The Garw Green Guide


The Garw Valley Green Strategy


In 1993, Groundwork Bridgend was commissioned by the Garw Valley Community Council, with the support of the Local Council, (then Ogwr Borough Council and now Bridgend County Borough Council) to produce a strategy for environmental improvement in the Garw Valley. After consultation with the community, the Garw Valley Green Strategy was formulated.


Groundwork Bridgend and its Garw Valley Partners secured over 2 million from the European Regionai Development Fund and from the Millennium Commission to fund the Strategy's programme of improvements. These are the Community Route linking the valley to Bridgend County Borough's Access-for-All network of routes, the installation of a valley passenger line and the improvement of eight sites in the villages of Blaengarw, Pontycymer, Pontyrhyl, Llangeinor and Betws.


The Garw Green Guide is unique in its aim, in its production process and in its final form.


It presents a selection of the results of surveys of the Garw Valley Green Strategy sites made by schools in the valley. The Primary school pupils surveyed individual sites and the Comprehensive school pupils surveyed the materials and colours of the whole valley.


The sites are illustrated with a selection of the pupil's results.


The colour survey is of general importance and, therefore, colour charts related to each site can be seen on the appropriate pages. The colours are arranged in three categories:


1. Building materials,

2. Paintwork

and 3. Groundcover.


The final pages show the most characteristic building materials, vegetation, groundcover and colours of the valley arranged together in chart form. The RAL Chart, a European standard range of colours. has been used as the colour guide.


The Guide is intended as a reference for use by Groundwork Bridgend and its partners, by businesses and by the general public. It is hoped that it will guide all users to ensure that all built and natural additions in the valley will conform to the present characteristics of the valley. It is considered that, if the Garw Valley is to become an attractive place that will encourage income from visitors and future inhabitants, then care must be taken to ensure that the appearance of the environment is pleasant, homogeneous and co-ordinated. The varied greens, soft greys and russet browns of the valley with its sudden blaze of rich purple heather in the summer and warm golds in the autumn are restful and attractive and should not be marred by the kind of garish reds, yellows and blues sometimes found in paintwork.


The Guide is intended to be a useful data reference to assist the community and its organisations in a unique environmental improvement programme.


Green IT


Green IT in the Garw Valley is a Groundwork Bridgend partnership programme sponsored by Rio Tinto pic and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. Since April 1997, working with schools in the Garw Valley, with local businesses and with partner organisations and the Local Authority, Groundwork Bridgend involved school children in the regeneration of their environment via 'real-life' situations and projects. The Green IT programme enabled children to play an important part in the improvements outlined in the Garw Valley Green Strategy. There were two phases in the Green IT programme.


Phase 1 involved five schools in looking at a variety of designated sites in the valley. The pupils engendered a wealth of information for reference purposes. A small selection of their work is included in this guide. A comprehensive display of their results was presented at the Blaengarw Community Education Centre for Community Consultation over a period of two months.


Phase 2 the design phase, of the Green IT programme commenced in September 1997 and ran to the end of February 1998. Other schools joined the programme for this phase.



Marion Street play area


In Marion Street park I would like to see a variety of changes. Firstly the park needs to be levelled out so it will be flat. Then they should take away all the concrete from under the rocking horse and slide and replace it with astroturf or woodchips.


They should create an area for small children to play. They need more equipment, such as swings and roundabouts. Perhaps an adventure playground with tyre swings and slides. There should also be a sign to stop dogs fouling in the park. My grandparents and parents also agree that the park should be improved.


Pupil's pictures



Victoria Park play area


We can hear the 'bleep bleep' of a fork-lift truck it's very annoying. There are thirty cars here now. One lorry has left and you can hear music (sometimes). Grass is growing wild. There is a cadets hut next to Tanks and Drums, I'm sure they don't like it either. Dogs also run free. There are terraced houses across the road. There are chippings on the car park so any child could fall and the surface is very uneven and hard.


The 'bleep bleep' is made by a fork truck loading and unloading a lorry. There are weeds nearly everywhere. There are a couple of trees here and there. I only hope that Groundwork can change Tanks and Drums. There is lots of rubbish too. Please change the car park.

Pontycymer square


Pontycymer is both man-made and a natural area. It is in a valley. It has a lot of children.


There is a library, a leisure centre, a bowls green, a post office, 2 pubs, 4 clubs, 2 parks, 2 football fields, 1 Chiriese restaurant, I Indian restaurant, a betting office, 1 chip shop, 2 bus stops, tennis courts and a long string of shops. There is a friendly atmosphere.


To improve there should be more places for teenagers to go later in the evenings. The activities such as the tennis courts and bowling green should be made cheaper so younger children can afford them.


Pupil's pictures



Pontyrhyl is mostly natural. The houses are built next to a mountain which has paths that lead to the Garw Fechan Woodland Park. The mountain is very big and covers the whole area of Pontyrhyl.


Pontyrhyl does have a few houses. The main street is West Rhondda which is built on the main road. There are also two other roads called Garw Fechan Road and Mount Pleasant which is built at the top of a hill. It has one pub called the Braichycymmer Hotel, which is in the heart of village. There is a park opposite it in which there are swings, a climbing frame, a slide, a football pitch and a basketball court. There are quite a few cars down there nearly everybody in the village has one, but if you need to get something from the shops, the nearest one is in Pontycymer, there is a bus service which runs to other valleys and down to Bridgend. I like living in Pontyrhyl because the people around me make it a friendly environment.


Pupil's pictures



A Day in Betws


My village is friendly. It's nice and quiet. Where I live it's peaceful. There are fields to play football on and the shops have good food in them. There are nice houses and fields to camp out in and good park. It has mainly semi-detached houses and is clean.


You can go to the shops and buy sweets, cans, toys. You can go to the park which has various items to play on. I like the area for football and different games. I also like the library and disco.


What I don't like is there are no places to go except the Boys Club which gets boring if you keep on going.


Pupil's pictures


Pupil's pictures