Garden Volunteers Have a Lotta Bottle!
Our Aberdulais Dreamscheme has made a novel addition to their community garden: a large greenhouse made of over 2000 plastic bottles. The Dreamscheme is a community-based project which works with children and young people to reduce anti-social behaviour and improve the local area through activities like litter-picking and fence painting.
In recognition of reaching the finals of the 2012 NPT Environmental Awards in November 2012, the Dreamscheme team decided that 2013 would see a revamp of the community garden, taking on the challenge of building a bottle greenhouse.
In February, they invited members from Keep Wales Tidy and a local Neath residents’ group to a workshop on building the bottle greenhouse and the children, volunteers and our Gwalia staff got to work on collecting as many plastic bottles as they could. The collection was boosted by a generous donation of 2 lorry-loads of mixed plastic from Neath Port Talbot Council’s Recycling Department. Lead by tenant and Dreamscheme volunteer Liz Jefford, brave Gwalia staff then took on the mammoth task of cleaning the plastic bottles for use.
Staff from Gwalia and Cowlin, one of the company’s contractors, helped design and construct the frame of the greenhouse with Dreamschemer Josh Edwards.
The new greenhouse was officially opened on 6th August at the annual Dreamscheme Tea Party. Food grown in the community garden was served to friends, family members and neighbours. The children were thrilled to welcome several special guests to the event, including Elfed Roberts, our Head of Design and Special Projects (and Dreamscheme’s very own greenhouse architect) and Kathy Britton from Keep Wales Tidy.
Amanda Roberts, our Community Development Officer said “We are thrilled with our growing community garden. The children have been working hard over the last year to promote environmentally friendly ways of working in the garden and have learnt so much. At Easter we replaced the old raised beds with ones made of recycled mixed plastic, giving more growing space and in May we took part in a workshop on Food Chains and how to attract more wildlife to the garden, building a ‘Bug Hotel’. The recycled bottle greenhouse is an exciting new addition and the children are looking forward to putting it to good use”.