Landing at last
Updated: Jan 28
Once land is secured the community take over but It is really tough finding it within a walk of where most people live. We are up against the developers £millions. Yet food, sanity, exercise, peace of mind have to be worth more. They would save £millions in police, mediction, ambulance, social worker bills. In 2022 Grwp managed to start up two community gardens in depressed towns in Pembrokeshire. Affiliate organisations to Grwp (Ecodewi, Ffynnonne Resilience) set up community gardens in St. Davids, Cilgerran and Blaenfoss around the same time.
The search goes on. To hear where it is up to, to help or to share in a purchase, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the first site, it is 1.3 acres on the edge of Haverfordwest. This is the new garden coordinator, one of many who waited over 10 years on an allotment waiting list, losing hope.
One of our directors was a retired doctor living in this town, the local farmers organisation knew and trusted him. He asked them, they ruminated over the request, then came covid and they had a values reset. They offered this land to the community in Nov 2021. We lost no time in drawing together a large number of would-be growers.
We organised courses in setting up a community growing site, this is my inexpert collage. The retired doctor, Roger Burns, is the older one in top left and bottom right picture, meeting some of the people his initiative would benefit.
The course was a great way for the growers to get to know each other too.
I hassled the farmers, Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society to let the project start. I was such a pain they got fed up with me. They wanted to wait for their lawyer to provide a lease. I got help from Social Farms and Gardens, and well disposed lawyers and I provided the farmer with a licence to occupy. They signed it and...
Here is the launch day, with speeches and flowers, April 9th 2022. Some of the growers, farmers, the town mayor, and me in red and Roger holding a hat. The farmers then ploughed for those who wanted it (some wanted no-dig) and lost no time to get going. I was worried they did not have water or compost or sheds or tracks and thought we needed funds to put them in. But the growers said, Why wait, let the fun begin!
This is the site in July 2022!
Rhian had not grown any veg before, she is also the site treasurer. There are about 30 growers, most are families and individuals there are also some community groups like MIND and a church group, they are using the community area.
A family who are part of the church group and my grand-daughter
There are umpteen tales to tell of the allotments development in its first year, the drought, the flood, the storms over winter when they thought of renaming the site Parc Titanic instead of Parc Helyg.
Mostly the conversations are about sharing things, asking advice, photos of gorgeous produce.
Into the winter the veg kept supplying them, and pickles and jams were made in the autumn.
Now late January 2023 has hints of spring in the air and the growers are getting feverish to start the season. There will be an open day in April to mark one year. Get in touch to come along.
The growers run the site themselves. They pay rent, they have formed a company (they did not expect to be company directors due to growing cabbages).
In the Autumn they built themselves a state of the art compost loo, guided by Tir Coed. https://youtu.be/MROncR90zR0
Check out the fully bilingual website, with a carbon reduction plan researched by one of the growers who is a teacher. Its a model of clarity and objectivity.
Mae Parc Helyg CBC yn diolchgar tu hwnt i’n cyllidwyr a chefnogwyr caredig.
Parc Helyg CBC are extremely thankful to our funders and supporters.
Grwp Resilience – funding and ongoing support – cyllid a chefnogaeth barhaus
Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society – making land available and ongoing support – gwneud tir ar gael a chefnogaeth barhaus
Enhancing Pembrokeshire – funding – cyllid
The National Lottery – funding – cyllid
UK Community Renewal Fund – funding – cyllid
South West Wales Community Rail Partnership – funding – cyllid
Haverfordwest Town Council – funding – cyllid
Puffin Produce – cauliflowers – blodfresych
The National Lottery community fund
Social Farms and Gardens - wybodaeth barhaus