Parking for the Mountain Bike Trails, Coedwig y Plant! Cwm Garw, Parc Calon Lan and the Community Route is available at the Parc Calon Lan Visitor Centre, Blaengarw, CF32 8AT.
Bridgend Nature Keepers - Keeper of the Song
Bridgend County Borough Council has commissioned 14 Nature Keepers (10 in Bryngarw Country Park and 10 throughout the Bridgend County Borough) to raise awareness of and celebrate the County's countryside and green spaces. The Keeper of the Song has been installed in the Darren Fawr Forestry, Blaengarw. A poem has been written for each of the Nature Keepers. Click here for a link to the poem.
For further information on the Bridgend Nature Keepers, click here to access a link to the Bridgend Bites website.
On Friday 6th June 2014, the Chairman of the Garw Valley Community Council, Cllr George Davies officially opened the new steps commissioned and financed by the Community Council in Pontycymmer. Also in attendance was Janice Gregory AM, Cllr Mike Gregory, Huw Irranca-Davies MP, the Mayor of BCBC Cllr Gary Thomas and his Consort Kay Jenkins, Bridgend’s Youth Mayor Sophie Durston together with several Community Councillors.
The steps provide access from the Community Route to the local amenities, including the Doctors’ Surgery, pharmacies, Police Station, Nursery School and play-park. Previously, local residents were climbing up and down the steep banking which was proving unsafe. The Community Council applied for funding from Bridgend County Borough Council under the Town and Community Council Fund and received a grant of 33% towards the cost. The remainder of the cost was met by the Community Council. The work was undertaken by Premier Building Services and CAM Engineering. There are 81 steps in total with much needed landings in between.
Below are photos of the before and after:
Coedwig y Plant! Cwm Garw
The Community Council is one of only a few sites in Wales to be part of the Welsh Government’s Plant! Scheme initiative to plant a tree for every child born or adopted since 2008. A total of 16,000 broadleaved trees have been planted in seven locations covering 6.5 hectares in Pontycymmer and Blaengarw. Click here for a link to the Plant! Scheme.
A further site was established around the Breathing Spaces project in Blaengarw in early 2012.
Parc Calon Lan, Blaengarw
The Community Council received funding from the Rural Development Programme to transform former colliery land into an open space for everyone to enjoy. There is also a Visitor Centre at the park offering toilet facilities, leaflets and local information. There are also two Countryside Wardens based at the Visitor Centre who have a wealth of local knowledge and can provide information on local walks and facilities.
Garw Valley Walks
The Garw Valley currently has three designated walks - Garw Valley Walks 1, 2 & 3
The Community Council developed the much loved and well used Community Route from Pwll Carn Terrace in Blaengarw down to Bryngarw Country Park. This Route is suitable for use by walkers and cyclists and offers spectacular scenery along the way.
Bettws Village Green
The Community Council is responsible for the maintenance of the twelve metal barriers on the Village Green in Bettws.
Pathway in Bettws bottom site
The Community Council is proud to have funded the tarmac pathway to allow better access to the local amenities for people with extra mobility needs and pushchairs/prams. The work was completed in the summer of 2013.
Miner’s Lamp, Llangeinor
The Garw Valley Community Council has erected a Miner’s Lamp on The Square in Llangeinor in tribute to all the miners and their families who worked in the Garw Valley. The Memorial was officially unveiled in July 2012.
The inscription on the Lamp reads “This monument was erected by the Garw Valley Community Council on behalf of the Garw Valley Community in May 2012 as a memorial to all those who through accident, disaster or disease, lost their lives or otherwise suffered as a result of the mining industry of the South Wales Coalfield.”
The Community Council have recently installed a Memorial in memory of the Anderson Family in Gelliron Cemetery, Pontycymmer. A local author, Mr Paul Howells, wrote a book about the Andersons titled “The Rink” which has been very popular through the valley.
The Andersons came to the valley around 1910 and were known as “the Miners’ Friends”. What this family did for the valley cannot be overstated enough, but with their riches they entertained and fed this deprived valley for many years during their tenure in The Rink and for many years afterwards. They pawned their wealth away for the people of the valley and without them many would not have survived this most unforgiving of environment.
The Andersons were buried in an unmarked grave in Pontycymmer. The Community Council wanted to pay tribute to this family by placing a Memorial on their grave to repay their kindness and for their memory to live on forever more.
Some of the members of the Anderson family together with the Garw Valley Community Council’s Chairman Derek Griffiths, Mayor of the County Borough of Bridgend Marlene Thomas, Paul Howells (author of The Rink), Janice Gregory AM and Hugh Irranca-Davies MP
The Garw Valley Community Council is proud to provide Christmas lighting for the four wards each year.
The Community Council has installed several new grit bins in the past two year throughout the valley which are maintained by Bridgend County Borough Council. Please contact your local Councillor if you have a request for a grit bin in your area.