn arriving

Sam volunteering on the new clawdd stone wall

 Sam clawdd walling

The Gaffers mens group walling at the Felin Uchaf Centre

the chain gang!

Mixing Biodynamic preparations in the Felin Uchaf Community Garden

biodynamic preparations

Primary scool children lear about rural crafts and thatching

schools on building day

David on the roof framing

moving mountains of earth

Internatinal Volunteers building a stone wall at the Felin Uchaf Centre

United Nations Association

volunteers stone walling

Young volunteers at the Felin Uchaf Centre

young timberwrights

traditional Welsh instruments workshops

Volunteers sharing supperat the Felin Uchaf Centre

shared lunches

Voluntees learning traditional carpentry skills


herb garden group

Building the cob and stone walls of the Seed Building

cob and stone walling

on the Seed Building

TheFelin Uchaf Centre's  Earthhouse interior

the earthouse interior

volunteer stone walling the foundations for the new roundhouse

stone walling course

Mark volunteering on the Celtic Roundhouse at the Felin Uchaf centre

oak carpentry

The third Celtic Roundhouse roof begins to take shape at the Felin Uchaf Centre

celtic roundhouse building

trainee thather on the roundhouse roof

Mark - volunteer thatcher

Cob Plasreing the interior of the roundhouse

Anke cob plastering


Garn Fadryn  Celtic hillfort

Garn Fadryn Hillfort nearby

Storm approaching from over Bardsey Island

view to the west over Enlli

Young Tom- spellbinding storyteller

Plans for the new cruck oak barn- workspace at the Felin Uchaf Centre

the cruck oak barn frame

Traditional clay bread oven

firing the cob oven

cob ridge on the thatched shop

Trainees on the sawmill planking oak for the new barn

trainees milling the oaks for the barn frame

international volunteer work camp

Theo and Jemma volunteering on the wattle and daub wall at the felin uchaf centre

wattle and daub walling

Jenny volunteering on the roundhouse roof carpentry at the Felin Uchaf Centre


Jenny on the roof


exhausted volunteeer... but happy!


thatching course

roofing the new oak framed barn