Tributes paid to the environmental Guardians of the South Wales Valleys

On the 29th of March 2023, Valleys Regional Park (VRP) and Groundwork Wales celebrated that its network of community volunteers — the Guardians — have completed nearly 10,000* hours of voluntary work over the last three years.

To commemorate this achievement — as well as the 399,497 sq. metres of land improved by the green volunteers* — a special ceremonial event was hosted.

Held at Bryngarw House in Bridgend, the event celebrated participants of the Valleys Regional Park’s Guardians Scheme, delivered by Groundwork Wales — who are dedicated to engaging with, protecting, and developing the local, natural environments of the South Wales Valleys.

Since 2020, the Guardians have tackled everything from pond restoration and bridge building to pathway maintenance, and wildlife habitat creation and conservation.

Through these activities, the Scheme has supported participants to develop conservation skills, eco-literacy and confidence and improved their employability — all while aiding the climate and nature emergency and securing a 78.5%* wellbeing improvement rate among all participants.

The event saw volunteers, stakeholders and dignitaries come together under one roof at Bryngarw House, to celebrate these achievements.

You can learn more about the Scheme, its history and volunteers by reading the Guardians Celebration Booklet or, watch this video to hear from some of the volunteers and Project Officers.

*Statistics taken from Groundwork Wales quarterly reports, accounting for the Guardians Scheme pilot in 2020 to work undertaken at Discovery Gateways, Wellies in the Woods sessions and Big Bocs Bwyd programme delivery until December 2022.
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