The greenwood craft work at Riverside community Garden Project has taken off extremely well with the construction of the first 2 shave horses, a knee vice and the guys have made a start on their first greenwood pole lathe. They love doing things the hard way. http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyYZ5vT http://flic.kr/s/aHsjz3Rthx
Sam and Lewis on their shave horsesReferring back to greenwood, I returned to Chapelwood in Llanedeyrn to work with the kids from St. Philip Evans Primary School to help with their adoption of their local woodland. It is the second year that we have done coppicing here and the kids helped to measure the regeneration from last year’s stools as well as coppice and process the wood from 1 hazel stool. The Eco Club then helped me to make a greenwood bench from this material. http://flic.kr/s/aHsjz44EMV The plan here is that the older kids teach the younger kids, the older kids leave the school and leave with a greater respect for the woods when they become “teenagers”. I deliberately put the older kids, who came last year, in charge to give them that personal responsibility which all of us adults do in our works to improve areas for everyone else.
Eco Club from St. Philip Evans Primary School coppicing their stool.
I believe we really need a greater emphasis on engaging especially younger children as these are the ones who may well be following through as the vols of tomorrow, if not today. We are pursuing this vigorously in Llanrumney where one litter champion is heavily supported by a monthly event, normally a litterpick with one or two primary schools http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyEC3BY.
Glan yr Afon join in a litterpick with Llanrumney Environment Group
Like in many places, there is an overwhelming volume of litter and by engaging more with primary school children, you can hopefully have an effect on stopping them just copying their older entrenched contemporaries who think littering is OK. One of the best examples recently has again been with St. Philip Evans behind Pentwyn Leisure Centre and letting the kids use grapple hooks to pull trolleys etc out of the stream. http://flic.kr/s/aHsjzf9g9P
Trainess from St. Philip Evans for the Cardiff Rivers Group
Bridging gaps between community groups, recruiting new volunteers and working with the very young are all things that Friends of Moorland Park, South Splott Residents Association and Ysgol Glan Morfa do very well. I was asked to help them reinstate the pond on the school grounds. That became a step closer this month the the final digging out of the old silt, replacement of the new liner and underlay. It was great fun, involved many people across the community and for £300 including plants, was paid for by Tidy Towns (the sand was donated by Travis Perkins) http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyAG3R3.
Getting the underlay ready; schools and community groups working together.
At KWT, it isn’t our job to tidy up places to help the council out, it is to support local people to take positive local action. One such event happened during one of the concentrated sprint weeks where the police organised a tidy up across Pontprennau with many partner organisations http://flic.kr/s/aHsjzcPiSX. While over there, I met a group of local residents who have been working really hard to keep their green space tidy, I gave them litter champion equipment and we had an impromptu session to clear a stream which was full of historic litter and had been choked by brambles http://flic.kr/s/aHsjzdRdGM.
Next time, we plan to cutback a footpath which has been almost completely lost to brambles. Local people have been going around it and have trampled woodland wildflower areas instead.
Another great example of KWT helping local people is up behind Glyncoed Primary School in Pentwyn. I mentioned the first Cardiff Friday Mornings Environmental Project (CFMEP) event there last month where we collected 23 bags in 2 hours with 3 people. Well, I ran a full day event with BT volunteers where we took out 61 bags plus a tonne http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyEBNXm and last Friday CFMEP returned to the next section with 5 people and we took out 35 bags plus about ¼ tonne of other stuff http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyLr3fq. So altogether, over 3 events we cleared 119 bags and about 1.5 tonnes of loose rubbish. This has made it much easier for Glyncoed Primary School to be in a position to be able to adopt this green stretch.
Some of the haul from woods and stream behind Glyncoed
It was very sad to see from Tuesday’s BT event to the Friday after, the amount of cans, bottles, sweets and crisp packets that were present on the paths. This is a sight that is reproduced across not just Cardiff, but in Torfaen where I live too (http://flic.kr/s/aHsjziV9X2). Many litter champions have written to me basically saying exactly the same thing, some almost to the point of packing it in. This is obviously what we do not want to do, so I was driven to a comment made to me by my colleague in Blaenau Gwent (Thom Board). He said Blaenau Gwent Council have been having great success with hiring a private litter enforcement company called Xfor. 40% of all the fines goes back into education. In 3 months, they gave out 600 fixed Penalty Notices and in 6 months this was 1,000. OF the 1,000 so far 500 have been paid in full. If 5p for a carrier bag has changed a nation’s behaviour, what would a properly enforced £75 fine do?