Grow Wild's Maria embarks on two day tour of North Wales projects

Grow Wild’s Partnership Manager for Wales, Maria Golightly has been a busy bee recently –buzzing around all over North Wales visiting community projects, youth projects and events! Here’s her Grow Wild Tour Diary.

Day One

A very early start from Cardiff saw me heading North to Denbigh and the Denbigh Community Wild Orchards. The project is aiming to recruit as many volunteers as possible to help  plant native Denbigh Plum trees across two sites. The planting of the trees will begin on 25th November and yes they’re still on the lookout for volunteers! Check out the project’s profile page HERE to find out how you can get involved!

Next it was on to nearby project Bodelwyddan Castle Parkland Meadow and Orchard who have been working to transform a disused area of the parkland orchard with wild flowers, native hedgerows and a seating area. Chatting to Hywel Dodd Bodelwyddan’s environment magaerquickly led to an offer to help out at Denbigh with the plum tree planting – the friendly spirit of North Wales coming out!

After a quick bite of lunch (and an obligatory sampling of fruit from the Orchard, of course) it was on to Digging Deeside, a fab community project in Connah’s Quaywho were absolutely delighted to receive some extra Grow Wild seed kits so they could sow even more wild flowers.

Day One came to a close in Northop at Include Us Too, a community project dedicated to working with young people, helping them to gain new skills through the creation of a community garden. The project was hosting their launch event and I had the honour of cutting the ribbon to officially open the new garden. The project looked amazing and is only made all the more impressive for the fact the volunteers sourced most of what they neededfor the garden from freecycle, adding a really creative quirky touch! The pink sleeping bag planters were particularly ingenious! And hats off to the pianist who entertained the attendees.

Day Two

The first stop for Day Two was Prestatyn to visit inspirational community project Wild About Prestatyn who were hosting their Health For All Event to highlight health and wellbeing issues for all the community. I met up with project lead Pete Harrison and Tracey Rosean who can always be relied on for a good chat! 

From there it was onwards (no rest for the wicked!) to beautiful Llanberis to meet the volunteers of Friends of Cae’r Ddol who are nurturing a wild flower meadow on a patch of grazing land, for the enjoyment of visitors and locals alike! They hope to maximise diversity in the plants there and help to educate people in the importance of native wild flowers and plants. A nearby café was also showing art created by young people as part of the project. The brilliant art work featured paintings and botanical drawings inspired by the ideas of environmental education that the project inspires.

The final leg of my giant North Wales tour led me to Penmaenpool and the Snowdonia National Park Authority who have been working with Grow Wild to restore an abandoned plot of land at the Penmaenpool Signal Box, creating a wild flower haven.

The region of Wales’s highest peak seemed a fitting end for such an epic trip! It was fantastic to see how all the projects have been getting on – keep up the great work everybody. Now I’m off for a cup of tea and a sit down! But only after a Saturday morning hike up Cader Idris – they can’t say I’m not adventurous (a bit at least!)

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