On the 7th May 2015 Chris Brown from Cluster 20 organised a Lend-A-Hand event for a local project at Penllergare Valley Woods, near Swansea. Employees – Chris Brown, Rob Sims, Ben Taylor, Andy Hoskins, Meyrick Osbourne, Ann Ponting, Karl Wolf, Mark Long and Rhydian Priday helped reclaim paths on the Estate.
Penllergare Valley Woods and its 250 acre Estate was created in the 19th Century by an infamous land owner, John Dillwyn Llewelyn. The Estate was an outstanding example of picturesque landscapes and was created for the enjoyment of its owners. Over the last 100 years, however, the family moved away and the Estate was left un-kept, quickly becoming overgrown and falling into disrepair.
In 2012 the dilapidated Estate was assigned to the Penllergare Trust, a charity with the purpose of protecting, restoring and promoting the Penllergare Estate. This, in turn, secured a £2.4m Heritage Lottery Grant and supported the first phase of an ambitious restoration scheme focused on the upper end of the Estate. The project is run by 3 full-time employees and around 70 to 80 volunteers per week in the local community. The Trust has been assigned to the Estate for a further 101 years with the ultimate aim to bring the Estate back to its former glory.
As Chris lives locally he invited 8 fellow employees to spend the day helping out by reclaiming paths. Chris commented: “After an initial guided tour by the Estate Manager we spent a few hours digging and scraping away mud and other materials to uncover the path beneath. Although challenging, we worked as a Team to ensure the task in hand was completed successfully. After completing the work it felt great that we had contributed to the project and that local people and wildlife could enjoy the Estate for years to come. We all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the Trust was very grateful for our help.”