North Wales social enterprise, Menter Môn has been supporting communities across Gwynedd and Anglesey to improve their green spaces to benefit local people and wildlife.
So far six projects have benefited from support through the Môn a Menai project, with a further five recently approved. Support is available to deliver environmental improvements up to a value of £30,000 and to develop volunteer opportunites. Ultimately it is hoped that a total of 13 green space projects will benefit from the scheme.
Support has also been provided for young people to gain work experience as part of the project – with the overall aim of empowering residents to improve their local surroundings as well as create a sense of community wellbeing.
Rosie Frankland, project officer of Môn a Menai with Menter Môn said: “Access to attractive green outdoor spaces – particularly in urban areas – has become more important to people, especially as we continue to recover from the pandemic. Through this project we have been able to help communities to take action to make a difference to their environment. More and more people are appreciating their local open spaces and becoming aware of the benefits of spending time outside in nature as well as working as a community to create something worthwhile.”
One of the projects to benefit from the support provided by Menter Môn is the Maestryfan Community Group scheme at Cae Doctor in Bangor. Developed on a piece of unused land in the Ffriddoedd area of the city, the extensive improvements include creating new access pathways, planting fruit trees, creating flower beds, vegetable and herb patch as well as garden seating and bird boxes. The site will also be accessible by wheelchair users.
Ben Popat, is the chair of Maestryfan Community group, he added: “We knew we had a potentially fantastic resource right here on our door step but lacked the funds and expertise to make it happen. This is where Rosie and the team from Menter Môn became invaluable. We feel the results are really amazing.
“We’ve worked together and claimed back a green space in the city for our community to enjoy. It’s brought us together, created a sense of belonging and it has helped us learn a lot about nature, growing produce and plants which benefit local wildlife. The garden has become an important part of our lives – and the benefits can be seen across several generations.”
Other Môn a Menai projects, include an Incredible Edible project in Felinheli; allotments in Amlwch, Bangor and Bryn Du; a community garden in Penygroes, Llannerch-y-medd and Beaumaris; Parc Pandy in Llangefni; a community woodland in Cemaes; and the restoration of the churchyard in Llanbeblig on the outskirts of Caernarfon.
Sioned Morgan Thomas, Projects Director with Menter Môn said: “Working with community groups to make the most of local resources is a key part of our vision at Menter Môn. By regenerating parks and community gardens in areas with less access to out door spaces we have been able to do just that through this project.
In addition to Menter Môn’s support, the Maestryfan Community Group is grateful for the support received from North Wales Recovery Communities, Hogan Group and Watkin Property Ventures, as well as generous donations from local businesses and Bangor residents.
Môn a Menai has been funded through the Welsh Government’s Enabling Natural Resources and Wellbeing in Wales fund.