Bont Byw... ('a living Bont')
This project looked in a holistic way at helping the community of Pontarddulais become more environmentally sustainable. A variety of themes were addressed and events and activities organised around those themes. An important part of the project was linking with existing groups, societies, chapels and churches and schools, to inform them of the project and to incorporate environmental aspects into some of the activities they already do. The logo to the left was specially designed for this initiative and the main ideas came from the Eco-group at Pontarddulais Comprehensive School. The emphasis is clearly that we can all make a difference even by doing little things!
So some of the achievements of the project are: we attended the carnival and Pontarddulais Show with a stand explaining about the project and offering various environmental information. The 'Vital Signs'exhibition was erected outside the comprehensive school for over a week and then in the Autumn it was outside on the main shopping street. We also organised a 'swap shop' event. We were busy informing groups of the project and discussing ways they could get involved which is an important part of developing the relationship within the community. Facilitation -the bringing together of people to carry out various activities is key and, this has happened in the case of the comprehensive school pupils and Friends of Coedbach Park group. Our project display boards have been on show at the local library and at the local produce market . In that event we've been giving out various goodies and information on certain topics each time- they ranged from 'hippo' bags for water saving in toilets in the home, to a cookery demonstration by a local chef who bought the fresh ingredients from the market stalls and then cooked three courses with it! A demonstration that local food is good. A waste amnesty took place where large unwanted items were placed outside for collection and reuse, and in partnership with the Council's recycling team we've arranged talks about real nappies at local toddler groups. In mid November we worked with two other organisations (PONT & Keep Wales Tidy) to organise a clean up session on Cefn Drum mountain in the area, and we had 10 keen volunteers turn out. A basic Gardening workshop was held in Canolfan y Bont- emphasising how to grow your own vegetables, thus having your own supply of fresh, healthy vegetables which is better for you and the environment!
Our Carbon Footprint Challenge with around 9 households has finished. Initial introductory sessions were arranged where we explained about the need for cutting our carbon emissions and asked each of them to complete a footprint survey. They were given tailored advice, tips and ideas on actions to take to cut their footprint and get experts in to help if necessary.
Most recently our focus was on producing a Community Green Map for the Bont. Entries have been suggested by local people with our support, in a variety of ways. Free Digital media classes were run where participants have learnt about digital photography- how to upload and edit photos. Some of these photos will end up on printed map itself. We have also held consultations with a variety of groups where participants have recorded relevant locations on the map. The map is now finished and has been circulated to the residents of the Bont via the Bont Bulletin and is also available in locale for example in the Library or Canolfan Y Bont. You can also download a PDF of the map from our website here.
Although the Bont Byw project itself has come to an end, we aim to set up an Environmental /Sustainability Group in the area in conjunction with Pontarddulais Partnership to continue building on the foundation of what's been achieved. We hope it will contribute ideas to future small scale environmental projects. If you are interested in being a part of this, let me know!
We are also running a project to do with rivers; raising awareness of them and connecting local people with the waterways in their area. For more information please contact Dai Power at Sustainable Swansea - see our contact page for details.
So, if you live in Pontarddulais and have any comments about any of the above, then please get in touch.