Y Dref Werdd is an environmental community project that was first established as a project through the Communities First programme back in 2006. Along with its sister project, Antur Stiniog, it was developed as a group that would protect and enhance the local environment in Bro Ffestiniog in a wide range of projects.
The Communities First programme provided financial support to projects like Y Dref Werdd to get off the ground by covering staff costs to make the project idea a reality. After years of developing projects that included safeguarding a local river, enabling Blaenau Ffestiniog to become a Fairtrade town, establishing various partnerships to care for parks and green spaces, the development of allotments and out of school clubs for children, the project as a whole proved to be a big success.
As the Communities First programme came to an end in 2011, Y Dref Werdd was left to think about how the project could continue without the Communities First support, and it was then that it was established as a Company Limited by Guarantee and a board of directors were appointed to support and ensure Y Dref Werdd continued. It was then that the decision to approach the Big Lottery Fund was made.
Building on what was learnt during the Communities First time, an expression of interest application was made to the People and Places fund of the Big Lottery for the project “Datblygu Tref Werdd Ddyfeisgar” (Developing a Resourceful Green Town) and an invitation was made to make a full application for funding.
In early 2015, after the hard work of the volunteer board members with the necessary consultation for the application, a grant for three years funding was awarded to run the project and develop specific projects in the Bro Ffestiniog area.
The project is split into four parts – energy, food waste, the environment and skills
We aim to work with up to 400 families over the three years to reduce the amount of energy they use in their homes to save money by using various techniques such as installing radiator foil deflecting heat back into rooms, installing shower timers in bathrooms to reduce the time spent in showers, energy saving bulb swap for ordinary bulbs and providing free draught proofing snakes to members of the community. We also give support to people that are eligible for Welsh Government schemes such as the Warm Home Discount and Nest.
Over three years we hope that 90 individuals will have gained training and qualifications with conservation skills such as dry stone walling, scything, wildflower meadow creation and many more as well as develop sessions for young people with our ‘Cynefin a Chymuned’ project which teaches children about the history, heritage, wildlife, archaeology, the environment and much more in the local area.
Our work of safeguarding our local rivers continues with this project with up to three rivers being cleared of rubbish over the three years, the work will also include tackling the invasive species that is predominant in the rivers, the Japanese knotweed and conducting awareness raising sessions with local schools. We aim to clear at least three different habitats of Rhododendron ponticum in the area as another invasive that is in the area and the work is to be carried out with volunteers and various partners including Keep Wales Tidy. We’re also developing a community green space over the three years, but by now are developing three different sites including a public space in Bryn Coed, Llan Ffestiniog, a community green space in Hafan Deg, Tanygrisiau and a community wildlife garden adjacent to the allotment site on the outskirts of the town.
This project is aimed at working with families to reduce the amount of food waste that is thrown from homes and to encourage using the brown bin facility by the local council. We also implement the nationwide campaign, Love Food, Hate Waste with local groups and establishments.
If you would like more information, please contact us.