As part of the Social Farms and Gardens national celebration of community gardening, Llanfrechfa Grange Walled Garden will be open for visitors on Sat 1st June 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free entry. Come along and see how the garden is progressing and take part in some fun activities for all the family.
We are planning 4 volunteer working party sessions, each one supervised by one of the charity Trustees.
The sessions will be on:
Sat 6 April 10.00 – 13.00 hrs
Sat 6 April 13.30 – 16.30 hrs
Sun 7 April 10.00 – 13.00 hrs
Sun 7 April 13.30 – 16.30 hrs
New faces are very welcome so don’t worry if you haven’t been before. We just ask that all volunteers wear appropriate footwear (no open toes) and run through a short health and safety briefing before we start. There will be a pick list of jobs to do, some light, some quite heavy, such as:
- Sorting and grading stones for a new semi circular stone wall being built behind the greenhouse and shed.
- Digging out and moving more of the soil mountain in the southwest quadrant.
- Filling in the last few yards of trench for the electricity and water pipes.
- Digging out foundations.
- Potting up seedlings.
- Painting some cast iron tree grills.
- Keeping tea and coffee flowing.
Refreshments will be available.
We would like to get an idea of numbers to help us organise the work, so if you would like to come along, please drop us a line at our email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you. We look forward to seeing you.
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 –
- Bryn Gwalia Community Garden, Mold
- Digging Deeside, Connah’s Quay
- Garth Organic, Llangollen
- The Historic Hafod Walled Garden near Tragaron
- Open Newtown
- Llandrindod Pomarium
- Mayhill Washing Lake, Swansea
- Rheola Walled Garden, Glynneath
- Shaws Woodland, Swansea
- Common Ground, Cardiff
- Llanfrechfa Grange Walled Garden, Cwmbran
- 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.
Grange House at Llanfrechfa Grange has had a consecrated chapel since the 1860s. From the outside it appears unassuming but as you enter through the small door in the hall, the series of intricate stained glass windows bring light and colour into this intimate and calm space.
Visit our updated history page for more information and to see many beautiful images of the Chapel in Grange House.
In December 2015, we set up the Friends of Llanfrechfa Grange Walled Garden (FoLGWG) as a small charity with its charitable aims being to take forward the plans to redesign and restore the Walled Garden as a community project for the benefit of all. We have had a busy year working in partnership with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) and others and have began to realise the plans for the garden.
We will be holding the first public meeting of the FoLGWG on Thursday 8 December 2016 at 4 pm in the Main Hall, Llanfrechfa Grange. The purpose of the meeting will be to present our first year achievements and, in order to promote and sustain the garden’s ongoing development, will seek to recruit members to the charity.
The meeting will be preceded by an invitation only event for current volunteers, hosted by the Chair and Chief Executive of ABUHB, who wish to meet and thank all those who have helped get us this far.
Please join us at 4 pm to find out more about the project and become part of this exciting venture for the community. You might even win a prize in our raffle!
We look forward to seeing you.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
Jan Smith, on behalf of the Walled Garden Community
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are delighted to announce that Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) has been successful in securing the Health Standards highest award thanks in part to the support of the Llanfrechfa Grange Walled Garden project.
The Corporate Health Standard is the national mark of quality for health and wellbeing in the work place. The standard is designed to promote a continuous journey of good practice and improvement and can be used by organisations to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees.
At platinum level ABUHB has demonstrated its commitment to supporting not only their employees, but other organisations and the local community. This involves a range of activities including the promotion of partnership working, sharing knowledge and promoting community engagement.
On Thursday 10th December ABUHB hosted the Welsh Government assessors at the Serennu Children’s Centre in Newport and were delighted to be able to include the Walled Garden Project as one of its showcase projects for the assessment day. This project is a great example of how community engagement can provide benefits for everyone involved. By making the garden available to the community and supporting the community to shape and run the garden for the benefit of the local community it has the potential to be so much more than just a garden managed within a hospital site.
The project team leading the Platinum application would like to thank everyone involved in the walled garden for their support in demonstrating the value of working together.
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 December and Tuesday 15th December (these are firm dates and replace the tentative long weekends previously published) There 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 firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to seeing you!
The Llanfrechfa Grange Walled Garden Community Project continues to attract new people to its cause through two recent public events.
On Fri 21 August 2015, volunteers joined forces with the Oxford House Industrial History Society to share the history of Llanfrechfa Grange. The event included a tour of the house, walled garden and grounds of Llanfrechfa Grange by John Venn from Oxford House. Visitors were also able to read the latest updates on the history of the site and its former owners, collated by Jan Smith from the Llanfrechfa Grange Walled Garden project and published as new history pages on the Walled Garden’s website.
The event attracted over 40 people, many of them new to the project. Visitors shown around the house learned what each room was originally used for when it was a private house and were shown the location of other buildings within the grounds including the site of a murder which took place in the 1920s.
The Walled Garden project also had a stand at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s AGM and Health Fair held at the Health Board’s Headquarters, St Cadoc’s Hospital, Caerleon, on 16 September 2015. Several visitors to the Health Fair stopped to ask questions about the project and expressed their support.