Fabulous Friday!

At the end of last week, I teamed up with Keep Wales Tidy Development Officer, Gareth Davies to visit a few projects in the Swansea area.  First stop was Swansea Community Farm.  At a recent project swapping session, Gareth agreed that I could work with the farm and this was our hand over meeting.  The meeting started with a tour of the farm where Phil, the Director showed us how the project had been developing.  This was my first trip to the farm and I would definitely recommend a visit.  The dedicated staff are on site to help people to learn about the environment, organic gardening and taking care of animals.  The project revolves around the local community and every aspect of the project is inspired by the volunteers.  The cafe is a recent development and is an excellent opportunity to try some of the home grown produce.

After admiring the hard work of the volunteers, the huge range of fruit and vegetables that are growing and of course the cuteness of the animals we got down to business and discussed future opportunities and support from Environment Wales.  The Farm has had a registered project for many years and we aim to continue to work together to enable more volunteers to really make a difference in the local area.

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We headed straight into our next meeting with a brand new group who don’t even have a name.  This group are looking to find a peace of land which they can use to help people with mental health problems to get outside into nature.  The aim is to use the natural environment and art as tools to inspire and enthuse.  At this early stage, the support that we provided was general advice on how to start the project, the important aspects to consider and who to speak to.  For those of you who have been involved in the setting up of an organisation, it can be a daunting task until you find the correct people to talk to and learn the lessons of those who have been before.

Next, we headed over to Aberdulais for our third meeting of the day, a CIO that has recently been set up to improve land around the Tennant and Neath canals by inspiring local people about the natural environment.  This was a great meeting (attended by a parrot who was fully in support) with a group who were almost bubbling over with enthusiasm.  If you want to find out more about the group, why not join them for a walk and learn all about the local history.  We are certainly looking forward to working with them!

Julie Furber

Environment Wales Development Officer, Wildlife Trusts Wales

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