GPG

GWYRDDIO PENARTH GREENING. gpgpenarth.org.uk

GPG was started as a part of Penarth and District Cytun Churches Together. From small beginnings indeed, GPG has evolved from infancy as Ecology group, into childhood as Help our Planet to the now young adult form as now named. It now operates independently and has attracted many members from the community who
are not part of any of tne churches. However they still present regular reports to the Council and we are pleased with the way that they have grown in numbers and
influence.
Well done!
GPG is on informal organisation and many people just dip in and out according
to time and inclination— so do take the plunge and find out about us — on the
web www.gpgpenarth.org.uk
Meetings are held monthly at The Windsor Public House on Windsor Rd. Full details are available on its dedicated website shown above.

Report to Cytun Executive and Council   

February, 2013

The last three months have been relatively quiet in terms of meetings, but the ongoing work on the established projects has gone on as usual.  The planters on the station are in position waiting for a fine spell in order to bring in soil and plants. Sadly, there has been no progress in relation toWordsworthParkas we have not yet heard whether the Vale of Glamorgan Council will support our proposals.  Not knowing if the project was on or off, has inevitably led to a dwindling of enthusiasm among the staunch band of people who worked so hard in the early stages.  The group laid on 3 gardening workshops in theTennysonRoadArtDepartmentin the autumn which were well received.   Shop in Penarth (SiP) has several new retailers and the new SiP cards are now issued for one year only.  A recent ‘mini survey’ of 20 of the  SiP traders showed that although the recession is affecting most local businesses, there is a strong sense of optimism about the future, and a growing awareness among local people of the need to use their local shops – or lose them.

 Plans are already underway for our third Food Festival to be held on 21st July in the Kymin.  We are just about to publish a programme of events for this year which will be distributed to all Cytun members.  In the meantime, it may be helpful to let everyone know about our next two meetings.   The first of the year, on Thursday, 21st February at 7pm is about ‘Safe Streets and Clean Air’ at which the suggestion of a 20mph speed limit will be discussed.    On Thursday, 11th April at 7pm, we are discussing Town Centre Survival ‘Keep it local’ and our AGM will also be held that evening.  Both these meetings will be held in The Windsor Arms.

 Like many small groups we are running with a very small band of hard-working volunteers.  We would very much like to welcome more people who have some time to offer and who share our green objectives.  Even if it is only a couple of hours a month – or a year, please get in touch with Anthony Slaughter our chair on 07506 272224 or email:  gwyrddio.penarth.greening@googlemail.com

 Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) report for quarter ending 31stOctober, 2012.

 This last quarter has had its moments of high activity, such as Apple Day, and more serious times such as the last general meeting which focused on the Green Deal and Home Energy Efficiency.   Apple Day, despite the general lack of apples, turned out well in the end.  People came, at first in trickles, then as the weather improved, in considerable numbers, most bearing fruit either to be pressed into juice or identified – or both.  It was not intended to be a ‘Food Festival’ like our summer event, but rather a gentle celebration of the apple and the multiple uses to which it can be put.  Cakes and chutneys were bought and recipes given out.   Children tried to bite into apples on strings and much enjoyment was had in the Pavilion where some imaginative games had been provided by Pat Breay.

 

Real progress has been made with the garden on the station.  Two planters are now in place and actual planting will take place shortly.  An enthusiastic team, led by Anthony Slaughter, also cleared much of the bank to the left of the station entrance.  This will be sown with wild flowers.  Once everything is in place, there will be some sort of opening to mark the creation of GPG’s first community garden.

 

Interest in the Shop in Penarth (SiP) scheme has grown considerably in recent months both among shoppers and retailers.  We have had 10 requests from firms wanting to join which is good, but it does pose some problems for our volunteers.  New SiP cardshave been printed and from December, cards will be sold with an expiry date.  The new cards will last for one year and we are hoping that people who have had their existing cards for more than a year will be prepared to buy a new one in order to maintain some income with which to promote the scheme.  There will be more about this in the press shortly.

 

The activities mentioned above represent the lighter side of GPG which is very aware of its main purpose; to raise awareness about climate change and encourage people to live simpler, less fossil-fuel dependent lives.  Our next management meeting will be devoted to examining to what extent we are meeting our objectives, and to finding ways of getting the green message across more effectively. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor Penarth turned green overnight!  However, we are  confident that interest is growing – as was shown when we put on Green Question Time  last year. We are hoping that our end of year meeting on Thursday, 13th December, 7pm at the Windsor Arms will evoke similar enthusiasm.  We plan to have a panel discussion with John Harris from the Guardian (great proponent of the High St fighting back in the face of supermarket domination), a speaker on Incredible Edible Todmorden and others.  This is near Christmas, so there may well be other more edible attractions.

