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Ashley Family Foundation

Communities, Culture, Educating & Young People, Environment, Health | Clwyd, Dyfed, Gwent, Gwynedd, Mid Glamorgan, Powys, South Glamorgan, West Glamorgan




The Ashley Family Foundation (formerly The Laura Ashley Foundation) is a UK registered charity, founded by Sir Bernard Ashley and his wife Laura Ashley following the success of the Laura Ashley brand. The Community Foundation in Wales is proud to be working with The Ashley Family Foundation to distribute its funding in Wales. 

The ethos of The Ashley Family Foundation is primarily to strengthen rural communities, both in terms of the social and environmental aspects alongside giving back to the communities that helped the family develop the company into an international success. It is especially keen to fund work in rural Mid Wales, where the ‘Laura Ashley’ company had a significant impact upon the local economy and the social well-being of its people with increased employment opportunity and the valued team spirit of the workforce. Alongside this, The Ashley Family Foundation is interested in receiving applications for small scale arts and community projects that encourage participation in the arts in all its forms.

Applications for project/revenue costs are favoured over capital costs.

You are encouraged to call us before applying – 029 2037 9580.

Applications are considered at three points throughout the year, usually March, June and October. Applications are accepted all year round, with applications received close to a Board Meeting considered at the next available meeting. eg. Applications received within 4/6 weeks prior to the June meeting are likely to be considered at the October meeting unless there are special circumstances which have been communicated.


Applications should be made directly through The Ashley Family Foundation website.




The following is an example of a grant from The Ashley Family Foundation: 


Horse-logging and its role today; British Horse Loggers Charitable Trust, Gwynedd



Horse logging is an efficient and flexible approach to timber extraction from woodlands and forests, incorporating both modern and traditional equipment. The use of horses can minimise damage to existing crops and woodland floor, and allows for work in small areas unreachable by heavier, larger equipment.

The British Horseloggers Charitable Trust is a charity whose objectives include the promotion and maintenance of the traditional craft of horse logging, and to advance the education and training in the craft of horse logging and associated skills. The Trust was awarded £9,075 from The Ashley Family Foundation through the Community Foundation in Wales to apprentice a budding horse-logger in Gwynedd.  

Here follows a selection of extracts from the diary of the apprentice from January through to June, detailing their training during their apprenticeship and the impact grants awards have.



‘Due to the angle of lean, some of the trees had to be felled onto a small island in the pond. All the brash, including the stuff on the island, was moved to the edge of the wood to be chipped by a contractor later. The timber was also moved to the edge of the wood, apart from a few lengths that were taken to a glade used by school children for woodland classes. The school children came and met the horses and directed us where to put the logs.’



‘The hazards on the site were rabbit holes and this was minimised by working the horse at a nice, steady pace, Bill (the horse) was very good and picked his way past the holes very well. During the days working at the park we were joined by some volunteers who helped with the snedding and stacking. The public were around when we were working, and some time was spent talking to them (about the work.)’

‘The next week we were again back felling at Pen y Fedw. We were hampered by poor weather all week and had to leave site for one day due to high winds; it proved to be the correct decision as the next day some soft woods had blown down in a different patch and the top had come off a big ash. We did use the horses for half a day to clear some room and I worked Sol (the horse), it was impressive to see how much timber we moved in a short amount of time on an ideal extraction route.’



‘I then worked with Kate and her horses at the Royal Bath and West show. We had three displays to do that day, take timber to a mobile mill and interact with the public. Sol (the horse) was a bit nervous at first in the ring so I calmly walked him a round during the first display and shook the banners and kicked the railings to get him used to all the noises and people watching. He soon calmed down and by the end of the four-day show was pulling timber and par-buckled a large log onto a forwarder.’



‘This month was taken up with building the round pen. I decided to go the whole hog and do a proper footing and surface so that the pen can be used all-year round. Also, it has got me thinking that I could train some horses during the summer when the logging work is quieter, as an additional part of my business.’


The Ashley Family Foundation’s ethos, set up by Welsh fashion designer Laura Ashley and her husband Sir Bernard Ashley in 1988, is to strengthen rural communities, especially within Wales, and traditional family values. Through supporting grass-roots voluntary groups with social and environmental issues at the heart of their activities, the Foundation holds a commitment to maintaining the ethos by awarding grants and giving back to the communities that helped develop the company.



Links contained in this article which lead to other websites are not the responsibility of the Community Foundation in Wales, and we are not responsible for the content of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site.