Fun and learning at Naturewise Community Forest Garden

An article for written by Gwenda a volunteer at the garden

Hwyl, fun, fun, fun.  That is how I would describe all my encounters with the community garden at the far end of Parc Teifi Business Park past the new police station. I go along to help on a Tuesday but it’s also open to volunteers on a the 3rd Saturday of every month. We have fun chatting around the fire, we have fun learning new skills and we have fun sharing ideas and doing all sorts of different gardening jobs.
We have recently been making benches under expert tuition from Clare Turner. She is one of the founders of the community garden and a tutor at Coppicewood College in Pengelli Woods. In the woods we learnt how to split a 5 inch oak log into quarters and shape the quarters to form the four legs. With hand tools we drilled into an oak plank and wedged the legs securely with oak splints.

We’ve also learnt how to scythe, work with willow, sharpen tools, dig and puddle a pond and plant a wide range of trees, shrubs and seedlings. All these skills would have cost a small fortune if I’d joined courses
but becoming part of the community garden it’s all been free and fun with a group of lovely welcoming people who speak both Welsh and English and are of all ages and backgrounds. In fact you never know who you will meet next and what ideas, recipes and chit-chat you will share.

Big thanks to the Community Woodlands scheme which funded Haenau Digonedd’ project which was delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with the Welsh Government.
The funding was paid to improve access for visitors and volunteers alike with a new All-Ability path leading around the eco-friendly facilities, through the food-forest to the newly constructed pond area. A new fence will ensure that all the volunteers’ hard work planting will be protected from the grazing rabbits.  The fence doesn’t protect the entire site – generous space will be left for wildlife in the peripheral
zones where bird and bat boxes will also be installed. The benches were also funded through this grant. The Eco shop raises money to support the garden throughout the year. Again, a big thank you to volunteers at the shop who are doing an incredible job of reusing and selling on items turning them into funds for the garden.

Everyone is welcome to get involved or to visit and enjoy the beautiful environment that we are creating with nature. Children are welcome, you can call in any Tuesday or see our face book or website
By Gwenda Marks