Woody’s Lodge gets busy refurbishing the iconic Flat Holm Island along with Cardiff City Council
At the end of this month, the patrons and staff of Woody’s Lodge are embarking on an incredible three-year project that will breathe new life into the iconic Welsh landmark, Flat Holm Island.
A proud history
This quaint island, which lies just five miles from Cardiff and Barry, is an amalgamation of fascinating history and diverse wildlife. Since the Dark Ages, all types of people have touched its shores, from monks, Vikings and Anglo-Saxons to silver miners, smugglers and cholera victims. What’s more, it played a key role in protecting various cities around Wales during wartime. It was fortified during the Victorian Age to help protect the principal ports of Bristol, Cardiff and Newport. And during the Second World War, it was the first line of defence, protecting Cardiff, Penarth, Barry and Newport.
A project with a purpose
The project will entail patrons and staff from Woody’s Lodge heading to the island in groups of 10 to undertake improvements that don’t require specialist contractors. They will be visiting the island for up to seven days to do minor repair projects and spread a little TLC in neglected areas. After all, the history of Flat Holm Island shows that it stands for defending and protecting its citizens, so it deserves to be cared for and appreciated.
The following tasks have already been given the green light on the island:
- Refurbishing visitor toilet facilities
- Refurbishing wooden structures and steps across the island
- Upgrading the campsite field and facilities
- Clearing debris from WW2 gun emplacements and other structures
- Minor roof repair work
- Assisting in refurbishing a Victorian extension on a cottage
- Clearing and re-pointing the water catchment area
- Ongoing maintenance
Over three years, the number of projects on the island will get extensive, but thankfully we won’t be working alone. We are in partnership with the Cardiff City Council’s Flat Holm Project Team, who will be working alongside us at every step of the way.
National Lottery Heritage Fund
Making all this possible is the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It is the largest funder of the UK’s heritage sector, with grants from £3,000 to £5million and over. This phenomenal organisation awarded Cardiff City Council the funding, and Woody’s Lodge was invited to join. We, of course, accepted with open arms!
A strong foundation
Leading the initiative is our Project Officer, Mark Hodgkinson, who visited the island twice already, along with our senior management team and veteran Kevin, who is well-suited for the project as he works within the building trade. They have compiled a list of the initial work that needs to be completed and have taken the first measurements of the visitor toilets. Through these initial visits, they have laid the groundwork for our teams so they can hit the ground running with a clear plan of action.
Mark shared his thoughts on the project:
“When Woody’s Lodge joined the project, we knew we were working towards improving an island that holds a special place in the hearts of the Welsh people. We can’t wait to get started because we know the end result will benefit so many.”
He added that he would like to take this opportunity to encourage other organisations to join this exceptional project that will see Flat Holm Island renewed and its history retold to the wider population throughout Wales and the UK.
At Woody’s Lodge, our purpose is to help the Armed Forces community and their families. We provide a range of services from financial and housing advice to assisting with medical applications for NHS Wales. We also love to have fun and meet the amazing people who are part of this community – that’s why we organise events, get-togethers and exciting activities at gorgeous, scenic locations around Wales.
For those looking for veteran support services in South, North and West Wales, contact Woody’s Lodge today to find out how we can help you. And don’t forget to stay updated with the latest events, news and insider happenings by subscribing to our newsletter.