Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Blog no longer updated

Dear Readers,
With the advent of the all-new Keep Wales Tidy website- - all separate blogs by staff are being moved onto the new site. This means that this blog will no longer be updated.
If you have any queries about events in North Powys, you can contact Sue Newham on 07766 757145 or

Monday, 25 March 2013

McDonalds litter pick in Newtown today postponed

The litter pick planned for today along the river bank in Newtown is being rescheduled because of the weather. More details later.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Natural Resources Wales- a new overarching organisation for the environment

From 01 April 2013, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) will take over the functions currently carried out by the Countryside Council for Wales and Forestry Commission Wales, the devolved functions of Environment Agency Wales and some functions that are currently carried out within the Welsh Government.
One of the reasons for creating the new body is to streamline services and make things more straightforward for customers, suppliers and partners. In future, if you do business with Natural Resources Wales you will only have to contact one body and this will make things easier and simpler and save you time.

The new body is taking every step possible to ensure that existing arrangements will transfer into the new organisation with minimum impact. The key focus is to ensure there is business continuity in the first months of the new organisation as it begins to establish its own priorities and its own ways of working.
You may have links with the other organisations involved, as well as with Natural Resources Wales, and this information will also be available on their websites. Until Natural Resources Wales is vested on 01 April all three existing organisations (CCW, EAW and FCW) will continue to deal with all external contact as usual. 

To find out more about what this change will mean, visit the Welsh Government website on



Monday, 11 March 2013

Growing the Movement 5th March 2013

This is a brief report back on a key meeting about shared working between organisations involved in supporting community food growing across Wales. The meeting was organised by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG).

Welcome and introduction
Katie Jones welcomed the representatives of 15-20 organisations involved in supporting community growing in Wales. She gave an overview of the historical landscape of community growing in relationship to the FCFCG and noted the huge rise in interest in community growing over the last 5-6 years.
She said that more communities want growing space, particularly allotments. She also noted that growing has been seen as a therapeutic activity in the past, but is now more driven by a desire for sustainability and food security.
The decision to invite all organisations for a vision sharing session has been taken to help us to prepare groups for leaner financial times ahead and to avoid duplication of support. It is also a good opportunity to share good practice.

Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens- Tyfi Pobl programme
Emma Williams shared about Tyfi Pobl. She said that the FCFCG team was very experienced and recognised that improving, celebrating and transferring knowledge is their key role. FCFCG holds training sessions and more localised gatherings for growers and growing groups. The aim of these sessions is to share knowledge and make connections.
Tyfi Pobl can give travel bursaries to groups that want to visit other growing sites to get inspiration, share expertise and make supportive relationships.
Tyfi Pobl aims to identify communities that want to grow food, identify suitable land and supply inspiration, knowledge, training and support, both through the FCFCG and with other organisations.
Community foodie
Community Foodie is a project to identity, develop and support community food growing in the rural areas of the Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend and Torfaen.
The project aims to strengthen communities by increasing the amount of produce grown and consumed locally. In addition it aims to introduce valuable skills, support healthy lifestyles and bring people of all ages together, whilst raising awareness of the wider beneficial impacts of growing locally produced food.

Find out more at
Groundwork works in areas of multiple deprivation across wales. Groundwork can do design, initial landscaping, practical work, training and support. Find out more here:

Get Growing project, Mid Wales, run by the Cwm Harry Food Company
Emma Maxwell talked about the Get Growing project which is a National Lottery funded project to set up new community food growing spaces in Mid Wales, which started in March 2012.  Find out ore on the website:

Environment Wales
 Environment Wales is the name of a programme set up by the Welsh Government, rather than an organisation.

