Tag Archives: keep wales tidy

Walled Garden Wins Community Managed Green Spaces Award

 

Llanfrechfa Grange Walled Garden is delighted to be one of 12 communities from across Wales to be celebrated and presented with Certificates from the Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn AM at an award ceremony at St Peter Community Garden Cardiff on Weds 20th March 2019.

These are the first community managed green spaces awards made by Social Farms and Gardens and are the culmination of the first year of funding from the Welsh Government to the Community Land Advisory Service Cymru.

Social Farms and Gardens wanted to acknowledge that gaining permission and starting to manage a green space; be it an orchard, community garden or a woodland; is the fruition of a huge amount of hard work, consultation, negotiation and organisation and these awards are to recognise the hard work and many achievements of all communities who manage green spaces. Through its Community Land Advisory Service (CLAS), it will continue to support them and other communities who seek to acquire land to manage green spaces. CLAS Cymru will also work with Keep Wales Tidy to help community green space projects achieve a Green Flag Community Award.

Hannah Blythyn said: “I congratulate all the projects being honoured today and thank them for all the work they do to improve the local environment in their communities. Green space is vitally important in providing opportunities for people to get into the outdoors, enjoy some fresh air and exercise which is vitally important for both their mental and physical wellbeing.”

CLAS Cymru Coordinator Lucie Taylor, said she is delighted to be honouring the considerable achievements of the community projects. “CLAS Cymru is pleased to provide vital advice and support to community managed green space projects just like those we are celebrating today. We want to ensure that more land in Wales is used for the benefit of local communities, so that we can drive up the quality and effectiveness of green spaces because we know they can have an enormous impact on our health and wellbeing.”

The 12 community projects are as follows –

  1. Bryn Gwalia Community Garden, Mold
  2. Digging Deeside, Connah’s Quay
  3. Garth Organic, Llangollen
  4. The Historic Hafod Walled Garden near Tragaron
  5. Open Newtown
  6. Llandrindod Pomarium
  7. Mayhill Washing Lake, Swansea
  8. Rheola Walled Garden, Glynneath
  9. Shaws Woodland, Swansea
  10. Common Ground, Cardiff
  11. Llanfrechfa Grange Walled Garden, Cwmbran
  12. Monks Wood, Vale of Glamorgan

Jan Smith, MBE and chair of Friends of Llanfrechfa Grange Walled Garden attended the event to accept the ward on behalf of the project, along with three of our regular volunteers.

Volunteers Graham Wookey and Jane Moss with Jan Smith receiving the award from Deputy Minister Hannah Blythyn, AM

 

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Call for Volunteers

Well, spring is only just around the corner and we need to get the ground in the Walled Garden as clear as possible before the weeds start to germinate again.  There are still some brambles to cut back and old derelict structures to remove.  Our next session in the garden will concentrate on these tasks and is planned for Monday 29th February,  9.30 to 2.00.

Greenhouse base
Derelict greenhouse built of bricks made by the Star Brick Company, Caerleon

Supported by Thom from Keep Wales Tidy and Graham, one of our regular volunteers, we will start to salvage the bricks from the old green house base.

We want re-use these bricks to build the foundations for our Horticultural Therapy Greenhouse that will be funded from our Tesco Bags of Help award.

GetImage A quick plug here for our previous post, asking you to vote for our greenhouse at one of the Tesco stores in Torfaen or Blaenau Gwent between Saturday Feb 27th and Sunday March 6th.  The 5p carrier bag charge has funded this award and we are delighted that the Walled Garden will receive at least £8,000, and more if we get loads of votes!

If you have a few hours to spare next Monday and would like to help with this on-going clearance, please do come along.  For anyone who’s up for cleaning a few bricks, we have eye protection goggles and a selection of hammers and chisels.  If you prefer to use your own that’s fine,  and please ensure you wear good gloves and stout boots.

View from South east corner, Feb 2016
The garden viewed from the south east corner  – February 2016

For bramble clearing and gathering up other burnable waste you will need to bring secateurs, loppers and rakes.  We will pile it all up in readiness for the next bonfire.  Again good gloves and footwear are essential, and a wheel barrow if you can get one in your car will be a real asset!

 

If you able to come along to help please respond to this post or drop me a note at grangegardenjans@yahoo.co.uk

Thank you

Jan Smith, on behalf of the Walled Garden Community

Garden Clearance Work Continues

Photo c/o Janet Kelly.
Photo c/o Janet Kelly.

Many of you will have seen the dense bramble thickets and small trees in the walled garden a few months back, and thought how on earth is this ever going to become a garden again! Well, as part of the process to develop some design ideas, we have done a lot of work to clear the site so that we can identify whether there are any features which we want to preserve in the new layout.

In December we reported that with the help of the Health Board ground maintenance team and Monmouthshire Grounds Maintenance Services, the main undergrowth and brambles were cleared away with a mower and flail. Since then we have had a lot of support from both the Health Board and other agencies and transformation to a garden is now looking much more feasible.

Photo c/o J. Kelly.
Photo c/o J. Kelly.

On another very wet day, a small band of hardy volunteers (and a few marital conscripts) under the leadership of Thom Board from Keep Wales Tidy,  led the next phase of the clearance which was dealing with the vast quantity of rubbish. A wide range of extraneous items seem to have found their way into the garden over the years , including the obligatory shopping trolley, several bits from large horticultural machines, pieces of an industrial size gas cooker, and a few car parts (?!). We are grateful to Torfaen Council services for help disposing of it.

Hedgehog box installed.
Hedgehog box installed.

We’ve also found evidence of hedgehogs on the site, and as we’d really like to have these helpful little beasts in the final garden, we’ve installed a couple of hedgehog houses with the help of the local Hedgehog Rescue group – many thanks to Keith for bringing these over.

Shredder at work clearing the garden - Feb 2016
Shredder at work clearing the garden – Feb 2016

 

More recently, we’ve also had welcome help from Torfaen County Borough Council’s Countryside Team in the shape of Jonathan and a large shredder, which along with Thom and his chainsaw have enabled us to take down many of the goat willow and ash saplings. We can now get a good view of the entire garden, although there is still work to do in terms of getting the bramble roots out and removing the old greenhouse bases.

Thank you to all the volunteers, Health Board and council teams who have helped out.

Call for Volunteers

Following the initial cutting back of the dense bramble in the garden we are now looking for volunteers to help with the next phase of clearing.  Supported by Keep Wales Tidy we are planning to spend two days in the garden:- Monday 14th DecemberIMG_20151106_150529_hdr and Tuesday 15th December (these are firm dates and replace the tentative long weekends previously published) Small oak tree - south gardenThere are a number tasks we want to complete on these two days, including raking up the vegetation we have already cut back;  preparing a ‘heeling-in’ area for a number of saplings that need to be moved and given space to grow;  clearing bramble and weed roots from the base of some of the more mature trees and the old greenhouse bases;  and sorting and moving old garden equipment and other items we found during the initial clearance. We would be delighted if you are able to offer some time on one or both of these days. For further information please contact the clearance team at   grangegardenjans@yahoo.co.uk We look forward to seeing you!