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Transforming and celebrating our green spaces

Green spaces across Bridgend County Borough are about to be transformed over the next four years as a new National Lottery Community Fund project, ‘Green Links’ is launched by the charity, Plantlife.

Plantlife is committed to speaking up for the nation’s wild plants and working to protect and build understanding of the vital role they play in everyday life.

‘Green Links’ will work to celebrate green spaces in the county borough that have become important havens for threatened wildlife.

The area is lucky enough to have seven nature-rich green spaces which will be utilised and improved with the help of ‘Green Links’. The project aims to make connections so that people can nurture green spaces and green space can benefit people.

believes that, by highlighting their importance and value, people will grow to love and cherish these areas and feel a sense of pride in what is on their doorstep rather than seeing them as just places to walk the dog.”

Plantlife’s Helen Bradley

Green spaces such as, Kenfig National Nature Reserve, Tremains Wood and Bryngarw Country Park will also benefit from this project. Keeping these areas healthy is key for the purpose of wildlife and getting local people involved is vital to the upkeep and management of these spaces.

‘Green Links’ aims to make a connection between the community and green spaces by providing opportunities for active involvement and promoting the use of green space for volunteering, learning and enjoyment. The project also hopes to create lasting benefits by training volunteers, educators and local partners to use these green spaces for skills building, conservation and well-being activities.

As a result, establishing a ‘Green Network’ to better co-ordinate and promote conservation volunteering opportunities.

There will be an array of project activities taking place from 2019 through to 2023 which will develop through feedback from partners and people within local communities:

  • New scientist activities – there will be opportunities for people to learn more about their local green space and wildlife through citizen science activities. For example, a local school could be supported to create a citizen science activity focused on plant life at Kenfig National Nature Reserve or it could be used as a training activity for educators.
  • Conservation activities – there will be opportunities for local communities to learn new skills and help manage and monitor green spaces. For example, training sessions could be held with volunteers at Bryngarw Country Park around plant monitoring so they could then provide support with monitoring activities.
  • Well-being activities – there will be opportunities for families, individuals and groups to use green spaces for improved health and well-being. For example, there could be family health walks themed around medicinal plants or woodland mindfulness training for community workers.

Some project activities are already underway and have received some fantastic feedback from those who attended. Kate, who took part in the family morning at Craig u Parcau said: “I’ll definitely take the boys exploring again, especially if there’s blackberries to find. The three of us loved it. It was a perfect mix of walking, activities and learning and it was right on our doorstep.”

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