Environment Wales is a partnership in the voluntary sector, funded by the Welsh Government to contribute to sustainable development by supporting and encouraging voluntary action to protect and improve the environment.
Set up in 1992, Environment Wales has grown year on year with the original partnership expanding from 8 to 9 organisations. WCVA is the initiative's Administrative Partner. It is responsible for providing the administrative and financial framework for Environment Wales and for hosting the Administrative Team.
There are also 8 Operational Partners, which employ the Development Officer Team. These are TCV, Cylch, Eco Centre Wales, Groundwork Wales, Keep Wales Tidy, The National Trust, Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales and the Wildlife Trusts Wales.
The Development Officer Team works to provide community and voluntary groups with advice and support. Each project supported by Environment Wales is allocated a dedicated Development Officer who remains a constant point of contact.
Environment Wales operates five grant streams to support voluntary organisations and community groups undertaking practical projects that promote one or more of the following objectives:
  • to achieve sustainable improvements to the Welsh environment through practical projects;
  • to increase understanding of sustainable development and the environment through information, education and advisory services;
  • to help create new environmental initiatives which also allow communities and voluntary organisations to contribute to their social and economic needs; 
  • to support and train staff and volunteers engaged in these activities.
To find out more visit
Group discussion sessions
The gathering included group discussions and brain storming of different issues relating to supporting growing groups. These topics were discussed:
·         What works well in supporting groups?

·         What hasn’t worked?

·         How can we support groups better?

·         What are the challenges that groups face?

·         What are the challenges that we face when supporting groups?

·         Are there solutions or resources out there?

The notes for all these discussions are being written up by Abby Charles of the FCFCG and will be distributed to participants once complete. If you would like a copy, please contact Abby Charles 
What will 2020 look like? How can we work more closely together?
Katie Jones, FCFCG, summarised some of the points from discussions, then asked what organisations would like to see in the future.  These things were mentioned: shared electronic resource library; online forum; Facebook group; further “Growing the Movement” gatherings. 
There was also a strong desire to see food quality being considered over price, more focus on food and cooking in schools, more provision of allotments by councils and a better understanding of horticulture as a career.
These notes are also being written up and distributed.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Meeting about wood as a fuel, Montgomery, 7th March

"Wood Matters" is a meeting for you to find out more about wood as a fuel, with 3 knowledgeable speakers. Entry is free. For more information contact

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Keep your fingers crossed for the River Severn Custodians!

The River Severn Custodians have been shortlisted for a New Community Group award in the Tidy Wales Awards and the awards ceremony is Wednesday 27th February.
The group have been nominated for their energetic approach to protecting the River Severn in Newtown.

The aims of the group are:

  • To monitor the Severn in our area and feedback to the Environment Agency and other bodies about specific concerns
  • To remove litter from the banks and river course
  • To tackle invasive non-native weeds as appropriate
  • To improve wildlife habitats along the river
  • To improve access to the river and enjoyment of it, where that does not adversely affect wildlife habitats
  • To lobby for improvements to the river environment
The group consists of 25 local members, with a committee of 8 people. 

In this first year, the River Severn Custodians have carried out a series of surveys of the river in which teams walk or canoe sections recording the flora, fauna, river flow and features. These surveys will be incorporated into a data base that will help future monitoring of the health of the river and ensuring accessibility for visitors and local people.
The group has received funding from Keep Wales Tidy, the Severn Rivers Trust and Newtown Town Council to buy equipment and consumables to carry out survey and clean-up work.  Keep Wales Tidy has also helped with insurance for these activities.

The group has developed and published the first of several planned riverside walks, which is available to download from the website

 The group web site can be found at It is very informative and includes details of the group, the river and group activities.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Get involved in tidying up in Welshpool and Newtown

There will be a litter pick in the Bron-y-Buckley woods in Welshpool on Thursday 7th March, starting at the lower entrance to the woods next to the Ardwyn school path at 11.20am.

There will also be a litter pick with McDonalds staff on the river bank in Newtown on Monday 25th March. Meet on the grass between the Gravel car park in Newtown and the river at 10am.

Remember to wear sturdy footwear for both events and contact Sue Newham to let her know that you want to get involved. This is to ensure that she brings enough litter pickers and gloves!
Contact Sue on 07766 757145 or