See more about GPG on www.gwyrddio.penarth.greening.co.ukand on Facebook.

November, 2012

 

Report to Cytun Executive and Council from Gwyrddio Penarth Greening

For Summer, 2012

 

Overview: This has been a period when a lot of our energy has been devoted to food,   In May the Open Meeting was devoted to various aspects of how food is sourced. Speakers  included the manager of the local Co-op, a forager and an academic, all of whom stimulated a serious discussion which was an excellent kick start to the 2nd GPG Food Festival in July which was (we believe) even more successful than last year, with more stalls, more people visiting – and more sun!  Quite apart from the excellent array of local food and wine, we were able to promote some of our key aims more effectively.  The no bottled water policy and GPG information stand clearly advertised the fact that it was a GPG event.   Sadly, we had to cancel plans to mark International Car Free Day on 22nd September because of lack of resources – mostly human.  This is something we shall revisit next year, allowing more time to plan.   There is information about Car Free Day on our website (gpgpenarth.org.uk).

 

Projects: 

Orchard:    The trees have grown well and are looking healthy.  Nothing ready to harvest yet, but patience will be rewarded.

Harvest Penarth and Abundance:  Another Apple Day is planned for October when volunteers will be collecting unwanted apples and pears from people not wanting them to go to waste.  Last year’s event in Belle Vue Park where fruit juice was produced by our own press, apples identified, chutneys made and sold, and cakes of all kinds tasted, was much enjoyed.  The date for Apple Day will be announced in the Penarth Times, and anyone with spare fruit, or with time to spare picking, please get in touch with Anthony on 0781 0334762.

Community GardensNews has just come through that National Rail has granted Landlord Consent for GPG to have planters on Penarth Station.  This is the culmination of much work by Anthony behind the scenes and he, and a small band of enthusiasts, can’t wait to get going. The Bute Lane Nursery Project is on hold while funding is found for the fence.  The Grow and Play (GAP) Project are waiting for formal permission from the Vale of Glamorgan Council, but they have made good use of the time by organising a series of mini training sessions on aspects of gardening for all ages.  More to come in the autumn. A new goal post was put up inWordsworthPark earlier so something good has come of their efforts.

Shop in Penarth (SiP):  This project gained a lot of momentum after the introduction of the new leaflet and the distribution of 5 £10 vouchers each month.  It is one of those projects that constantly need to be reviewed, re-jigged and publicised.  The current supply of cards is running out and we will shortly be discussing with the retailers how we can best take the scheme forward.

Eisteddfod:  For the first time GPG had a presence at the Eisteddfod, taking along the Welsh version of the SiP leaflets plus much of our promotional material which our helpful Welsh speaking retailers had translated.  It was quite a lot of effort for the four people involved, but it did provide an opportunity to promote our green agenda and the Shop in Penarth Project to a wider audience.

Plot Share:  This has not really taken off in the way it was planned.  There are a few ‘matches’ but the greater need is for actual allotments.  A few GPG stalwarts were disappointed at the cancellation of a consultation meeting on allotments, but pleased to learn that Anthony will have an opportunity to speak at a Town Council meeting shortly.

 

Future Events:   The next Open Meeting will be on Thursday, 25th October at 7pm at The Windsor Arms.  The topic will be ‘Green Deal and home energy efficiency’.  Harvest Penarth will be towards the end of October – details will be on our website:  www.gpgpenarth.org.uk and on face book..

September 2nd 2012

Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) Quarterly Update May, 2012

 

General:

At the AGM in March GPG appointed a new chair, Anthony Slaughter. Anthony has excellent green credentials as a non-driving vegetarian who  has taken a very active part in GPG over the last 2 years.  He organised the planting of the orchard in Cosmeston, took a lead role in GPG’s first Food Festival and started  the Abundance Scheme and Apple Day last year. Anthony leads a supportive and energetic committee which plans to continue with the hands-on projects, but also take forward initiatives on home energy and new  events such as Car Free Day.

