First published: 15/03/2024 -

Last updated: 21/03/2024 -

Verified by our Editorial Panel

Wildlife-welcoming project in Aberdare

The Cwmdare4Cwmdare Bee Friendly Garden project in Aberdare has transformed a once abandoned piece of land into a space for wildlife to thrive. 

The project was made possible with money from the Pen y Cymoedd wind farm community fund, and support from the Local Places for Nature Community Packages scheme, managed by Keep Wales Tidy. This scheme provided materials, resources and equipment to kick-start the initiative, helping the local community come together to restore the land and encourage biodiversity.  

Bee flying past flowers

How do rewilding schemes like these help us make green choices? 

Wales’ wildlife is in decline, with one in six species at risk of extinction. Animals are disappearing as their habitats are destroyed by clearing space to grow things that we overconsume. And habitat loss is a great threat to biodiversity. Wildlife-welcoming projects like this help protect habitats, providing a safe and welcoming space for our wildlife to thrive. 

The Cwmdare4Cwmdare Bee Friendly Garden has bird feeders, a bird house, a hedgehog house, and plans for some bug hotels. There’s also a wildflower area to encourage bees, butterflies, and other local wildlife. They have installed raised beds to grow seasonal fruit and vegetables, as well as placing benches for people to sit and enjoy the view over the Brecon Beacons, and a shed for tools and equipment.  

In 2022, the garden was awarded ‘bee friendly’ status by the Welsh Government.  

The group has also planted some fruit trees in a small ‘orchard’ to the rear of the project and are now starting to work on plans for the next phase; the front area, which will include seating and be accessible to all. 

Projects like Cwmdare4Cwmdare are a great example of how small ideas can bloom into community-wide initiatives that benefit everyone involved – including our wildlife. And with the help of specialist schemes like Local Places for Nature Community Packages, they’re easy to get going. 

Owen Derbyshire, CEO at Keep Wales Tidy, said:

The wildlife starter pack, which is part of the Local Places for Nature Community Packages scheme, is designed to provide communities with the tools, equipment, and resources they need to kick-start and manage their projects independently. Our handbook provides communities with ideas, and our advisors share support as and when it’s needed.  

Secretary of the community group, Ann Crimmings, and the team of volunteers received a pack containing bulbs, habitat boxes, shrubs and climbing plants, raised bed compost and trellis, tools, equipment like gloves and a watering can, and a handbook. This enabled the small team to clear the overgrown patch and transform it into the wildlife-friendly space it is today. 

Ann said:

The money from Pen y Cymoedd wind farm community fund, paired with the support we’ve received from Keep Wales Tidy through the wildlife garden starter package has been fantastic.

Why take action? 

Climate Change Minister, Julie James, said:

Climate change is threatening our plants and wildlife. We need to protect them as much as we can.  

It’s wonderful to see people like Ann proactively making important changes to their communities and seeing the positive difference it has made for those around them. By making changes together, we can have a bigger impact on tackling the nature emergency, making a real difference.

What is Wales doing?  

  • The Local Places for Nature Community Packages scheme from Keep Wales Tidy is funded by the Welsh Government. 

  • The Welsh Government, with other public service bodies like Natural Resources Wales, are responding to the nature emergency in many ways – from protecting at least 30% of the land and 30% of the sea by 2030, to developing a National Forest. Read more here. 

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