The Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society is making land available to a community gardening group

Grwp Resilience is enjoying the fruits of its labor this summer thanks to the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society making land available to the local Haverfordwest residents’ group for the production of fresh fruit and vegetables as part of a community garden.

The Company believes it is the first in the UK to undertake such a project.

Just over an acre was initially allocated on the County Showground in Haverfordwest for the project which has already seen more than 40 local residents interested in becoming part of the group and using the land to grow fruits and vegetables. Some of the interested parties have been waiting for more than ten years for such an opportunity to arise!

Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society Board Chairman Mike Davies said:

“We really look forward to working with these extremely enthusiastic local residents on this project. It’s great to see young families already learning from very experienced and knowledgeable producers. Here on the show ground, we have the precious resource to start the process – fertile soil – and we are happy to help. Our charitable goals cover the valuable opportunities this great project offers.

The community garden project came into being on the show ground following a request made to local landowners in the Haverfordwest area by local resident, retired GP Dr Roger Burns, who wanted to start a program in the region. The Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society responded positively to the request and GWRP, a Wales-wide organization that helps drive community engagement and collaboration, then got involved to help officiate the deal.

The producers created their own community benefit corporation called Parc Helyg which now manages the site. Sian Wells, coordinator, said:

“Thank you to the Society for providing the land and to the farmers who tilled the land. We waited ten years to produce food. We are delighted to be on the ground now and already seeing the fruits of our labor.

The Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society fully supports the community garden project and recognizes the value of the health and welfare aspect of the work. During the Covid-19 closures, there has been a surge in gardening and outdoor activities, including in schools. The health and educational benefits of spending time outdoors, as well as growing your own food, are obvious.

If anyone is interested in getting involved with the community garden, please visit the website which will be online soon: www.park-helyg.wales

Lana T. Arthur