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“There is an urgent need to provide employment for young people”

As part of our Ride Out Recession Alliance, David Smith BEM shares his idea to boost employment in Cardiff. We'd love to hear your own ideas. Get in touch at
The Big Issue reader David Smith BEM shares his idea to help with unemployment in Cardiff. We’re still looking for your ideas as part of our Ride Out Recession Alliance needs. Get in touch at
I am a subscriber to the Big Issue and was encouraged to read about RORA.
I have recently written to the leader of the Cardiff Council about the need to improve the Cardiff woodlands and to prompt employment. I would like to share this letter below and my suggestion that young and unemployed people might be given the opportunity to manage urban woodlands using special funds. Clearing ivy off trees would be an example of semi-skilled work that might suit them.
In common with many others we have not found the lockdown easy – and I am sure that you continue to be very troubled by its effects. Nevertheless, one of the benefits of the restrictions has been that the 5 mile rule has led us to discover nearby woodlands in which to have enjoyed walking.
Unfortunately, with the exception of Cefn Onn, we have been disappointed by the condition of the woods that are the City’s responsibility e.g. Plymouth Great Wood and those strips beside the Taff that were so badly damaged during the February floods. This compares with our experience of the woods managed by the Woodland Trust e.g. Cwm George Wood.
We are very conscious of the pressures on your budget but there is an urgent need to provide employment for young people. The Westminster and Welsh Governments have recognised this with new funding. Could some of this be allocated to the development of a task force to restore the Cardiff woods?  This is likely to be popular with users and environmentalists; it would also promote easier access to these places and would be part of a wider campaign to promote healthy exercise.
We very much hope that you will be able to take up this idea.
Best wishes,
David Smith BEM
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