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Nature keeper statues and adventures

If you visit our green spaces, you may spot some statues there. These are the ‘Nature Keeper’ oak sculptures. They add interest to our beauty spots, and with the accompanying poetry, they capture the imagination of younger visitors by interweaving mythology into the sites. Their aim is to spark an emotional connection to our green spaces, and so encourage people to visit as well as care more for them. Five are at Bryngarw Country Park, and 10 are across the rest of Bridgend County Borough.

Interactive adventures at Bryngarw Country Park

At Bryngarw Park, the statues are interactive. Augmented reality, music, and storytelling bring the statues to life, which adds to a fun family day out there. Visit Bryngarw Country Park’s website for more information.

Keeper of the Beach

Transcript of the 'Keeper of the Beach' video.

Trecco Bay,

Porthcawl.

CF36 5DB.

“I am the beach, its story I have kept
for I am the Keeper but long have I slept

here there are footsteps printed in sand
here is a dimple scooped out of the land
here all is one
I am the beach

I am a photograph, snap shot of time
poetry on paper without any rhyme
I am your childhood, barefoot once again
sunburnt in summer, soaked through in the rain

I am a playground cradled by the land
backdrop of open sea, carpet of sand
I am a kingdom where castles are built
battling the tides and their armies of silt

I am a pit stop where waves change tack
jelly fish terminus, lost bladderwrack
I am a seascape where white horses play
the ripple of sand which is washed each day

I am a treasure trove, shells and stones
a mystery landscape of mobile homes
I am a pocket studded with rocks
roll up your trousers, take off your socks

I am a souvenir trapped between your toes
winds from far away tugging at your clothes
message in a bottle, just out of reach
a wave of words calling, I am the beach.”

Keeper of the Dunes

Transcript of the 'Keeper of the Dunes' video.

Kenfig National Nature Reserve,

Kenfig,

Bridgend.

CF33 4PT.

“Within this land, a story sleeps
the world you see is a dream
this story, the ancient Keepers keep
and always has it been

I am the dunes, their story I have kept
for I am the Keeper but long have I slept

look around you now, as I wake
look at my world as it changes day by day
here there is the end of the sea, the start of the land
here all is connected
from the turning of the tides
to the shifting of the sands
here, all is one, I am the dunes

I am a sculpture in a wave of sand
Nature’s creation, foreign to man
craters of cloud fill, castles built on clay
landscape in motion, changing every day

I am an oasis on a hot summer afternoon
where orchids flower, rare species bloom
I am a lagoon bathed in winter wet
golden slacks adorning, where raindrops are set

I am a place that is always in between
half a life barren land, half a life green
I am a skin that grows beneath your feet
a hidden spot where newts lurk and sand flies meet

I am a mirage on the maps of men
labelled on parchment, recorded in pen
a shape-shifting landscape breaking all the rules
a bracelet of sand, flowering with jewels

I am more than all my parts, notes upon the breeze
a symphony of marram grass, a warbler’s sneeze
I am an orchestra in a sea of tunes
listen to the melody, for I am the dunes.”

Keeper of the Fields

Transcript of the 'Keeper of the Fields' video.

Aber Fields,

Nant-y-moel,

Bridgend.

“Within this land, a story sleeps
the world you see is a dream
this story, the ancient Keepers keep
and always has it been

I am the fields, their story I have kept
for I am the Keeper but long have I slept

look around you now, as I wake
look at my world as it works and plays
here there is the end of the sky and the start of the land
here all is connected
from the cold of the winter to the warmth of your hand
here, all is one, I am the fields

I am a kingdom where moles like to burrow
lifting their earth sky, irregular furrow
I am a canvas, within a night sky
floodlit gymnastics, bats silent fly-by

I am a dessert for wandering souls
a litter of rabbits burrowing holes
I am a footpath for brothers in arms
lungs full of fresh air, arias and psalms

I am a flanker who churns up the turf
blood, sweat and tears left as footprints on earth
I am a lightweight ducking and diving
nature’s programming, built for surviving

I am a snare drum vibrating in air
chuntering chaffinches, gossip to share
I am a concert for robins in song
space for a family, where we can belong

I am a cornet, call of the valley
echoes of names, Tom, Dick and Parry
I am a fledgling ready to fly
I am the Planker, beneath my own sky.”

Keeper of the Lake

Transcript of the 'Keeper of the Lake' video.

Wilderness Lake,

12 A4106,

Porthcawl.

CF36 5DU.

