Firebreak suspends Guardians programme

In order to comply with the Welsh Government’s firebreak restrictions announced this week, we will be pausing the Valleys Regional Park Guardians programme delivered by Groundwork Wales from Friday 23rd October until Monday 9th November. While we realise this will be disappointing news for those already engaging with the programme, we agree that it is paramount that we all take the steps necessary at this time.

We would like to take this opportunity to highlight the wonderful outdoor activities we’ve been running with Covid safety measures in place.

The Guardians have been delivering weekly practical environmental conservation groups at both Bryngarw Country Park and Dare Valley Country Park, where volunteers have undertaken a variety of activities. These include scrub clearance for pond creation, and wildflower areas, bamboo removal, learning woodland management techniques, creating new bridleways, as well as bridge and step maintenance. At Dare Valley, the group are looking forward to creating a viewing platform to see peregrine falcons in their natural habitat this winter.

Families from Bridgend have also enjoyed attending nature and bushcraft sessions at Bryngarw Country Park which focus on immersing people in nature through hands-on activities such as den building, fire lighting, campfire cooking, and nature based activities. Many of the families taking part are families that home school their children, and are keen to form a practical conservation group where they will manage land sustainably and grow native trees.

Our community garden project, at Twyn Community Hub in Merthyr Tydfil, has been popular with volunteers who have been preparing the fruit cage and planting fruit trees, building a chicken coop and caring for the four resident chickens. They have levelled the floor in the poly-tunnel, created raised beds and will soon be planting vegetables for the community.

In Penderyn and Hirwaun, local residents continue to be involved in our pollinators project, where we are creating pollinator friendly areas to support bees and other pollinators.

Each week we have been running two walking groups, in Merthyr and Aberdare, which support those who prefer short, flat routes. The walks allow participants to enjoy soaking up local heritage, learning about the natural environment and also to socialise safely outdoors.

We very much look forward to continuing work when the restrictions are lifted on Monday 9th November. Thanks to everyone who has taken part and maintained safe sessions for all.

For visitor information on parks and green spaces near your home, check park websites and local authority websites for the latest news and Covid-19 safety information.

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