Cynon Valley nature spot is a wellbeing wonder

Three children hold tomatoes to their noses

Heritage Grants

Cynon Valley
Cynon Valley Wellbeing Group
£10000
A derelict site in Cynon Valley has been transformed into a community garden full of people, nature and wildlife – and is now the perfect place for boosting mental health.

Running along the edge of a river, the site includes a wet woodland area, an old orchard, a large pond and a number of allotment spaces which grow food for a foodbank. A rustic cafe and solar powered compost toilet have been built.

The transformation has been led by the Green Valley Wellbeing Group for its Green Valley Conservation and Heritage project.

A place for wellbeing

The site now provides an ideal environment for helping people improve their wellbeing and employability skills through gardening and spending time outdoors.

The project has forged relationships with local community groups, autistic support networks, job centres, schools and organisations that care for children with special educational needs. They are also accepting social prescription referrals from GPs.

Three people workign outdoors
Spending time outdoors

Director Janis Werrett says: “I’ve seen massive changes in children being outdoors, to the point that they don't recognise the person they used to be.

I’ve seen massive changes in children being outdoors, to the point that they don't recognise the person they used to be.

– Janis Werrett, Director of Cynon Valley Wellbeing Group

“After spending years in school and being excluded from the mainstream, when they come here they realise that they do have skills.”

The project was shortlisted for a National Lottery Award in 2021.

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