TV bushcraft star and award-winning gardeners on the joy of volunteering


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A TV bushcraft expert and an award-winning group of gardeners have joined forces for a major event to encourage people to volunteer on projects in the Wrexham area.

ITV Wales’s popular Coast and Country star Andrew Thomas-Price will be showing how to live off the land at Spring Into Action at Plas Pentwyn, Coedpoeth, on Thursday, April 25.

The event is being organised by Wrexham County Borough Council and is aimed at increasing volunteer recruitment for local community projects and encouraging more people to play a part locally.

Andrew said: “I have travelled all over Wales and experienced its extraordinary beauty and diversity, something that is very often down to the efforts and enthusiasm of volunteers.

“They are ordinary people who do extraordinary things and they put so much into the incredibly varied work they do, and I’ve also seen how much they get out of it and how much it means to the societies and communities they live in.

“Wrexham is fortunate to have so many fantastic volunteering opportunities going on at Brymbo Heritage Centre, Plas Pentwyn, Nant Mill, Minera Quarry and elsewhere and it is wonderful to see people of all ages getting involved.”

Spring Into Action runs from 12 noon to 4pm and will feature a host of activities for all ages to try including haymaking, orienteering, apple pressing and fossil finding.

The organisations attending will include The Woodland Trust, North Wales Wildlife Trust, Groundwork, Brymbo Heritage Trust, AVOW, Minera Quarry Trust, Friends of Nant Mill, Wrexham Youth & Play Partnership.

Also there will be the Plas Pentwyn Community Garden Club whose gardening volunteers have created a heritage orchard stocked with some of Wales’s rarest native fruit trees.

For the second year in a row they have been awarded a coveted Green Flag by Keep Wales Tidy – the gardening equivalent of the Blue Flag awarded to pristine beaches.

The orchard at Plas Pentwyn Communtiy Centre, on Castle Road in the village, includes Welsh classics like the Denbigh Plum and Bardsey, Pigskin and Diamond Queen Apples as well as pears and cherries.

Nearby are the gardens with flowers, vegetables, soft fruits and herbs tended by the club which plays its part in catching them young with regular visits from pupils of nearby Penygelli Primary School who have been helping with planting, pruning and creating a bug hotel.

Founder member Moira Taylor, from Coedpoeth, said: “We’re all keen gardeners who came together about eight years ago when we attended a hanging basket class at Plas Pentwyn and someone mentioned there was a little garden here.

“We decided to grow some vegetables here and now we’ve got raised beds, lots of planting, flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetables and a garden shed.

“We’re actually on the school curriculum now and a group of eight children come every term to help out and to learn about gardening and it’s lovely to see them getting involved.”

Fellow club member Jane Robertson, a former charity worker from Coedpoeth, said: “I used to train volunteers and I understand their importance and wanted to do some volunteering myself.

“This fulfilled two aspects because I love gardening and volunteering and between us we have a terrifically extensive range of skills and that’s important.

“We work very well together and welcome new people at any time.”

Spring Into Action event has been organised by Hayley Morgan of Wrexham County Borough Council’s Business and Investment Team and she said: “We want to showcase the opportunities that exist for volunteering here in Wrexham and the many projects that people can work on.

“It’s not just about getting your hands dirty though that’s important but there are other skills that these projects need such as marketing, administration and accounting skills – everyone can play their part and learn new skills themselves.

For information about the Spring Into Action Volunteers Open Day contact Hayley.morgan@wrexham.gov.uk or ring 01978 667328.

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