 The main event over the last 3 months was undoubtedly Green Question Time at which 4 Assembly Members and the head of the Green Party for Wales took some challenging questions from a packed  audience.  Chaired by Professor Ian Hargreaves, this event proved there is a real interest in climate  change in Penarth and for green issues generally.  In early May another general meeting on recycling  and the problems associated with incineration generated a lot of interest.

We have given several talks and presentations over the last few months and are always happy to come and speak to groups.

Ongoing Projects:  The Shop in Penarth (SiP) scheme is still going strong with its main aim of encouraging people to shop in  Penarth and leave their cars at home. Some shops have really got the idea now and are promoting good offers, others need more encouragement.  The 5 £10 vouchers which can be won each month create interest, as do the occasional articles in the Penarth Times on shops which have done something particularly ecological.

At least one community garden supported by GPG is likely to become a reality this year;  Bute Lane Nursery is waiting on the result of a grant application, the Station Garden is waiting on the final go ahead from Arriva Trains and the Wordsworth Park (GAP) project has been arranging workshops on various aspects of gardening as it waits for the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s decision about proposals for Wordsworth Park.  Plot Share has  remained rather static but one new match between garden owner and prospective gardener was achieved recently.

Future Events:   General Meeting ‘ Local and Sustainable Food’ , Thursday, 14th June, 6pm at the Windsor Arms

A panel of four, including a forager, the Manager of the Co-op, a restaurant owner and an academic will discuss various aspects of food;  sourcing;   quality; fair-trade and much more with questions from the floor.

Food Festival Sunday, 15th July, 11am – 4pm in The Kymin

 Over 30 stalls of locally sourced and/or produced food with demonstrations, information, activities for children  and excellent food to buy and eat on site!

Car Free Day – This is planned to take place in late September. It is hoped that the day will encourage more  people to use public transport, and help car users think about driving less frequently – reducing carbon   emissions and making the local environment a healthier and safer place in which to live.  In the planning of this   event, GPG is gathering opinions from local traders, residents and organisations to ensure that Car Free Day has local support and is also effective and enjoyable.   Watch out for information in the press and on our  website.

Thanks:    As a small organisation, we are heavily dependent on the faithful volunteers who support our events, sit on committees, take posters etc.  If anyone would like to join us, go on our mailing list or become a member, please contact Anthony Slaughter,

e – gwyrddio.penarth.greening@googlemail.com

t-   029 20700005

or visit our website – www.gpgpenarth.org.uk

we are also on facebook  and twitter – @gpgpenarth

 

Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) Report for November 2011 – January 2012

 Overview:

Those of us closely involved with GPG regularly remind ourselves that our main aim is to raise awareness about climate change and peak oil, and in doing so help prepare people locally for the changes that lie ahead. We try not to be diverted by various other ‘green avenues’ down which we are sometimes attracted.  We could all too easily become involved in international campaigns, or engage  in scientific debates and economic arguments.  But, we are too thin on the ground for such excitements, and know that  we must concentrate on where we believe we are beginning to make some progress – here in Penarth with our projects and awareness-raising meetings and events.  These issues cross my mind as I come to the end of three years of chairing GPG and I wonder, in the urgency of a changing climate, if our small efforts are worthwhile. On balance, I think that all individual action, however small, is vitally important in helping us become more responsible about the way we use the earth’s precious resources. Individual and community action is empowering, and can replace that sense of fear and helplessness that many feel in the face of forces that are unimaginable.  It is my hope that GPG will continue to work quietly and persuasively within this community to help it move towards a more sustainable and self-reliant future.  And now to what GPG has been doing over the last three months.

Awareness Raising:  Two meetings – one on public transport and cycling for all, and one at which we watched ‘The Power of Community’, an interesting account of how Cuba survived after losing access to Soviet oil in the l990s.  Both meetings were well attended and created a lot of discussion and interest.  We had a small presence at the Christmas Tree light switching on ceremony in December, to highlight the use of ‘green’ decorations and renewable energy.   GPG had a simple tree in the Christmas Tree Festival and Shop in Penarth also had a tree.

GPG Local Food Festival:  Date:  Sunday, 15th July 11am – 4pm in the Kymin.  Plans are underway for a repeat of last year’s event, but with more emphasis on the ‘local’.  Many people commented last year on the fact that this was a ‘real Penarth event of the old kind’!  It was also an opportunity to make the connection between supporting local production, air miles, the local economy etc. – so worth the effort, talking of which…if anyone has a few hours to spare that day, do let us know!

