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Website URL : http://www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=619

Agenda a Chofnodion

Lleoliad: Ystafell Bwyllgor 6 - Neuadd y Ddinas, Abertawe. Cyfarwyddiadau

Cyswllt: Scrutiny 636292 

Rhif Eitem




Datgeliadau o fuddiannau personol a rhagfarnol


·         None


Nodiadau pdf eicon PDF 113 KB


·         Approved


Grwpiau Cyfeillion Cyngor Abertawe - Trafodaeth

Trafod sut mae grwpiau ‘cyfeillion’ sy’n rheoli tir y cyngor yn  ystyried yr amgylchedd naturiol a bioamrywiaeth


·         Sue Reed - Rheolwr Datblygu Cymunedau, Partneriaethau a Chyrchfannau

·         Mark Thomas - Yr Amgylchedd a Rheoli Isadeiledd


·         Although not listed as an agenda item, a member of the public wanted to ask a question

·         The Convener accepted this and the question and member of the publics details have been forwarded on to the relevant department

·         The ‘Friends of’ volunteers were thanked by the Convener for their hard work and dedication to their areas

·         The reason for the inquiry was explained along with the aims and objectives

·         There are currently 3 Council officers supporting 40 sites and 27 ‘Friends of’ groups

·         There are no more Parks Development Officers

·         Each group was given the opportunity to speak about their area and make comments


1.    Pamela Morgan – Swansea City Botanical Complex

·         A wildflower garden has been developed in Singleton

·         The youngest horticulturist is 55 years old so there will be no trained horticulturists within 5-10 years

·         Groups rely on that specialist expertise to support their projects

·         There should be two main points of contact for the groups

·         1. A horticulture specialist

·         2. An education officer linking schools to the spaces

·         There also needs to be signage for areas such as Clyne so people know they are there

·         There is an increase of biodiversity with plants, bees and birds as a result of the work being done by the group

·         Some areas are being allowed to be truly wild – sometimes this can be confused with ‘neglected’ but this is not the case

·         It allows for the natural flora to grow


2.    Neil Jones – Swansea Vale Nature Reserve

·         Mr. Jones is an experienced person in relation to nature and biodiversity

·         He commented that many of the wildflowers which have been planted are garden flowers and not native plants which does not benefit properly to the biodiversity e.g. bees

·         Mr. Jones believes there have been issues in the past around the allocation of SINC sites

·         Records need to be accurate to ensure decisions made are based on correct information

·         Neath Port Talbot Council have a scheme where road verges were designated as ‘wild’ and mown/maintained differently

·         Some people will complain that they are neglected but there needs to be culture change

3.    Rosemary Harvard-Jones – Rosehill Quarry

·         The quarry is a 7 acre inner city park

·         There are some regular volunteers at the moment but they receive lots of help from officers like Sean Hathaway

·         Knotweed is big problem – you can’t get  funding for some projects if you have knotweed on the site

·         Would like to list the flora and fauna in the park but can’t because they do not have the expertise to do this

·         Again would like to link in with horticulture specialists and education officers

4. Phil Stockton – Pentyla Playing Fields (Ganges)

·         Mr. Stockton became involved due to a history of planning applications for the site which he wanted to challenge

·         Ecological reports which are submitted for planning applications should be accurate and impartial

·         Voluntary groups should not have to provide environmental/ecological evidence of sites because this should be mapped already

·         The Council departments seem to have differing priorities from each other – some financial some environmental

·         The site needs to be recognised as a green space

·         A range of plants have been added by the group

·         Groups want the Council to recognise the importance of sites to people and to the environment

5. Marian Francis – Kilvey Hill

·         Close ties with the Nature Conservation Team, Forestry Commission and Natural Resources Wales to manage Kilvey Hill

·         Currently working on keeping new conifers down to encourage native species such as oak to grow though. Proving very successful

·         The Woodland Trust donated some new trees so they have been planted

·         There has been a noticeable increase in dragon flies and butterflies

·         The group have been doing a lot of litter picks

·         There have been community events with children to encourage them to look after the site and learn but they want to do more

·         Having a link to liaise with schools is essential as it encourages learning and involvement in the area

·         The NEET team (Not in Education, Employment or Training) are a group which volunteers are keen to link with

·         They would like to have a roundhouse on Kilvey Hill

·         It is an opportunity for all relevant departments and interested people to work together

·         Public signs advertising the areas would be very beneficial so people know the sites are there for visiting

·         Litter picks are undertaken but volunteers need better links for removal

·         Potential for section 106 money for community and social infrastructure money from developers in the area

6. Steffan Phillips – Morriston Park

·         Morriston Park is the oldest garden in Swansea and dates back to 1775

·         There is 47 acres in total

·         Its role is mixed, it is an urban park you can play in and it contains a range of biodiversity

·         A welcome pack and plans for each park would be useful when volunteer groups take over management

·         Native perennials and meadows are more important than wildflowers

·         Groups are desperate for expertise and the planning and identification of existing biodiversity

·         Initiatives don’t come with maintenance plans or budgets to keep projects sustainable

·         Working between departments can be difficult as they have differing agendas

·         Council work e.g. path building is often substantially more expensive than private contractors, it should be easier to have this kind of work done

·         Needs to be a central point of expertise for groups to contact

·         Needs to be a varied approach to different parks and sites

·         Urban parks can help with education and serve as educational hubs for the community

·         Need improved links with schools and community projects

7. John Ashley – White Rock

·         It is a 48 acre site

·         White Rock was not maintained for 3 years

·         It is a scheduled monument under Cadw and a Site of Specialist Scientific Interest (SSSI) under Natural Resources Wales (NRW)

·         Unusual because it is a riverside park

·         There have been issues with vandalism and safety including deliberate fires

·         The volunteers are working closely with PCSO’s who are a great source of help

·         There is a substantial amount of ‘vegetative overburden’

·         The volunteers are currently working with the nature conservation team to manage the site

8. Christine Thomas – PontarddulaisCoed Bach

·         Everyone must try and look after the environment

·         Groups are able to pull in funding if they apply properly and with support

·         You can learn so much about people and the environment when you volunteer

·         It is so beneficial socially to get involved

·         There are no resources from Welsh Government only direction about needs to be done

·         Interrupting photosynthesis of any plants will damage its ability to grow – including knotweed

·         There needs to be more joined up thinking between everyone who is involved

·         Inspired by other people and learned so much

9. Nature Conservation Team

·         The team are involved with various groups

·         Do lots of litter picking

·         Also link in with the Rights of Way team and the Ramblers

·         Swansea does have a high concentration of knotweed


·         The issue of knotweed came up and some discussion around treatment – it was agreed that this requires a separate and dedicated consideration

·         Housing developments can be a risk to biodiversity

·         Not everyone is aware of section 106 agreements

·         Environmental budgets have been hit

·         Grant forms from Welsh Government are incredibly long and complicated – people need support to complete them

·         Sharing services is vital to protect areas and benefit from expertise

·         In urban areas particularly it is vital to encourage young people to get involved, it may then encourage them to green spaces further afield

·         Culture needs to change around the abuse of sites – miantain close working with the PCSOs

·         Tree and bird surveys are very important to sites to establish what is there, how to care for it and will help with publicity

·         Some sites need expertise around ponds and water courses too

·         The volunteers were thanked for their time and efforts by each of the Panel members – this work could not happen without them


© 2011 Dinas a Sir Abertawe
Canolfan Ddinesig, Heol Ystumllwynarth, Abertawe. SA1 3SN. Ffôn: 01792 636000 Ffacs: 01792 636340