Autumn Apple Pressing Party

A beautiful Autumn celebration for the volunteers in Bryngarw’s Orchard today.  It was the perfect way to greet the season and bring the Bryngarw community together.

Thanks to the Tescos Bags of Help funding, we had Sasha of Wild Spirit Bushcraft come along to do some campfire cooking for us and an apple pressing workshop.

First you start with some apples and we were blessed with a bountiful harvest of sweet apples, cookers and some pears.  After the collective hard work of chopping, scratting and pressing we enjoyed a delicious glass of sweet pure apple juice.  The cookers were cored and filled withe sugar, butter and various toppings, then baked in foil at the edge of the fire.  Absolutely delicious.

The campfire was the central spot as always and after we enjoyed a wonderful red pepper soup with hunks of crusty bread, the bakestone was heated up for the welsh cakes.

The Bags of Help funding has helped us enhance the Orchard and Woodland Garden at Bryngarw Park with sculptures and benches and our latest Bryngarw Keeper – Pomona, Keeper of the Orchard.   It has been a lot of hard work but today we quite literally enjoyed the fruits of our labours.

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Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community grant scheme where the money raised from the 5p bag levy in Tesco stores is being used to fund thousands of community projects across the UK. The projects must meet the criteria of promoting community participation in the development and use of outdoor spaces.

Bags of Help is administered by Groundwork.

Thanks to Sarah, Sha & Leigh for the photos and everyone for their hard work and support throughout this project.


Tree Totem Installation!

The latest addition to the park!

Thanks to the Tesco Bags of Help scheme and to our wonderful volunteers for winning the funding. And thanks of course to artist Chris Wood for the outstanding work!

Chris took a piece of Cedar of Lebanon that had fallen in the woods and created this wonderful piece for the Woodland Garden.

The Tree Totem depicts the leaves of some of the trees you will see as you stroll around the Woodland Garden.

How many do you know!

Pomona, Keeper of Orchard and Green Man

Bryngarw Park Welcomes Green Man II & Pomona, Keeper of the Orchard

Thanks to the grant funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help, we have been able to commission Chris Wood of Wood Art Works to create some amazing wooden sculptures to improve the Orchard and Woodland Garden at Bryngarw Park.

We have already installed two beautiful benches carved from oak that had fallen down by the river.  Now we were ready to welcome two new sculptures to Bryngarw.  Firstly, the new Green Man to replace the one Chris created for us about 15 years ago.  The original Green Man will be retired to a corner of the Woodland Garden and left to quietly crumble back into the earth.  Pomona, Keeper of the Orchard will join our Bryngarw Keepers Trail.

To prepare the site, first we had to dig a couple of holes and we are blessed with some fantastic volunteers who are more than ready for a challenge.

Alan of Kyle Transport then maneovered these 2 ton sculptures with amazing dexterity to their final resting places.

Thanks to the Bryngarw Park volunteers: Anthony, Chris, John, Leigh, Peter & Sandra.
Tesco Champions Nikki and Angharad.

Tesco Champions - Nikki and Angharad

Also thanks to the Rangers and staff of Awen Cultural Trust for supporting this project.
Awen CEO Richard Hughes tweeted,

Awen CEO tweet

If you are a community project and are in need of funding, please have a look at the Tesco Bags of Help.  Every Little Helps!

If you have a little time on your hands and would like to be part of a fantastic community group helping to improve our local green space, you’ll be very welcome to join us.
We meet on the first Saturday on every month, have a look at our programme

Rhos Pasture Clearance – Take 3

Another monumental effort by our volunteers today as we managed to clear all the bramble from the Rhos Pasture.

There is still some willow to cut and clear, although today was not great fire lighting weather, Ranger Keith persevered and managed to get some sparks flying.

With help from Pont, we will be having some ponies or cattle to munch and trample their way through the pasture, helping us to manage this small corner of Bryngarw.

There are already signs of the Himalayan Balsam starting to sprout.  On a more positive note, we had a couple of buzzards wheeling overhead plus a lone Red Kite gliding over to check out what we’re doing.

The frogspawn is developing well and little black dots are now getting a little more tadpole-like.

The highlight of the day was Sha and Ranger Beth spotting a little Harvest Mouse scuttling in the tussocky grass between the bramble piles.

Our next event is Saturday 1st April when we will be cleaning up the Garw River.

Meet at Cedars Tea Rooms at 10am, bring a packed lunch and we will finish around 2pm

Tools and training are provided for all volunteer events.
Please wear suitable clothing and footwear. All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Out with the Brambles, in with the Bluebells

A huge thanks though to everyone who worked so hard in the woods today. It was another fantastic turnout with over 20 people, including some youngsters who are doing the volunteering element of their Duke of Edinburgh award.

The UK’s woodlands are home to almost 50% of the world’s population of the native bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta). With their unique scent and very delicate flowers, bluebells are an iconic feature of Bryngarw in springtime.


Cutting back the bramble and scrub will allow in the all-important sunlight, allowing the bluebells to spread and flourish.  The bluebell display will be sensational this year thanks to your efforts, so don’t forget to come back and see the fruits of your labours at the end of April!

Our next event is Saturday 18th February (we’ve sneaked in an extra date).  We’ll be heading back to the Rhos pasture to finish off the task we started in January.  Please come and join us.

Meet at Cedars Tea Rooms at 10am, bring a packed lunch and we will finish around 2pm

Tools and training are provided for all volunteer events.
Please wear suitable clothing and footwear. All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.


Scrub Clearance in the Rhos Pasture

Great to see so many volunteers turn up today to clear scrub from the Rhos Pasture, after the formalities of our AGM.

Braving frost then rain, the dedicated bunch hacked, slashed and cut their way through a huge amount of bramble and willow. Their hard work will help preserve this important habitat and make the small mammals and hunting owls and buzzards very happy.

Dan managed to get the kelly kettles boiling for a well deserved cuppa.  Nothing beats the taste of a good cup of tea in the great outdoors.

Thanks everyone!

Next event is Saturday 4th February – bramble bashing to clear the way for our brilliantly beautiful Bryngarw bluebells.

New Year, New You!

It’s the middle of January and maybe some of your New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the way side.  Perhaps you could start with some small steps, rather than massive changes.

How about setting aside a few hours each month to improve your health and well being by spending some time outdoors.  Enjoy fresh air and exercise, meet new people and help your local green space at Bryngarw Park.

We’re starting our annual programme of events this Saturday 14th January 2017.  Meet at 10am (we have a small matter of our AGM first, which should last around half hour) then we will head over to the Rhos Pasture to do some scrub clearance to help promote the bluebells and other wild flowers bloom in Spring.

Tools and training are provided for all volunteer events.  Please wear suitable clothing and footwear. All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Meet at Cedars Tea Rooms at 10am, bring a packed lunch and we will finish around 2pm.

Here is the link to our programme for 2017, so you can get your new diaries out and start putting in the dates now.

Bryngarw Park Volunteer Group – 2017 Programme

See you Saturday!!!