Community Gardens:   After months of patient behind the scenes work & negotiation, real progress has been made on all three of the proposed sites.  Bute Lane Nursery is now at the planning stage and a grant application will be submitted over the next few weeks.  Arriva Trains have agreed to GPG creating raised beds on part of the platform and working on part of the bank alongside the station.  A full report onWordsworthPark was submitted to the Vale of Glamorgan Council before Christmas and a summary of the proposals will be put forward for consideration by councillors shortly. Rome, and community gardens weren’t built in a day – or even a year!

Shop in Penarth (SiP):  After a lot of input from local artists, copywriters, computer experts etc., SiP was re-launched with a brand new leaflet (with an interesting map) and a new voucher scheme.    SiP remains one of our flagship projects as it not only supports the local economy and encourages people to shop locally, it is also a very useful vehicle through which to promote environmental issues.  NB – do remember that at the beginning of every month 5 £10 vouchers are out in SiP shops to be won – if your card is the first to be produced.

Orchard:  Anthony and his faithful band of enthusiasts planted 5 new trees during January, just before the hard weather set in.  The orchard inCosmestonPark is becoming well-established, and we hope to get a sign up soon indicating what it is.

The future…    AGM on Thursday, 8th March, 6pm in the Windsor Arms, followed by an ‘Any Questions on the Environment’.    So far we have 3 Assembly members of different parties taking part and hope to have a further 2.  This is yet another way for us to not only voice our concerns about the environment and climate change, but also to hear the views of our politicians, and hopefully influence at least some of them.  Do come along.

We are beginning to plan for the Car Free Day in September, and also hope to have another event around the general issues of recycling (possibly in April), with particular reference to the proposed incineration system.

Again, our thanks to all the Churches who so helpfully put up our posters and support us in various ways.

Tricia Griffiths (Chair)

Phone:  029 2070 7828

Email:  gwyrddio.penarth.greening@googlemail.com   Web site: www.gpgpenarth.org.uk

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Report for September – October 2011

The most significant event for GPG over the last 2 months was Apple Day on 16th October. The weather was good and many people visited the various displays and activities in Belle Vue Park where we were made very welcome by the Friends of Belle Vue. Apples were identified, pressed and toffee apples eaten. Apple products were sold and apple games played. It was all good ‘old fashioned’ fun, but more importantly, it was a real opportunity to involve people with a common food which many of us take for granted, and to learn about its culture and uses. And we had many questions about GPG and what we are all about which was good. Apple Day was the culmination of lots of apple picking by several volunteers. It has been a good year for apples, and many that would otherwise have gone to waste have been distributed to good causes. The Abundance Scheme on which our project was based, is one we believe will work well in Penarth but we will need more volunteers, ladders and storage!

We were disappointed to learn that the Government is reducing the feed-in-tariff for people investing in solar panels. We had hoped that a Solar Co-op group would help reduce Penarth’s carbon footprint, but this has put a stop to progress on that front, at least for time being. Another small disappointment was having to give up the Christmas Food Festival. We were unable to find an indoor venue and the complications of arranging a street market event were just too complicated. We are looking into this for the future.

Plans are now well ahead for the re-launch of the Shop in Penarth scheme. It continues to operate but we are developing new publicity material and a leaflet which we hope will encourage people to shop locally, because it not only helps the local economy and cuts carbon, but it also plays an important part in keeping the community together during difficult times.

Our involvement in the Bute Cottage Nursery community garden is progressing well. The public opinion survey of Wordsworth Park was completed in August and a public meeting was held in early October to hear the results. The survey of 1100 homes showed a majority in favour of improvements to the park and a report is to be sent to the Vale of Glamorgan Council asking for permission to take the idea of creating better facilities and a modest garden area forward.
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Our next general meeting on Thursday, 10th November is focusing on transport. Speakers from Sustrans, Pedal Power and the Bike Club will in different ways highlight the importance of thinking more carefully about how we get around, and whether better use can be made of public transport. GPG intends to take part in the national ‘No Car Day’ next September.

As we come towards the end of a very busy year for GPG, we are beginning to think about plans for next year. We definitely intend to continue with all our local projects. On a wider front it is likely that GPG will begin to concentrate on some of the more serious aspects of climate change, and how we can tackle them here in Penarth…watch this space!

