It's the Easter weekend and the sun is out - hallelujah! Fingers crossed that this is a good omen for Summer 2009. It's also the time that I look to my garden and think what a mess its looking, so I'm going to have to get my hands dirty.
But what about everywhere else? In one of my earlier posts, I said about taking part in a river clean up on Berw Road, but there are other ways to "pretty things up" a little. Some of you may have heard about Guerilla Gardening, an international movement which began as one man's mission to make London a greener place to live and to address grot spot neglected by local authorities. On May 1st it will be "International Sunflower Guerilla Gardening Day", when, surprise, surprise, people all over the world will be planting sunflower seeds. You could do this in your own garden, or be a shade braver and find your own spot to do some planting guerilla style. Me? I've bought the seeds, and will definitely be planting some in my own garden over the May Day bank holiday weekend (ok, so not strictly the 1st, but I have work that day), but I'm still trying to work up the courage to do some actual guerilla gardening. Any volunteers to help?
This week's Pontypridd Observer headline story is entitled "£4m Revamp for Station". RCT Council, Arriva Trains Wales and Network Rail have recently met to discuss refurbishment of Pontypridd Rail Station. But is this really new news?
Back in December 2008, another article was published ("End of the Line for Pontypridd's Train Ticket Cheats") saying that ticket gates should be installed and operational at Pontypridd station by Summer 2009. In our correspondence with Network Rail over the past 6 months, Network Rail have stated that repairs to the Platform 1 canopy would be taking place in March of this year over the area of the proposed ticket gates. However, by today (March 28th 2009) very little work appears to have taken place apart from a single 12" x 12" board being screwed to the underside of the canopy.
The anticipated cost quoted by Network Rail for repairs to the Platform 1 canopy alone (replacement of the felt roof, replacement of the boards where applicable, the fylon(sic?) sheeting and painting of the underside of the canopy) is up to £2.5 million. In light of this, the £4million figure quoted to the Pontypridd Observer may not go as far as people may think.
We will update and comment on the progress of the refurbishment of Pontypridd Rail Station as more information is revealed.
It's a bit slow at the moment for getting replies, so I thought I'd update you on one of the minor successes one of our members has had in trying to improve the environment in their local area, the Graig.
About 3 weeks ago, one of our members contacted RCT council's Street Care Department regarding the removal of a litter bin near their home. Since the bin was removed, the former post office has been converted into a corner shop, and unfortunately, there had been an increase in the amount of litter in the area. Our member noted this fact to RCT in their email. Since then, not one, but 4 litter bins appear to have been installed in the vicinity of the shop and nearby streets.
Improving the environment is not just about recycling and using alternative "green" technologies. It can also be about having clean streets, safe playgrounds and prettying things up. Y Celteiddwyr's ethos is "People Supporting People", because we can all help each other.
If you want to contact RCT regarding improving facilities, contact them at Customer.Services@rhondda-cynon-taff.gov.uk and ask them what they can do for you and your area.
Typical. You find an interesting program, and it's the last in the series. Last Monday, I caught the last episode of a series on BBC2 called "It's Not Easy Being Green". The program featured a green house restoration, holidaying in an eco caravan, and a "freecycler" who made his own bread. Maybe not the most exciting line up, but certainly interesting.
When redecorating a couple of years ago, I searched on the internet for carpet underlay. Being quite cost conscious at the time, I was looking for the best price I could find. The cheapest underlay I found was made from recycled materials, and is (I still think, 2 years after laying it) very good quality. The house renovation on the BBC series was in its final stages and they featured eco-friendly emulsion paints, which are also friendlier to the painter as they have no toxic fumes. You can buy these paints from sites such as http://www.greenshop.co.uk and http://www.earthbornpaints.co.uk for similar prices as you would pay from your local DIY store for regular emulsion paint.
As so many people use the internet these days, is it really that hard to add the words "green" or "eco friendly" to that Google search when you're looking for your next purchase? Solar panels and mini wind turbines might have some benefits for households, but practicality and especially cost is a major factor right now. Most of us are now recycling household waste as part of our daily lives, so why can't we look at "green" methods for other parts of our lives which don't really affect our pockets?
RCT council have made a big show of their green credentials in the past few years; supporting Fair Trade initiatives and Plastic Bag Free Ponty, but they are falling behind in encouraging in the street what they want us to do at home - recycling.
A sole recycling bin graces the streets of Pontypridd town centre. Compare this to Cardiff city centre where recycling bins are highly visible. We should have the opportunity to practise recycling throughout the day, no matter if we are at home or out shopping. We have contacted RCT's street care department to request that more recycling bins are located around Pontypridd town centre and are awaiting their reply.
This Saturday morning saw me drag myself from home to Berw Road and the banks of the River Taff to take part in a river clean up with 4 other like minded people. The Taff's originates in the Brecon Beacons which means that an awful lot of rubbish seem to make it to Pontypridd and get stuck in the fallen trees which line the banks. The group of people who had organised the clean up have been working at projects like this for a couple of years, but get little recognition and no compensation other than personal satisfaction for their work.
The Taff is an important ecosystem which needs help to look after it. Otter tracks have been spotted in the Pontypridd area, and this morning I spotted a tiny bird which may have been a Goldcrest and the electric blue flash of a Kingfisher on the opposite bank. Not so many years ago, these sightings would have been impossible, but since the demise of the mining industry the river is returning to its former glory.
If everyone puts in a small amount of effort, then the larger tasks won't be as big or oppressive to complete. By taking part in work like this, members of the community can help to improve the environment we all live in, not just for wildlife.
Hello. It's taken a little bit for time to get organised, but I think we're nearly there now. Welcome to the new Celteiddwyr blog where we will keep you up to date with various artistic and environmental activities and concerns going on around Pontypridd.
So, on to the weather. No I haven't run out of things to say yet, but the current cold spell is not the best news for our feathered friends. In this weather, the birds need a hand with both food and water which is where we can all help. The RSPB Helping Birds site has loads of tips for what food to put out to attract different birds to your garden and how to build your own birdhouse. Birds commonly seen around Pontypridd include blackbirds, robins, coal tits and pied wagtails, so we have a mix of both ground feeding and tree feeding birds. Bird food is readily available from many shops around town, so why not add a bag of seeds or nuts to your weekly shop to help them out.
Bye for now!