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History of Dal Dy Dir and The Forest Cottages

Dal Dy Dir and Forest Cottages created their Partnership in 2017 to change the ways in which care, interventions and respite were provided for families/groups/people with disabilities.

The initiative began earlier in 2014 as part of the Secret Millions lottery funded project awarded to the Papworth Trust to create Kerry Farm. The service was designed to support families with disabilities to be able to take a bespoke holiday, with holistic activities offered to the family as a whole and on an individual basis and provide therapeutic interventions alongside and within these activities. In first 2 years over 244 families were able to take a supported break with the project. The project was designed to use coaching as a technique to support families to take part in activities planned specifically to achieve goals identified by the families themselves. Activities ranged from working with animals and horticulture to forest schools and sensory walks. 

In 2016 the Papworth Trust withdrew from this service. Dal Dy Dir was set up by the core  staff and a new Partnership was formed with Forest Cottages who already had an association with the charity. Forest Cottages is an established holiday accommodation provider with excellent facilities and excellent cottages. The two agencies have much in common and believe that Care and support needs to be redesigned in order to provide the highest standards possible. 

Since that time the Charity has been successful in receiving funding from the big lottery and the post code lottery. They have been providing holidays in England and Wales and  have also been successful in being awarded some local authority contracts. We are running several volunteer programmes and are now an accredited partner of Aberystwyth University for the Land Conservation diploma.

As to The Forest Cottages, it dates back to 1709 but major changes were made in 1822 and again in 1912. The current owners undertook a major renovation in 2007.

Restoration work

Paul and Michelle Martin, bought The Forest in 2007 and work began immediately lasting a 18 months. The outbuildings proved to be in a critical condition and work was far more extensive than expected. Forest Cottage and Byre needed new timbers upstairs which allowed for much improved layouts

Coach House restoration

None of the timbers in the coach house could be saved. The floor and roof were rebuilt using reclaimed slate and it was finally brought back to life as Forest Keep.


Bell tower

An important feature was its bell tower which was carefully rebuilt around its original oak pillars.

Scandanavian log cabin

The final project was the demolition of the former chicken barns and construction of Forest Lodge. The log cabin is made from scandanavian pine and is built up log by log. It took a week from foundation to roof and a further 3 months for painting, installation and furbishments.


The Tower at The Forest Cottages
The Forest Cottages Self Catering Accomodation
For more information about The Forest Cottages call Paul and Michelle on 01686 621 821

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