About Cyfoeth Y Coed

This project started with a small group of people who got together via social media and began organising under the name "Sweet Pickings" at the end of 2020. As we began our research we quickly realized that we were not alone, fruit picking projects like the one we envisaged were already underway all over the country and all over the world!

We began making a list of unpicked trees, asking for submissions via social media and set up a Facebook group. With The Environment Centre as our financial home, we were fortunate enough to receive small grants from Our Neighbourhood Project and an anonymous benefactor in Clydach, a ward in the north east of Swansea County, which paid for some equipment and early administrative expenses.

In March we started a crowdfunder through the local government fundraising initiative Crowdfund Swansea which ran from April to mid-June. This undertaking was a major challenge but we were lucky enough to receive £4,300, half of our target, from Swansea Council and generous funding from Coastal Housing, Gower Power CIC, numerous Swansea Councilors and the kind people who live here. We ended up exceeding our target by 20% which speaks to Swansea's generosity.

This money has allowed us to create the foundation for fruit picking in future years at minimal cost by purchasing picking equipment (ladders, picking poles and hard hats) and consolidating project information into a database. The database we are using is Gleanweb, designed by Dick Yates in Salem, Oregon, USA. Dick has many years of experience working with gleaning groups from which we have benefited enormously. He has donated his time to set up our lovely website and we couldn’t be more grateful! Gleanweb is widely used for projects like ours in the USA, but we are the first group in the UK to be using it.

About Our Name

Early in 2021 we contacted Helo Blod, the Welsh Government translation service to help us with a Welsh translation for "Sweet Pickings". As is so often the case, the literal translation didn't capture what the project was about so the translator offered us some different, less literal, options to convey the larger sense of what we were trying to do. "Cyfoeth Y Coed", meaning The Wealth or Riches of the Trees was one of these options. We chose it because it spoke to the broader context in which fruit grows. As sometimes happens, the copy came to exceed the original and in July we decided to change our name from Sweet Pickings to Cyfoeth Y Coed to prioritize the national language, emphasize the abundance that trees create, highlight the value of crops that are often seen as burdensome garden waste and make the point that local Welsh fruit are freely available in a country that imports most of its food from overseas.