“Within this land a story sleeps
The world you see is a dream
This story the ancient Keepers keep
And always has it been

I am this Wilderness, Its story I have kept
For I am the Keeper but long have I slept

Look around you now as I wake.
Here, ringed by houses and the roads of Porthcawl,
a green and silver island waits to be found.
Here in quiet seclusion, ancient rhythms still play out
In the lives of bat and bird and fish
As they rise and fall on the seasons’ tides...

I am the Wilderness

I am this island of water and willow
Where wild coots call and raindrops echo
I am the ripples that circle the depths...
A lake’s changing mood; a wind’s whispered breaths

I am the nests, the wood-wombs of spring
Where mallard and moorhen and white swan begin
And I am the stone, which ancient man raised
To honour this landscape in far distant days

I am the scales of the roach, tench and bream
Like Stars in the dark of a watery dream
I am maples and hawthorns with fingers of leaves
That stroke at the sunbeams, snatch at the breeze

Here wild nature lives by its own will
Here deeper currents are circling still
I am a beacon, a green flame, a sound...
I am wilderness calling
From the heart of a town.”

Keeper of the Ogmore

Transcript of the 'Keeper of the Ogmore' video.

Craig y Parcau,

Park Court Road,

Bridgend.

CF31 4AH.

“Within this land, a story sleeps
the world you see is a dream
this story, the ancient Keepers keep
and always has it been

I am this river, its story I have kept
for I am the Keeper but long have I slept

look around you now, as I wake
look at the world I carve out
here there are boulders marking the way
here all is movement, changing each day
here all is connected, mapped out by me
I am the Ogmore and I must be free

I am a rocket lighting up the way
the edge of reason, in all shades of grey
I am a dance floor where raindrops collide
I am a cityscape where minnows hide

I am a highway slicing through the woods
laden with Pooh sticks and precious goods
I am a zip wire shooting through the land
sugar stealer passengers, bluebell band

I am a newspaper tattling news
acorn cup cruises, open leaf canoes
I am ticker tape, tying up tree roots
encoding promises, editing shoots

I am a thief dislodging golden sand
a skyful of diamonds pass through my hands
I am a black vein running clean with rain
dynamic vassal, never twice the same

I am a chapter in the story told
youthful as dawn dew, millennia old
between the bread of landscape, I am the jam
I am the Ogmore, catch me if you can!”

Keeper of the Past

Transcript of the 'Keeper of the Past' video.

Bedford Park,

Cefn Cribwr,

Bridgend.

CF32 0BW.

“Within this land, a story sleeps
the world you see is a dream
this story, the ancient Keepers keep
and always has it been

I am the past, its story I have kept
for I am the Keeper but long have I slept

look around you now, as I wake
look at my world as it changes
here there are journeys to share
from first steps to hidden tracks
all is connected here
all is one, I am the past

I am an anvil resistant to change
an outdoor kitchen, a home with a range
I am an idea which grows brick by brick
a nest of a blue tit, made stick by stick

I am a greenhouse, busy with growing
ripening seed heads ready for sewing
I am the spring, a daffodil fest
a robin in song, in his Sunday best

I am the end of a long summer day
poured into autumn, fading to grey
I am the quiet, the whisper of breeze
the cough of a dormouse, the talking of trees

I am a footprint frozen in mud
a daisy chain keepsake, initials in wood
I am the echo of wheels on the rail
a first footstep forward, flash of a tail

I am a ticket, which dreamers can share
a journey adventure for all those who dare
I am an era that travelled too fast
keep me protected, for I am the past.”

Keeper of the Pond

Transcript of the 'Keeper of the Pond' video.

Frog Pond Wood Local Nature Reserve,

Village Farm Road,

Village Farm Industrial Estate,

Bridgend County Borough.

CF33 6BL.

“Within this Land a story sleeps
The world you know is a dream
This story the ancient Keepers keep
And always has it been

I am this Pond, its story I have kept
For I am the Keeper but long have I slept

Look around you now as I wake
Here, in the shadow of factories and fences a hidden world likes waiting . . .
Here, there is magic...here everything is connected;
From the water which rises through the roots of the willows
To the call of a kingfisher perched on a branch
Here, all is one...

I am this Pond, secluded and stilled
The land’s cupped hand with water filled
And I am the life, cradled within
As it flows and grows and sinks and swims

I am silver skin pierced by Spears of green
Irises thrust from depths unseen
I am a leap in the legs of a frog
A newt’s winter sleep in the shade of a log

I am hope and life when creatures thirst
I am unborn clouds and a rainstorm’s burst
I am a jewel in woodland’s protection
Heavens are held within my reflection...

