Funding boost for Bryngarw Country Park

Bryngarw Country Park in Bridgend has seen its ancient orchard and Woodland Garden improved and the site’s accessibility upgraded thanks to a grant of £11,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme.

The initiative, which is run in conjunction with charity Groundwork, awards grants raised from the sale of carrier bags to community projects up and down the UK.

The funding followed a vote by local shoppers to decide which Bridgend causes should receive a grant. Bryngarw Country Park, which is managed by Awen Cultural Trust, a not-for-profit organisation has used the money to expand the park’s iconic sculpture trails into the orchard and woodland garden, an area with improved access for those with limited mobility.

The improvements have built on the existing ‘Bryngarw Keepers’ interactive installation which uses sculpture, music and themes from Welsh mythology to bring the story of Bryngarw’s wildlife and landscape to life. The new sculptures depict mythological figures appropriate to the locations in which they are located, including ‘Pomona’ the Celtic-Roman spirit of Orchards and the Green Man.

The funding has allowed the park’s volunteer group to commission Wood Art Works to craft two new sculptures and themed benches. It has also enabled Wood-B – a local work-based carpentry project for adults with disabilities, which uses carpentry as the basis for the training – to improve the entrances to the Orchard and Woodland Garden.

Bryngarw Park volunteer group secretary, Leigh Forman, said: “The funding from Tesco has been fantastic, and helped us make a real difference to the park.

“Since the project was completed, we’ve had wonderful feedback. Families, history fans and nature lovers have told us how interesting and engaging the sculptures are. It’s very different – a real break from the usual screens and computers that often keep youngsters distracted. We’re thrilled we’ve been able to extend our sculptural interpretation into a new area of the park.”

Rhodri Evans, Tesco’s communications manager for Wales, said: “The funding is a great example of how Bags of Help can bring communities and the environment together.

“We’re really looking forward to driving forward new initiatives in 2019 as Bags of Help continues to grow and help even more groups across Wales.”

Since launching in 2015, Bags of Help has awarded more than £56 million to more than 16,000 projects all over the UK.

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