TfW has collaborated with Alun Griffiths Ltd and the Cambrian Village Trust in the heart of the Valleys to transform a disused area into a green space for growing produce and improving biodiversity.
It’s been made possible thanks to funding from the Local Places for Nature scheme from the Welsh Government and The National Lottery Heritage Fund. It’s part of a larger £100,000 grant-funded Green Routes project to enhance biodiversity at 22 stations and in five community areas.
The Green Routes Project
Across the 22 stations, this will include the introduction of green features, including green walls, pollinator-friendly planters and wildlife boxes, designed to boost and enhance biodiversity in and around station habitats creating wildlife corridors connecting these habitats to the wider landscape and surrounding ecosystems. All the features contribute to increased resilience of our natural environment, support nature recovery, and improve areas for pollinators helping to halt and reserve their decline.
Through this fund, TfW is also working in collaboration with five community partners within one mile of a station to enhance communal green spaces and establish ‘green routes’ between these community areas and stations.
Alana Smith, Sustainable Development Officer at Transport for Wales, said: “The Green Routes funding is meant to try and connect people to the nature on your doorstep, in communities.
“We decided to try and go for this pot of money to try and enhance nature and biodiversity in communities near our train stations.
“We’re delighted with the success of the project with the Cambrian Village Trust.”
The Cambrian Village trust already runs a range of outdoor activities, local events and workshops at its centre next to a lake in Tonypandy and was looking to develop its site further for the benefit of the community.
Gavin Mcauley, Community Development Coordinator at the Cambrian Village Trust, said: “During lockdown the space was an empty blank canvas and we wanted to develop the facility to allow the community to have a space of their own.
“My idea was that people would be able to grow their own produce, cook their own produce and then sit down and eat together as a community.
“We got in touch with Transport for Wales and they were talking about the project and that we would have some planters and an allotment space and we wanted to develop that idea.”
Jeannie Jones, a volunteer with the Cambrian Village Trust, added:
“It’s very exciting and we’re fortunate because the lakeside is such a beautiful area.
“Then we got this facility right on our doorstep to enhance it. These projects can benefit so many people. They can dip in and out as they need and the community spirit is excellent.
“It’s nice for us to get together and help one another. We thoroughly enjoying it and feel fortunate to have this here.”
For further information about Transport for Wales’ work in communities visit https://tfw.wales/info-for/communities