GPG contact details:
Tricia Griffiths (Chair) 029 20 707828
Email: gwyrddio.penarth.greening@googlemail.com
Website: www.gpgpenarth.org.uk See us also on Face book

Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) – quarterly update for March – May 2011

Overview: Another hectic three months. On the general PR front we took part in the National Pier Event in March and several stalwarts ‘set up shop’ on the pier, sold the new GPG bags and distributed leaflets. Two of us have been out and about giving talks – to the WI, All Saints Church, the Men’s Group, the Horticultural Society & the Rotary Club. A recycling surgery in April, organised jointly by GPG and the Vale of Glamorgan Council, was appreciated by people trying to getting a grasp on the complexities of sorting rubbish for recycling. We were delighted to be able to support a group of post-graduate students from the Welsh School of Architecture whose research has been on sustainability in Penarth. They are about to report their findings on a) current domestic energy use (how to reduce) b) the potential of self-sufficiency in Penarth c) mapping demand and supply of energy and looking at alternatives and d) the Pier Pavilion development. GPG hopes to be able to work in depth on at least one of their proposals in relation to either self-sufficiency or energy. We continue to use our small projects as vehicles through which to convey serious messages about climate change. Progress is reported below.

SHOP IN PENARTH (SiP) Loyalty Card Scheme: This has been subject to its first independent evaluation and results are mixed. Food shops were used for this early review. Most retailers appreciate the scheme, and over 30% of shoppers in Penarth know about SiP. The main problem is about promotion. Where offers are clearly advertised and are attractive, people use their cards. This scheme will be reviewed in depth in August. If it is to continue we shall need make use of facebook and better ways of advertising generally. SiP bags, designed by a local primary school pupil, were distributed free to all the participating schools and are selling well in many SiP businesses.To date over 1500 cards have been sold & we have 49 businesses in the scheme.

FOOD GROUP This small band of enthusiasts is punching well above its weight at the moment with ambitious plans for Penarth’s first local food festival on 17th July in the Kymin. They are hoping to get 20 stands with food coming from within a 50 mile radius of Penarth. Stalls will include bread, honey, organic produce, cakes, preserves, meat, eggs and more… As always with GPG projects, this event has a strong ‘green’ agenda – e.g. locally produced food which is bought in Penarth means less carbon emissions. The group is also supporting an initiative to start another food co-op in Penarth whereby bags of vegetables can be purchased cheaply. The GPG bi-monthly meeting in April was on food and enjoyed an excellent talk by Steve Garrett on the Riverside Market.

ORCHARD AND PENARTH HARVEST Much to our delight, trees in the community orchard in Cosmeston blossomed in April (nothing had been expected in this first year). Sadly two trees have died (rabbits & the weather) – these will be replaced in October when we hold an Apple Day. ‘Harvest Penarth’ is the next venture for this group. If you hate to see fruit rotting because no one has time or energy to pick it, this is for you! We hope to get a number of people with fruit trees together with volunteers prepared to pick the fruit and a) distribute it to local groups/organisations where it would be appreciated b) demonstrate what can be made out of the harvested crop and c) ensure that tree owners get their fair share. Anyone unable to harvest their fruit, or who wants to get involved as a volunteer contact: 07810334762 or email: as.penarth@gmail.com

COMMUNITY GARDENS After considerable background work, three projects are now on the drawing board: the station; Bute Nursery (in collaboration with the school) and the Rec (Wordsworth Park). Wordsworth Park is potentially the project which will involve most local people. Following an initial public meeting, 2 groups have emerged wanting to make more use of the space – one interested in gardening and the other in improving play areas for children and young people. It is very early days, and the group is working on a questionnaire-based survey which will give a better idea of what local people want – & don’t want. While waiting for the survey to be carried out, a picnic is planned to take place on the Rec on Sunday, 5th June 12 – 4pm. Picnic in the Park is part of the national Eden Project’s Big Lunch idea. It is an event for all ages – More details on 07773949485 or go to www.gpgpenarth.org.uk

FINANCE: For general administration, GPG raises money through voluntary contributions and occasional raffles etc. We are also helped by grants for specific projects and are delighted to report that we have recently been given £300 by Penarth Town Council and £2,480 by the Co-operative Group – both for the Community Garden projects.

