Rover Way allotment group reaps benefits of charity windfall

One of Cardiff’s most culturally diverse allotment associations is planning to make gardening accessible to the disabled and beginners after securing a large charity windfall.

Pengam Pavilion Allotments, off Rover Way in Pengam, has been a site for keen gardeners since 1927 and currently has around 70 members producing a wide range of produce, including fruit, vegetables and flowers.

They have spent years cultivating the land themselves, supported by Cardiff Council’s allotment services team, and making good use of their limited funds by recycling materials to make sheds and polytunnels.

Now, however, they have received a major donation from building supplies company Travis Perkins in the form of railway sleepers and other materials to help develop a reclaimed corner of their site and create new plots suitable for new and disabled gardeners.

The Pengam allotments association president, Dennis Ramsey, said the donation – from Travis Perkins’ Legacy Fund – came after he and his members had worked hard to clear a half-acre area that was overgrown with brambles and trees.

“We wanted to do what we could here to create more space. Once we’d cleared the land, we invited the council to see what we’d done and they were so impressed that they put us forward for the Legacy Fund.

“Now, with the help of the council, we intend to create about 21 small ‘starter gardens’ for those who are new to allotments and a number of raised beds that will be specially adapted for disabled users.”

Tracey Woodberry, the association’s secretary, said she hoped the transformation of the plot would be complete within two or three months.

“We know we have a lot of work still to do but we’re confident we will get everything done before the summer.

“We still have more donated materials to come, including top soil, and stone dust to create good access to the plots.”

Images courtesy of Cardiff Council

The association prides itself on its inclusivity and boasts members from almost 20 different ethnic communities within Cardiff, including gardeners from Portugal, Turkey, Yemen, Iraq, Nepal and Bangladesh. It also has a high proportion of women members.

“We have expanded a lot in recent years,” said Dennis, “and we have always tried to make the best use of what resources we can find. We’re always scouring social media for bargains and have become expert at turning old trampoline frames into polytunnels, for example.”

A Cardiff Council spokesman said it had received a number of applications from allotment groups across the city for a share of Travis Perkins’ Legacy Fund but had been particularly impressed by Pengam Pavilion’s plans.

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