School children in Pontarddulais have been planting fruit trees and bulbs to help create a new community wildlife garden.

Since 2020, Keep Wales Tidy, a leading Welsh environmental charity, has been helping communities to transform their local areas by offering free garden packages.

This scheme aims to turn the neglected spots into thriving gardens that will benefit both local wildlife and the community.

South Wales Guardian: The pupils got stuck in.The pupils got stuck in. (Image: Keep Wales Tidy)

One such package was applied for by Jessica Millard, the sustainability manager who identified an unutilised patch at Pontarddulais Station.

She saw the opportunity to transform it into a hub of community activity whilst offering a safe haven for local wildlife.

The hoped-for result would be an improvement in the health and wellbeing of the community by getting more people involved in volunteering and reconnecting them with nature.

On February 21, children from Pontarddulais Primary School were invited to assist in the garden creation process at the station.

Despite cold and muddy conditions, they enthusiastically helped in moving six tonnes of soil, and planting five fruit trees and 300 native bulbs.

South Wales Guardian: The pupils didn't let the weather stop them from getting stuck inThe pupils didn't let the weather stop them from getting stuck in (Image: Keep Wales Tidy)

They joined forces with Keep Wales Tidy to create a beautiful space for nature, set to grow and flourish with pollinator-friendly plants and diverse wildlife habitats.

A unique aspect of these garden packages is that they offer much more than just tools and equipment.

They come equipped with native plants to boost local biodiversity, expert advice on garden setup, and continued support from the Keep Wales Tidy team.

As Ms Millard found out, the garden package provided an excellent resource for Pontarddulais Primary School to engage pupils in hands-on lessons on growing and caring for the local environment.

The initiative has seen great success since its launch, resulting in the creation, restoration, and enhancement of more than 100 gardens across Wales.

South Wales Guardian: The Keep Wales Tidy team put together planters.The Keep Wales Tidy team put together planters. (Image: Keep Wales Tidy)

While originally developed in response to the climate and nature emergencies, the benefits of these gardens have far exceeded initial expectations.

It has fostered community spirit, spurred volunteering, and has helped with health and wellbeing.

The result is evident in the wildlife garden at Pontarddulais Station, a community asset that will continue to grow and provide enjoyment for years to come.

Keep Wales Tidy encourages more applications for this beneficial scheme. Applications can be made at the Keep Wales Tidy website.