November has been a bad month for the weather, but a great month for Wild Weekend Projects, with almost all of them not happening on the weekend and many more of them following in December too. We were lucky to get permissions from Parks Services to build on the hard work we have been doing over the last few years in some of Cardiff’s Green Spaces by constructing various habitat boxes including birds, bats or dormice. The Wild Weekend Grants came from WG, Homebase and CCW and the lucky grant winners received Homebase Vouchers. This meant several trips to Homebase with groups and especially on 10% or 15% off days. This followed by more days in the garage sawing up the planed spruce wood with a sliding mitre saw making sure all the kits were perfect. These would then be taken to the group or school and we’d build and paint them. The idea as always is to link up schools with groups or litter champions and build up real interest and ownership. Building these boxes and performing other habitat works on sites does exactly that. Hopefully, the camo painting will deter unwanted vandalism. Vandalism makes it more difficult for us to obtain permission to carry on performing such activities, may decrease motivation by the kids and hinder progress.
St. Bernadettes. Putting the bird and bat boxes together.
St. Bernadettes. Nursery and Reception painting the boxes, with a little help from two artists from year 6
Cardiff Trail Scrubs, Ely & Caerau C1st and Ely Community Mothers get together to make Bird and Bat boxes for a Wild Weekend
We also helped Ely Baptist Church, Fairwater’s Waterhall Youth Centre and the St. Mellons Community Education Centre to plant some Wild Weekend spring bulbs. All these events were great fun with the kids and adults really enthusiastic about the work. These are always funny events as the end is always a little messier than the beginning and you have to keep your fingers crossed until Spring.
Ely Baptist Church plant bulbs for a Wild Weekend
Planting bulbs with the brilliant yet threatened St. Mellons Community Education Centre
Weeding and planting for a Wild Weekend at Fairwater's Waterhall Youth Centre
Waterhall Youth Centre Wild Weekend Bulb Planting
We are now up to 75 litter champions in Cardiff which will soon rise to 76 when our latest one signs up in Pentwyn. This was a result of us helping another litter champion to clear up an area on her patch. Like many litter champions, amounts of rubbish can go up and down and CFMEP (Cardiff Friday Mornings Environmental Project) are often on hand to lend Litter Champions a little extra help to bring the rubbish back down to manageable amounts. Behind Glyn Rhosyn, Pentwyn, we removed 17 bags of rubbish plus some loose items and it has really helped Claire out:
"Thanks so much for the help, it was good fun and lovely to meet the other people. My patch looks lovely now and it will be so much easier to keep the litter down now that the area has been given a good clean. I couldn't have done it without the help of the CFMEP people. They do such good work."
Pictures can be viewed here http://flic.kr/s/aHsjCUnUGr
So, if you have a patch that needs a little help, please get in touch.
Back in August, we cleared halfway along a green lane up from Crystal Glen with a local resident. Then we removed 26 bags plus about 300kg of loose items as well as a great deal of Himalayan balsam. Well, we returned here as promised but from the top end next to Llanishen Rugby Club’s building and worked our way down towards this halfway point. Over the two Fridays in November, we collected 54 bags of rubbish and 400 kg of loose items.
This is very reminiscent of our work in the olden days of Chapelwood and opposite St. Bernadettes school and instead of just tidying them up we need to get local action and support. Pictures can be viewed here:
Finally, it looks like we have another group who are interested in taking time out to try to clean up and area on a monthly basis with the aim to decrease the amount of litter dropped in the first place. They will work with local primary schools who have already performed tidy ups there and interact with the fishing community to help keen the area around Pentwyn Lake Clean. They hope to start early in the new year, so if you are interested in joining in there, give me a shout via firstname.lastname@example.org