So, we built the pond with hardly any money, involved children and local residents to become stakeholders in the project from the very beginning and now we have seen that the pond is starting to be colonised beautifully already. Moreover, the children and adult volunteers know now how to do basic pond management. In a 2-3 years time we will also have to thin out the native plants that we put in there, but a great result all round. £300 of this money was from a grant from Cardiff Council’s Tidy Towns allocation and we’ve demonstrated how we can carefully spend this money with a fantastic cost/benefit ratio. Moreover, this pond can be used as a started pond for similar projects throughout Cardiff.
We now have 69 litter champions in Cardiff which is absolutely amazing (5 more waiting for kit). The latest spattering was in North Whitchurch. Over the last 2 years we have signed up quite a few in and around the Coryton roundabout which is a constant litter (including shopping trolleys) nuisance. During the coastal path clearance in Atlantic wharf earlier on in the year, 4 walking ladies joined in and said they were interested in doing some tidy ups somewhere and at some point. In September, they joined in with a clean up with Hollybush Residents’ Association, Coryton Primary, Barclays and Coryton Primary School (http://flic.kr/s/aHsjCbKY78). They got in touch this month and asked to set up a group based around the North Whitchurch area. They are called Cardiff Tidy Taffs, so keep an eye out for one of their monthly tidy ups and several of the local litter champions are keen to join in to get some help. If you want to be on their mailing list, get in touch.
On the subject of finding out things, many years ago when I did some survey work for Monmouthshire Council I came across the Monmouthshire Green Web site, which had lists of events, groups and other green/outdoor related activities and opportunities. Several years ago Adansdown C1st and Adamsdown Environmental Action Group created a Green Map for Adamsdown which listed things like schools, gardens, litter problem areas and other useful information. These approaches are altruistic in their benefit to all. There have been many times, where I have thought, I’m tired and I just want to know what is on in Torfaen or Monmouthshire that I can just join in with. Well if you type in “Events in xxxxxxx” Google you get loads of sites and it is really difficult to find information. In today’s difficult environment when everyone claims to be a community hub, a third sector body blah blah blah, it is so difficult to find the basic information that can help community groups grow. Cardiff Transition Group also knows this as they are all involved in voluntary action groups in Cardiff. As such, several months ago they set up a GreenMap for Cardiff and this lists groups, activities, contact details etc. The map link is here: http://cardifftransition.com/mapping and the events page here: http://cardifftransition.com/events-home The map is cluttered (you can filter what you are interested in) and the calendar in its early stages of development, but it truly serves this altruistic purpose. It is definitely worthwhile thinking about engaging in this mapping system even if it is only to check and see what might be going on in Cardiff on one of your free days.
I have been very busy all this week on Wild Weekend projects and in Ely Baptist Church we planted some bulbs for wildlife and they planted some wildflower seeds the next day without me after I showed them how to do it.
Finally, I have also been busy trying to work out how to make bat and hedgehog boxes from wood available from Homebase as part of the Wild Weekend scheme. This is because the wood is completely different from the wood that we would normally use for these projects. These will be appearing in and around Cardiff and Torfaen in the next few weeks.