Treforest Community Garden Project Awarded Grant to Grow and Bloom
Written by Gavin on 15th March 2022
A patch of disused land brought back to life as a popular community garden by Pontypridd Town Council has received a grant from the National Lottery’s People and Places Fund and the Local Places for Nature scheme, which is jointly funded by the Welsh Government and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, to help the project grow.
The grant of £91,000 will enable the Meadow Street Community project to transform the site in Treforest, with the aim of bringing people across the Pontypridd area together to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors in green spaces and nature while helping to cultivate a vibrant hub for the community.
A special open day at the site is taking place this Saturday, March 19th from 10am till 12noon where attendees can enjoy a free breakfast roll and an opportunity to see the development plans and share some ideas.
The land on Meadow Street in Treforest lay unattended and overgrown for almost 8 years, before being re-acquired by Pontypridd Town Council. At the beginning of 2021, work began in earnest to clear the space. The project is run by the Town Council and local volunteers, who are looking to add to their numbers and grow the community.
Pontypridd Town Council Community Development Officer, Helen Williams says,
“With the support of the Local Places for Nature scheme and the Welsh Government, we hope to get the community inspired by nature and growing, giving them opportunities to experience and value nature first-hand, on their doorsteps. Encouraging community-led activities to instill pride and community action to protect and enhance nature and the environment, with a vision to create a safe and welcoming place where people from all walks of life can come and enjoy the benefits of nature, homegrown produce and can share and learn new skills.”
Meadow Street Community is located along a busy footpath, connecting Hawthorn and Rhydyfelin to Treforest. It had not been in use for several years, and was devastated by Storm Dennis in February 2020. Work has been done to clear the site and engage with the community, but the floods caused a vast amount of damage and it is hoped that the Grant will help to transform the site, enabling it to reach its full potential.
The project is located on the banks of the River Taff, an important wildlife corridor, with a high biodiversity value. With the right care and management of the site a myriad of interesting plants and animals will be encouraged to grow. The project is also looking to encourage more volunteers to get involved with the community. The group meets every Thursday from 1.30 till 6pm and new members are very welcome.
Here’s what some of the volunteers have to say about volunteering at Meadow Street:-
The grant funding will:
1) Treat invasive species that are encroaching the site, by excavation and spraying. Pontypridd Town Council will continue these treatments after the first year.
2) Build accessible raised beds using locally sourced materials to grow fruit and vegetables, providing for the local community.
3) Restore and enhance the current orchard, building on this with a new soft fruit growing area using, where possible, heritage fruit trees and bushes.
4) Create natural looking accessible pathways for members of the public to be able to access all areas safely.
5) Create wildlife corridors using native hedgerows.
6) Develop a community led sensory garden made up of native species, seating area and pergola, so those most in need of nature’s therapy can connect.
7) Introduce a new pond to be used as part of a learning tool and to help encourage the wildlife within the site.
8) Create native wildflower pollinating areas, working innovatively to create a wildflower labyrinth.
9) Carry out an ecology report to support us with a species and biodiversity management plan.
10) Tree maintenance.
11) Purchase equipment to survey wildlife and increase habitat on the site and to support the monitoring and assessment.
12) Deliver community workshops, volunteer training and skills sharing sessions revolving around nature, growing and climate change.
13) Inspire a wide range of residents to volunteer at MSC through external engagement in their own setting leading to attendance at MSC.
The open day is taking place on Saturday 19th, 10am till 12noon. Press is invited to attend.
Meadow Street Community, Meadow Street, Treforest, CF37 1UD
Please contact Helen Williams, Community Development Officer, Pontypridd Town Council for further details: firstname.lastname@example.org