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  • Hannah Garcia

News from Railway Gardens: Plans, play, and a design contest

Thanks so much to everyone who came long to last week's community catch up - it was so good to see lots of new and familiar faces! If you missed it - don't panic, here's a round up of news and opportunities from the project.


Inspire the Railway Gardens logo!


We have a site, we have a name... now we need a logo, and we'd love your help in designing it. We've put together full guidance on how to take part here - please send us your designs by March 14th.


First event held on site!


This was back last October when we held a plant pick up as part of the Food Cardiff Autumn Festival. Over a hundred people came to collect plants and get a first look at the site. We were grateful for support from Food Cardiff and 2Can Productions to help make the event covid safe, to Matthew Horwood and Katie Hopkins for taking beautiful photos, to Keep Splott Tidy for litterpicking the site, to all the volunteers who came to steward and do bike deliveries to people shielding - and of course to Bute Park Nursery for the plants, and to Dean for delivering them!



Support from Play Wales to bring more play to Splott and Adamsdown


We're really pleased to have started conversations with Play Wales - the national charity for children’s play in Wales. They raise awareness of every child’s need – and right – to play as a crucial part of a healthy and happy childhood.


Their Community Play Ambassador project will soon be delivering staffed outdoor play sessions for children in our area - great news, and we hope to be able to host plenty of play at Railway Gardens at every stage of the project's development.


As part of the Community Play Ambassador project, Play Wales also want to help parents and other community members to campaign for good neighbourhood- based play opportunities.


They are hoping to work with our community to establish a Play Action Group to enable our area to become more play friendly. They will provide help and practical information about how to campaign for play, for example:


• Working out what we want to achieve

• Getting ideas about the different types of things we could do

• Finding out who we’ll need to influence

• Understanding how to involve children and teenagers in play opportunities.


If you'd like to find out more please let us know - you can email hannah@greensquirrel.co.uk and we'll put you in touch with Play Wales.



First artwork on site!


As part of Green Squirrel's 'The Girl Who Wouldn't Give Up' project, Cardiff residents were invited to design a mythical guardian creature to protect and watch over a place that's special to them. We are (slowly) finding locations around Cardiff to turn a number of the designs submitted into murals and the very first one has now been installed at Railway Gardens! This is Glanhawr the Magnificent, designed by Martine Browne and painted by Peaceful Progress.



We were really grateful for the assistance of GoodGym Cardiff who came out to clear the space and prep the wall - take a look at them in action!




Other updates...


  • We are awaiting the outcome of our application to the National Lottery Community Fund's People and Places grant. We should know whether we've been successful or not in late March/ early April. We'll let you know as soon as we can!

  • Welcome to the new advisory board members - we now have 18 members representing a mix of local individuals and organisations including Al-Ikhlas Centre, Oasis, Willows,Repair Cafe, Benthyg, CCHA Flourish, SVC, and The Princes Trust.

  • Soil testing will begin on site shortly. This is essential to discover if our soil is contaminated and, if so, how badly. When groundworks start soil will need to be removed from the site and, if it is contaminated, this will be an expensive process so we need to know now what we're dealing with. The soil test process also includes a survey for unexploded bombs so that's reassuring!

  • We will be installing signs on the gates once the branding is ready. These will be provided in English and Welsh, and we're keen to include other community languages. If you would like to suggest an appropriate language, or can translate a short amount of text for us, please let us know.

  • We're still looking for fundraising volunteers to help with local community fundraising. No experience needed, please let us know if you can help!

  • We'll be holding a planning meeting in late March for anyone who would like to help design and run a community festival in May. Watch this space.


As always - if you have questions, feedback, or would like to get more involved with Railway Gardens then just contact Hannah at hannah@greensquirrel.co.uk


Bye for now!


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