St John's Church Garden Project, Old Colwyn
Fundraising for this community garden began in September 2004. Old Colwyn (East) Residents' Association was the lead organisation on the scheme in partnership with the Colwyn Parochial Church Council. Assistance was provided by Old Colwyn Environment Federation, which has a great deal of experience in establishing various projects in Old Colwyn. Mr Cliff Prout, the funding secretary of the Federation was a constant source of advice and assistance to the project management.
The first part of the process was registration with Environment Wales ( www.environment-wales.org ) . This registration examined the sustainability of the project and issues of habitat. One of the main objectives at that stage was to restore metal railings to replace a badly damaged hedge; the original railings had been removed for the war effort. It was also intended to add seats and improve the borders
In examining the issue of sustainability and habitat for species, advice was obtained from various sources, including the Countryside and Biodiversity Departments of Conwy County Borough Council ( http://www.conwy.gov.uk ). The plan grew to include islands of long grass, to enable species to complete their life cycle and to give texture and interest to the garden.
Advice on composting was sought from Rhyd y Creuau Environmental Centre, Betws y Coed ( www.field-studies-council.org/rhydycreuau ) and a composting bin was included in the plan to take care of some of the garden waste which had hitherto been put in heaps behind the hedge. Timber for the bin was donated by Gareth Davies and Ray Seager Scaffolding.
The assistance of Jan Miller ( firstname.lastname@example.org )of the North Wales Branch of Butterfly Conservation
( www.northwalesbutterflies.org.uk ) was sought to plan and introduce a new butterfly attracting garden border
She designed the garden, grew the flowers and was responsible
for the planting of the flowers.
A Butterfly interpretation panel was included in the project to give visitors to the site details on butterfly species and habitat
An interpretation panel was also included to give visitors information of historical and natural history interest about the church and the garden. These panels were designed by Elizabeth Gleave, a North Wales graphic designer
( email@example.com ).
The Conwy County Council Parks and Gardens Department was extremely helpful and the Head Gardener gave sound advice at the planning stage of new borders. The Department later donated seedlings of carefully chosen native flowers, which were potted up by parishioners and looked after by local people in their greenhouses until ready for planting in the garden. This project has been the first to benefit from an officially approved Parks Department partnership designed to help approved volunteer organisations to improve their neighbourhood.
The Conwy County Council, Engineering Department gave advice on the choice of park benches and litter bins for the site.
The Bay of Colwyn Town Council made a grant for one of the benches. The parishioners of the Church also pledged a contribution for various elements of the project.
The final plan included metal railings to replace the hedge and also tree surgery to tidy all the trees on the site.
At the planting stage of the borders, the Parks and Gardens Department donated over 200 shrubs to stock the front border. The other potted plants were planted into other borders in the perimeter.
Volunteer work completed the project by August 2005 with over 1300 man hours being donated by 36 people in a variety of ways.
Conwy County Council gave great assistance with the removal of waste from the site on a regular basis.
The Church reintroduced a full path all the way around the Church for access.
Grateful thanks are extended to all persons and organisations involved in the project.
Feedback from people visiting and passing is that the project has lifted the feeling of wellbeing in the village.
Old Colwyn East Residents Association