Operation Nature Garden

£285 of £2k





Days left

Public Appeal  [February  /  March 2022] 

Delivering an URBAN NATURE GARDEN is a direct response to declining wildlife habitat in Abergavenny.  Small, mindful steps taken to promote harmony between nature, people and the places we share.
Native - flora and fauna - ants, amphibians, bees, beetles, birds, butterflys, dragon flies, frogs, fungi, hedgehogs, insects, pollinators, slow worms, and more - will all find their place. We will be watching for their return. 

Breathing life into an urban environment requires planning and careful handling, and the first thing we did was to understand the unique needs of the site. For a couple years we have been investigating the topography of the site: talking to people who worked and played there and taking advice from people with expertise.  A key person was Chris Betts, Hydrogeo (environmental consultant) used to live in the Street during the height of the campaign to save the building for community use, and he gave us a Saturday of his time to carry out excavations and investigatory work.
- Our sincere appreciation to Chris for stepping in at the right time and removing a tricky obstacle.

The recent grant awarded to the Centre from People's Postcode Trust
gives a major boost to our plan to increase biodiversity on the site, and it follows on the successful Local Places For Nature, Keep Wales Tidy grant that was awarded in the lockdown of 2020. Volunteers worked with KWT to lay a wildflower meadow, plant 105 new flowering/fruiting hedging plants, build two new raised beds and install a sustainable drainage system designed to manage rainwater run-off on the site. 

There's still a lot of work to do, and to achieve these aspirations for a safe, calm and functional outside area we are looking to invest considerable resources into the grounds [& building] over the next decade. To help us faciliate these changes the charity is receptive to new opportunities for local sponsorship and partnerships. 

Meanwhile, Operation Nature Garden  - is a good place to invite you to take an interest in the charity's work. 

On behalf of everyone involved - thank you for making your donation and for being part of the change.   

* When we reach £1,750 we will unlock a further donation of £250 donation from the Localgiving platform. Which is nice! *

PLEASE SHARE. Visit the website and social media to keep up to date with fundraising activities and work as it takes place. See our videos here. Thanks!

After a long campaign the Abergavenny Community Centre now occupies the former 'Park Street Infants School' - a landmark building surrounded by terraced homes built in the 1800's for railway workers. The Victorian building resides in the Grofield Ward just a short distance from the former engine sheds - the economic powerhouse of its time. For well over a Century the building served townsfolk through the provision of a school and now that the building/grounds are held in trust by a charity, for public-benefit, they are freed again to serve residents for decades more.   

How we plan
Our approach to planning is always to take the long view, and when making improvements to the building and grounds we take measured, orderly steps to ensure that the charity grows in a sustainable fashion - enabling the people whose effort it contains, to last the distance and be part of the changes that we want for all residents, and oursleves. [See Charitable Objects]

What difference will your donation make? The problem we are trying to solve...
Being a former school means that the Centre has inherited a lot of hardstanding (playgrounds).  From the outset we started to 'green and soften' the hard landscape by building some raised beds and dotting pots and tubs around the place to help people navigate an area previously occupied by three demountable classrooms which had fallen into dilapidation and subsequently removed in 2012 leaving behind a raft of small problems, and large.
A step at a time...
Taking on a sound, loved but neglected building/grounds means there are many priorities to tackle, and since taking occupancy in 2015 we are slowly building up a picture of where to direct resources into the priority areas of health, safety and energy-efficiency.

Generous aid came our way in 2019 from the Garfield Weston Anniversary Fund which enabled the Trust to create a bright welcoming space - The Welcome Room - where the infant toilets were re-housed (in 1970's) and build new restroom facilities, including an accessible toilet. The Abergavenny Town Council also contributed funds which meant that we could improve and cut the cost of heating the building, as part of the refurbishments.

In 2018 we improved the entrance from the carpark and we are preparing to lay a pedestrian path this year, too. We owe our thanks to the Welsh Churches Fund for making these, essential health and safety works possible.



Abergavenny Community Trust [Centre]

Abergavenny | Community Support & Development

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What your gift could provide


Resources: seeds, plants, books, information


Materials: ongoing maintenance, pond, plant & wildlife care


Bring people together for activities that help nature, and nurture family and community ties

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