Perllan Gymunedol  Laurie Jones Community Orchard

Our first project was  to establish the Community Orchard on approximately 1 acre of land owned by  Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) at Mill Street, Abergavenny   MCC agreed a 21 year lease on the land, at a rent of £56 annually for the first 5 years.   The Orchard was planted in the winter of 2011/12 with help from local schools (Deri View Primary School, Cantref Primary School, Ysgol Cymraeg y Fenni). Initially 90 trees were planted.

The trees are a mix of dessert, culinary and cider apples; dessert and perry pears;  plums, damsons and cherries; quince and medlar   The fruit trees were sourced from Dolau Hirion Fruit Trees in Carmarthenshire.  Where possible we have used local and regional traditional varieties.  A mixed fruiting hedge of native plants was planted at the same time, provided by the Woodland Trust as part of the Jubilee Celebrations.

The grassland is managed as a hay meadow with the aim of increasing the diversity of the sward.  Initially we intended to manage the hay meadow by scything and for the first couple of years we did that.  More recently however we have engaged a contractor to mow and bale the hay.  The hay is sold to local farmers as sheep and horse fodder.

In 2016 we were fortunate to win an award from the Bags of Help scheme which is funded through Tesco. The funding has allowed us to carry out the following improvements to help make the Orchard more accessible and to enhance its biodiversity:  

  • a circular path which is accessible to all
  • an interpretation and information board
  • work to enhance the biodiversity of the grassland including seeding with Yellow Rattle
  • training for volunteers
  • an information leaflet about the Orchard
  • wooden decking adjacent to the new pond
  • permanent labels for the fruit trees

Incredible Edible Abergavenny/Bwyd Bendigedig y Fenni

Inspired by the example of Incredible Edible Todmorden we have begun to develop Incredible Edible Abergavenny.  The aim is to encourage local people, young and old, to grow their own food in an environmentally beneficial way.  We have been planting fruit, vegetables and herbs in raised beds in public places in the town for anyone to help themselves. We grow and campaign for local food and we work together for the well-being of our planet and ourselves. The beds are located in Byfield Lane Car Park, Castle Street Car Park, outside the Police Station, Brewery Yard car park, Old Station Surgery, Abergavenny Castle grounds, Hillcrest Road and St. Helen's Road.

Bee Friendly Monmouthshire

Attractive additions to the Orchard this year are two Bee Friendly Monmouthshire raised beds which are sown with a pollinator-friendly mix of wild flowers.  We look forward to seeing them bloom in the spring.

Picnic benches

Following the National Eisteddfod in Castle Meadows in August 2016 we were fortunate to be offered three picnic benches by Monmouthshire County Council. These are now installed in the Orchard ready for use by members of the community.

Green Flag Community Award

We successfully applied for the Green Flag Community Award 2016/17 which is given in recognition of achieving the national standard for parks and green spaces.  We were very pleased to accept the Award at the Monmouthshire stand at the National Eisteddfod.