Future Events: Sunday, 5th June 12 – 4pm Picnic in the Park (The Rec, Wordsworth Ave)
Thursday, 2nd June 7pm in the Windsor Arms, Windsor Road – Green Drinks (just to chat)
Sunday, 17th July 11am – 3pm GPG Local Food Festival – The Kymin
Thursday, July, 6pm in The Windsor Arms – Is solar energy for you and me?
Good News! We are delighted to hear that the P1 Bus service is back – let’s use it and keep it!
Want to help? Help is always needed with our projects – particularly at the moment with the Food Festival
and the Penarth Harvest. Ideas about making the SiP scheme work better? Venues to
put the Sip leaflets? Please let us know.
Questions/offers of help: 029 2070 7828/ email:gwyrddio.penarth.greening@googlemail.com

Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) – Quarterly update for June – August 2011

Overview: The quarter started with hectic preparations for the Big Picnic and the Local Food
Festival and ended with an excellent presentation on solar power and the launch of an Abundance Scheme.. The big events certainly stretched our small project groups, but our long-term projects have survived. We are still on that learning curve experienced by new organisations in relation to curbing enthusiasm for new enterprises, in the interests of putting down firm foundations. Our awareness of this problem has stopped us getting involved in national campaigns, and in becoming too drawn into the wider ‘green industry’. Our focus remains simple: to raise awareness about climate change and develop ideas that will help Penarth become a more resilient and sustainable community. It is a serious business, but along the way we are enjoying working together with more people from different parts of the community to make Penarth a greener town.

Projects: Food: Undoubtedly, the organisation of the Local Food Festival was a major undertaking which gave us a few worrying moments. It all came good on the day which dawned dark and grey, but gradually lightened. In all, over 30 food stalls filled the Kymin with many others providing information, food to eat and things to do. Hundreds came and feedback from both stall-holders and the public was very positive. We were particularly pleased by the number of people who referred to the event as a real ‘old Penarth occasion’. It was all about local food and sustainability, but it was a real opportunity for GPG to takes its message to a wider audience. We hope to have a smaller event before Christmas – date and venue yet to be agreed.
Community Gardens: We are waiting on Arriva Trains to give us final permission before taking the station project forward.. The Bute Lane Nursery Project is progressing gradually with GPG in a supportive, advisory role. The Wordsworth Park initiative is waiting on the results of a survey delivered to 1100 houses. This has been a large piece of work, but no planning can take place without knowing what local people want. Before embarking on the survey, this group, with much help from local residents, arranged a very enjoyable ‘Picnic in the Park’.
Shop in Penarth (SiP) Loyalty Card Scheme: SiP was independently evaluated in June and, like the curate’s egg, it was found to be ‘good in parts’. Most of the retailers appreciate the scheme, want it to continue, and value it for helping to highlight the need for support for local shops; some found the publicity poor and some had some quite exciting ideas about future developments – including a £50 monthly prize for SiP card holders. We are now looking at the evaluation and recommendations carefully, and are plan to re-launch the scheme shortly.
Orchard and Harvest Penarth (Abundance) The orchard continues to grow and we were delighted by the amount of blossom in the Spring. We are aware of the amount of undergrowth, but this is for a purpose (details on request), and the council does cut the area periodically. GPG people clear the ground immediately beneath the trees regularly. We have launched a small abundance scheme (similar to the first one started in Sheffield). 9 adults and 4 children picked many bags of apples this week in the garden of someone overwhelmed with fruit. The aim is to prevent waste, make good use of the fruit and help people become aware of where our food comes from. We have deliberately started small, but anyone wanting to join in is very welcome. Look out for details of GPG’s first Apple Day on Sunday, 16th October when we shall be doing interesting things with fruit and having a get together. .
Solar Power: Several of our members have been researching the whole issue of solar electricity – both for domestic use and in relation to creating a Solar Coop. A presentation given recently will shortly be on our web site: www.gpgpenarth.org.uk Quite apart from providing an objective view with the pros and cons for individuals, there is a lot about how one can get involved in the Coop idea. This will enable large public buildings to generate their own electricity by use of photvoltaic panels, which would be a modest but useful step towards reducing Penarth’s carbon footprint. GPG will not be running the Coop, but is very happy to have acted as a catalyst and we shall continue to support
and promote the scheme.