Here the song of the Land is sung
Where dragons fly and foxes run...
And I am this place; pond, frog, sky and tree
Staring straight back within all that you see.”

Keeper of the Song

Transcript of the 'Keeper of the Song' video.

Parc Calon Lan,

Blaengarw,

Bridgend.

CF32 8AU.

“Within this land, a story sleeps
the world you see is a dream
this story, the ancient Keepers keep
and always has it been

I am the song, its story I have kept
for I am the Keeper but long have I slept

look around you now, as I wake
listen to my world and what it has to say
here there is a language waiting to be heard
here all is connected
from the snuffle of a dog to the whistle of a bird
here, all is one, I am the song

I am a tune which is stuck in your head
a walk with the dog where nothing is said
I am the squelch of mud stuck in shoes
The arrival of spring in daffodil hues

I am the chirp of a squadron of swallows
announcing the start of golden tomorrows
I am the tap dancing wind through the trees
the whir of a ladybird, the droning of bees

I am the crunch of crisp autumn leaves
the coming of winter, announced on the breeze
I am the silence of snow all around
bleaching out colours, muffling sound

I am a pearl in the shell of your heart
growing affection when we are apart
I am the words yet to be spoken
valley of promises, memories woken

I am the echoes of metal on rock
the whistle of steam, the tick of the clock
I am a welcome, a place you belong
something familiar, for I am the song.”

Keeper of the Valley

Transcript of the 'Keeper of the Valley' video.

Maesteg Welfare Park,

Heol Tŷ Gwyn,

Maesteg.

“Within this land, a story sleeps
the world you see is a dream
this story, the ancient Keepers keep
and always has it been

I am the valley, its story I have kept
for I am the Keeper but long have I slept

look around you now, as I wake
look at my world as it passes
here there is a present, a gift from the past
from those who have died to those who will marry
here all is connected, here all is one
boundaries cannot split us up where I am the valley

I am a hollow cradled out of earth
hills for my head, green for my girth
I am a landscape busy with life
winking windows, dumb witnesses to strife

I am the embers glowing in a grate
an emerald jewel, in a necklace of slate
I am a baize with rabbit hole pockets
I am a landing pad for alien rockets

I am a disco for wasps and bees
glitter balls of berries spinning in trees
a drive thru for swallows, scooping up flies
buttercup glory, children’s mud pies

I am a racing track for slugs and snails
a land speed record for leaves in gales
a dragonfly’s sweet shop, drizzled in sun
I am a moment to sit, walk or run

I am a comma, in the river’s story
polished diamond raindrops, water glory
I am the gift of people who survived
for I am the valley, and I will thrive.”

Keeper of the Wood

Transcript of the 'Keeper of the Wood' video.

Tremains Wood Local Nature Reserve,

Oak Tree Court,

Brackla,

Bridgend.

CF31 2NL.

“Within this land, a story sleeps
The world you see is a dream
This story the ancient keepers keep
And always has it been

I am this wood, its story I have kept
For I am the Keeper
But long have I slept

Look around you now as I wake
You see before you ancient woodland.
Look with the eyes of your imagination
and see the deep roots of this place,
roots that stretch back centuries.

Here you may meet trees who were old before Bridgend was born;
trees which have stood their ground while the world around them heaved and shifted,
rose and fell.
Here there is magic;
here everything is connected,
from the seeds in the soil to the birdsong on the breeze
Here, all is one
I am Tremains Wood

I am woodland, and here I stand
Feet fixed fast upon the land
One hundred thousand suns have set
And still my promise I have kept

I am ancient oaks defying gales
Bark as hard as dragon scales
I am roots that roam the dark
In sleeping seeds...I am the spark

I am the door where magic enters
Timeless stage for new adventures
I am an acorn in the hand of a child...
In the age-tamed heart...I am the Wild

Here the sleeping story dreams
In every leaf a fire gleams
I am Woodland; I stand here still
As I always have
And I always will.”

Success of the Nature Keeper Project

The Nature Keepers have drawn attention to overlooked green spaces. They have encouraged visits, and sparked emotional connections with the landscape. For positive feedback, see Black Box AV’s list of visitor comments.

Origins of the Nature Keeper Project

Originally, our Tourism Team and the Bryngarw Country Park rangers thought it up. Funded by Reach under the European Rural Development Plan, the innovative interpretation trail was installed in 2013, and expanded in following years.

 

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