A ROGERSTONE group has secured more than £20,000 in funding to create a community garden.

Wild About Rogerstone is a Facebook group, started by ecologist Sarah Simons, which began as a hub for wildlife gardening information and has grown into a community project, involving local schools and councillors.

The group now has more than 400 members and a dedicated committee, who aim to help wildlife in Rogerstone flourish.

Their efforts have been boosted through the Local Places for Nature grant, backed by the National Lottery Heritage Funding and Welsh Government.

South Wales Argus:

Proposed location for the community garden in Rogerstone

Ms Simons said: “I could see biodiversity declining, which is why I started the group – I wanted to spread awareness and do what I can to help.

“I wasn’t expecting the group to grow like this, but the enthusiasm is great.”

The grant will be used for ‘The Glade’ garden in Rogerstone’s Welfare Grounds which will be an open community space - the name draws inspiration from its woodland setting.

Plans for the funding include:

  • Six raised beds for growing vegetables, fruits and herbs.
  • A central bed for local primary schools - including Rogerstone Primary, Jubilee Park, High Cross and Mount Pleasant - to plant in.
  • Introducing wildflower and bulbs to the area, encouraging pollinating insects.
  • Planting fruit bushes and trees.
  • Adding benches and animal habitats.
  • Having a local artist paint a container to serve as a 'lovely backdrop.'
  • Introducing a fenced off polytunnel.
  • Introducing CCTV to avoid vandalism of the 'Glade.'

South Wales Argus:

A rough draft of the proposed community garden (Picture: Sarah Simons)

In March a separate project was given the go-ahead, but was postponed until next spring as a result of the national lockdown earlier in the year.

“I can’t believe that the day we got the go ahead for the Glade, the fire break lockdown was announced,” added Ms Simons. “We have a year to spend the funding, so it’s not a mad rush. We hope to plant the fruit trees and bushes in November and hopefully by spring we can get larger numbers of volunteers involved.”

It is hoped that the space will be used for various events and appeal to a range of local groups, including schools, nursing homes, parent groups, and more.

Rogerstone councillor, Chris Evans, said: “With all that’s going on this is great news; congratulations to Sarah and the team.

"I would recommend that our whole community get involved in the project.

“We’ve learnt that our natural environment is so important and this garden will be something for our whole community and future generations to enjoy, thanks to Heritage Lottery for funding this great project."

Rogerstone councillor, Yvonne Forsey, also welcomed news of the new finding - she said: “I would like to thank Sarah Simons for all her great work in writing the proposal and submitting a bid to the Heritage Lottery to create a Community Garden in the Welfare Grounds.

"The Community Garden will benefit the residents of Rogerstone and it will also involve the children from the local schools.

"The awarding of a grant from the Heritage Lottery is excellent news and I look forward to seeing this project take shape."