Up and down Pembrokeshire a series of Open days supported by Grŵp, are taking place to share the learning, joys and benefits of growing. With talks on techniques for composting, bee keeping and tours of wild flower meadows there is something for everyone.
You can view our photos section to see what's been going on, and our events page for upcoming events in your area.
The net spreads
Now we’re 64
Grwp Resilience affiliates have grown to 64 members.
We range from the butcher, the baker, the bespoke boat maker to international influencers.
The idea of the network is to hold everyone up and together.
Taenwch y rhwyd
A circle forms to save Things
Welsh government gave £600,000 to Pembrokeshire Circle: A network of repair cafes and a Library of Things.
The financial downpour was sparked by Pembrokeshire’s achievement in leading recycling in Wales, helping Wales reach the top 5 recyclers in Europe.
Recycling is an imperfect art, depending on waste to energy plant.
A better goal is to reduce. Enter Pembrokeshire Circle to Repair, Share and Extend the life and use of our Things.
Caewch y cylch
£17,000 reaches the roots
Too often funding for good purposes creates another staff post or gets stuck in the admin net. Grwp Resilience was given £17,000 of the Pembs Circle fund. The full sum went to three Grwp affiliates to develop repair workshops:
The gardeners of Llangwm Allotments dug in for good health through lockdown. They will build a communal shed and repair gardening tools.
Dezza’s Cabin gives peer to peer support for the growing number damaged by our society, they will repair bikes and clothes.
Dig for Victory will sharpen blades and repair domestic items. They are creating a veg and peace garden to reignite the talent and comradeship of veterans, somewhat dampened by civilian life.
Ail-cynnau y tân
Tir Tyfu Bro
So far we have found 25 community growing sites (Tir Tyfu Bro) in Pembrokeshire, not counting council run allotments. Some are dormant, some are mature, most are young and growing.
We have a work strand to support and extend Tir Tyfu Bro, it is called Pembrokeshire Plots.
We are a rural county yet there is famine in the towns and villages for land for personal and community growing. Allotment waiting lists run to hundreds, the number doubled during lockdown. Ffynnone Resilience’s detailed survey of Cilgerran shows the need goes far beyond official waiting lists.
Two short films transport you to examples of Tir Tyfu Bro.:
Cardigan’s Forest Garden is introduced by its founder, the culmination of his life’s work. He died after the film was made so it became his obituary.
Dewi’s Acre is the child of a new partnership between an Eco group and a Cathedral, a seed of vigour.
Grwp paid £100 to £200 to five Tir Tyfu Bro: COAST in Solva, Field of Beans in Boncath, Pencoed Gardens in Lawrenny, EcoDewi in St. Davids and Fishguard Allotments. The first two films show something is stirring.
Covid shows which side our bread is buttered
Independent rural businesses selling local produce depend heavily on visitors. But visitors have been locked out for most of this Covid year.
Grants from the UK have further tipped the scales away from the independents. Yet it is they who protect our food resilience through loyalty to local producers and their community. They have run deliveries throughout, to feed the frail and the shielding.
Anxiously I asked our shop members, ‘How are you?’ The answer was unexpected. “Fine. our customers have been brilliant, better than before” says Suzanne Jones of Bwyd yr Byd, Crymych. “People seem to sense which side their bread is buttered.”
in the seaside town of Newport, shops depend on visitors, yet Wholefoods of Newport has kept on four members of staff through lockdown and over 1000 product lines.
Pies, cakes, preserves, flour, milk, butter, eggs, veg, chocolates, cheeses, drinks in all these shops are made on the premises or locally. The range is growing.
“If this had continued we would go down to three, but as it is we are recruiting.” Clare told us. “I loved the pace, there was time to talk, to get to know customers better. I am nervous of the Summer, the intensity, it's another world.”
Paul Davies, the family butchers in Newport also needed three full time staff through the pandemic. With the visitors it would be four. He started in T.R Davies when he was 12 when everyone knew everyone. His shop wins the localism prize, it's 100% local produce.
The bakeries supplying the shops have grown through the pandemic.
Torth y Tir is new, a recent Grwp affiliate. The St. David’s bakery grows its own wheat, a mix of old varieties which produce powerful bread. The dough from commercial modern wheats fails to hold its rise in our wet westerly weather as the grain starts to germinate early.
It is a great feeling to have bread, butter, meat, milk, veg and more from the land you can see when you climb a hill or from a boat at sea.
Asked what message the shops wanted us to pass on, they said the same, “Thank you, thank you to our customers” I suppose the businesses’ lives are threatened by Covid and we are their NHS.
‘Gwneud yr pethau bychain’ The saint said. Small is the new big. It’s down on the streets where communities know each other and their shopkeepers, and their farmers and the land that provides, that the cells of a viable human organism are forming.
Democracy Dawns -
A transparent Active Travel consultation
Forever, it feels, government consultations have isolated the respondents and given all the power to the agency doing the consulting.
This consultation from Pembs County Council allows everyone to see each other's views, and vote them up, or not. It closes March 31st.
The quality and quantity of over 800 suggestions on the map bring home the fact it’s in the wisdom of the crowd that true competence resides.
The workshop on this kind of consultation is on our website.
Chân y wawr – ymunwch â fe
Climate: Mae Cynllun gael ei geni
Full council declared a climate emergency in
A year and a half later an Action Plan was born in time for Christmas.
The details reveal that PCC has a star whose light is hidden.
The head of Sustainability has been cutting waste and energy use and installing renewables for decades, without fanfare.
The comprehensive scope, meticulous detail and accurate monitoring show that good government is not a myth, it is alive in hidden pockets.
From the Action Plan:
‘Pembrokeshire Council’s new-build programme is among the largest in Wales.
It routinely implements these measures:
Examples of bold steps and strides:
‘Since 2008, PCC has taken the bold decision to convert 12,726 of 15,747 streetlights to ‘part night’ (i.e. lamps are automatically switched off from midnight to 5:30 am).
This led to compliments from biodiversity and ‘dark skies’ advocates.
'New-build design briefs are to state that PCC require that new buildings to be carbon neutral/net zero carbon in their energy use – and preferably carbon positive, generating more energy than they can consume.'
An example of progress monitoring
Grwp Resilience and Pembs XR/Climate action meet with PCC to help push the tanker around. All shoulders to the wheel are welcome
Cadw mewn Cwrdd
We have monthly short talks and weekly internal meetings - do join either, we are seeking volunteers.
If your organisation wants to do a short talk to others in the Grwp, get in touch.
If you have an outdoor site and want to arrange a community visit, we would love to help too.
firstname.lastname@example.org / 07791 809 810