Climate change and gardening projects CMCC April 2021
ETHOS AND VALUES
Caerphilly Miners Centre for Community (CMCC) is run by a committed group of local residents who have come together with a common aim of restoring the old ‘Caerphilly Miners’ and bringing new life to it, for the benefit of our community. As a volunteer led project we seek to make a positive difference to people whatever their age or circumstance and to create a place in our community where people want to be, can enjoy themselves and feel part of the community, can learn from each other and invest in their family’s future, and can celebrate our heritage.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic our activities were focused on bringing people into our community hub. Lockdown forced us to reconsider the way we did things. Our activities are now more outreaching and inclusive. Lockdown has also made us think more and differently about the big issues of our day – inequality, food poverty, future generations, public health and climate change.
CLIMATE CHANGE PROJECT
In 2018-9 we transformed a neglected, poorly drained and unpaved area into a car park for 42 cars, a patio, and large open space to the rear. We were unable to finish the garden in the front, but a National Lottery Community Fund grant in 2019 enabled us to plan a Climate Change Garden for the Future. With help from Community Farms and Gardens, David Thorpe, a Climate Change specialist, Fiona Cloke, Landscape Architect and 18 volunteers, we developed a plan. The project is designed to educate and inform, engage young and old, and change attitudes and behaviour about growing food. We’re still raising money to complete the garden, but funding from the Landfill Disposal Tax Community Fund will enable us to make a good start over the next few months,
FAT BEEHIVE FOUNDATION
Part of the Climate change garden plan was to create information boards within our bus shelter. As a result of the pandemic and focus on reaching out virtually to our wider community, we are thinking of a more inclusive digital offer which will bring joy, learning, and ideas to more people throughout the community. The project also seeks to engage virtual gardeners in the shaping of the garden, and to encourage interaction and sharing of ideas and gardening tips.
KEEP WALES TIDY COMMUNITY FOOD GROWING PROJECT
We secured a grant in March 2020 for a Local Places for Nature scheme to create food growing patches on our site, including growing fruit and vegetables in raised beds, the development of a 40 m2 wildflower meadow, a greenhouse and shed, recycling facilities, water butt, tools and equipment. Lockdown slowed us down, but the project was completed in March 2021 with raised beds and a start to our vegetable gardens!
FORMAL FLOWER BEDS
Another unfinished part of our site was immediately in front of the building. It soon became neglected. In 2019 the Gardening
Group planted the beds with donated bulbs and plants. However, shallow soil and poor drainage meant that the results were disappointing.
Using bricks already on site, we created some formal raised beds and then the Gardening Group decided to create a formal garden. A legacy in memory of Doreen Ellis, a former Trustee started our fundraising during 2020-2021. One of our volunteers, who works as a landscape gardener locally, designed it and eventually we raised enough money to create it. The front gardens provide a fitting entrance for our lovely building.
CHILDREN’S GARDENING PROJECTS
With funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, Awards for All grant, we’ve set up a children’s climate change project #Letsgrowtogether. Children aged 6-10 will be able to attend 17 free gardening workshops designed to promote the values of sustainable living through growing vegetables and the vital role that pollinators play in producing our food. The gardening workshops will run monthly during term times and weekly during school holidays from April until January 2022.
With additional funding from the D.S. Smith Fund we have been able to extend this project to 3-5 year olds monthly during term times from June 2021. The projects between them will provide constructive outdoor activity for children and parents. They will create a play and grow area and help to support the physical, mental and emotional needs of young children and their parents and broaden the range of activities we can offer with a focus on climate action and the sustainability of future generations.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT POLICY
We sought professional help from the Wales Coop in developing our Sustainable Development Policy. We now have an Action Plan covering energy and water saving, limiting travel, raising environmental awareness, biodiversity, sustainable recruitment, waste management. This will underpin our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and bring our community with us.