Future Events: Apple Day, Sunday, 16th October – time and venue to be arranged.
Food Coop starts on Friday, 9th September. Call in at the Art Department, Tennyson Road between 3.15 and 3.45pm to place an order for a mixed bag of fruit, veg, choice of salad or stir-fry. Cost £2.50 per bag. Orders to be collected following week. Heather Giles is running this scheme and would welcome volunteers: 07990 758752. This is not a GPG scheme, but we are very supportive.
Next GPG meeting: Thursday, 10th November – 6pm at the Windsor Arms

GPG Contact details: Tricia Griffiths (GPG chair) 029 2070 7828
email: gwyrddio.penarth.greening@googlemail.com Website: www.gpgpenarth.org.uk Facebook: Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG)

Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) report Cytun Council for February 2011

Overview: Sometimes we worry that we are not working hard enough at getting our message across, but looking back over the last 3 months does show that at least we have been trying! Probably most effort has gone into establishing the community orchard, making plans for getting at least one community garden going in the near future and ensuring that we have a steady flow of events that highlight the climate change issue. Like many small organisations, our greatest threat is that we can be tempted into doing too much too soon, and this is not helped by knowing that we are working in area where time, as they say, ‘is of the essence’. We could do more if we had more people involved. Our faithful band of hard-core support mostly comes from people who are working full time and there is a great need for more input. This is an unashamed plea for help – we are not looking for environmental experts, but people who believe in what we are doing and want to lead the way to a more sustainable, slower, environmentally friendly way of life. GPG is informal and friendly and commitment can be small or great – according to time and inclination, and age is no barrier. Whatever you bring, you will be welcome. Now to the projects:

ORCHARD: The trees were brought down from Llandeilo just before the great freeze and planted at the beginning of January in Cosmeston Park by some real enthusiasts. So Penarth now has its own orchard which will shortly be enclosed by hedging plants that will encourage wild life.
COMMUNITY GARDENS: This group has made real strides and is working on three potential projects: Bute Lane Nursery, where we would be supporting an existing group; Wordsworth Park where we are hoping to get enough local support to get a really useful garden going (PUBLIC MEETING – Wed, 9th March, 7.30pm at Tennyson Road Arts Centre) and a small venture on Penarth Station, given approval by Arriva Trains.
SHOP IN PENARTH (SiP) LOYALTY CARD SCHEME: This is at the halfway point of the pilot and we are looking at new ways of keeping interest going. Some shops are very good at advertising their offers and involvement, others haven’t quite got the idea yet. The monthly awards to specific shops which have been particularly green seem to be popular and are well covered by the Penarth Times which is helpful. The latest offers are now out and lists are available in the participating businesses, on line: www.gpgpenarth.co.uk and in the Glebe Street Post Office, Fourways, Morgan Wilson Monumental Masons in Cornerswell Road. Above all, we are asking people with cards to use them!
FOOD GROUP: Their big event will be a GPG Local Food Festival to be held at the end of the Penarth Festival in the Kymin. They are also organising a picnic on 5th June on the Cliff Top – more details on both events later.
THE PENARTH BAG: Prizes for the three winning entries for this project were awarded by the Mayor of Penarth, Cllr. Paul Church in November. We are having slight problems in transferring the design to an affordable bag, but hopefully these will soon be overcome and the bags should be available in March.
SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT: No progress on this at the moment.
RAISING AWARENESS: Our bi-monthly meetings in the Windsor Arms continue and apart from our usual updating session, we had an informative talk from the Energy Saving Trust in January. We took part in the Christmas Tree Festival and, although not prize winners, we were proud of the fact that our entry was carbon neutral in that the tree was growing, decorations were recycled and it had no lights. Someone commented “A humble tree” which was in a funny way appropriate and pleasing. We have given talks to the Men’s Fellowship and the Horticultural Society, and are always happy to come along to any groups to explain what we are doing in general or on any of the specific projects. We are particularly pleased with the progress made by the MSc students from the Welsh School of Architecture, who have chosen to work on sustainability in Penarth. . They made their first presentation at the end of January and it was good to see how much research they had already done on a whole range of issues that are central to our concerns (it is the kind of background information we need, but would never have the resources to achieve). They are keen that their projects should help GPG and in due course they will be making a further presentation with some recommendations which we look forward to hearing.
FUTURE EVENTS: AGM – Monday, 7th March, 6pm in the Windsor Arms. This is also one of our bi-monthly information exchange events. Recycling Event in Windsor Road, in conjunction with the Vale of Glamorgan Council – late April – date to be confirmed. This is help us find out exactly what we should be recycling and how. Big Picnic – 5th June, Cliff Top. GPG Local Food Festival, July – details later.

Tricia Griffiths (chair GPG) , February, 2011
Contact: www.gpgpenarth.org.uk Tel: 029 2070 7828