By Toni, 27th Jul 2022
Whether you’ve already visited Bryngarw or have yet to discover its unique charms, there are some things you might not know about our favourite country park. From our status as a Valleys Regional Park Discovery Gateway to our collaborations with local community projects, we thought we’d share a few lesser-known Bryngarw facts.
The park has been designated one of several ‘Discovery Gateway’ sites in South Wales as part of the Valleys Regional Park (VRP) project. The aim of the VRP is to enable people across the Valleys area to access their local green spaces and make the most of the social and wellbeing benefits they offer. For us, being a Discovery Gateway is an exciting opportunity to help our visitors enjoy the natural world, improve their physical and mental health and learn more about the environment.
Wildflower habitats are disappearing at an alarming rate which is why we’re so protective of the meadows we have here at the park. It’s estimated that around 97% of these vital parts of our ecosystem have been lost since the 1930s. Now one of the rarest habitats in the UK, our meadows are carefully managed by our expert rangers and dedicated volunteers.
Bryngarw Country Park is managed by the Awen Cultural Trust, a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving people’s lives by providing the spaces and opportunities that enable people to boost their wellbeing. The income generated by our car park and café is reinvested into the maintenance and improvement of the park, so that our visitors can continue to enjoy this incredible natural resource for many years to come.
Our team of experienced rangers maintain the park grounds with the support of the staff and trainees at B-Leaf, our work-based programme for adults with learning disabilities. The scheme gives participants the opportunity to learn horticultural and life skills as well as make new friends, and they play an invaluable part in the maintenance and conservation work that keeps Bryngarw’s precious habitats thriving.
While you’re exploring the park, you’ll find plenty of sturdy benches and picnic tables dotted around the grounds. Not only do they offer a welcome seat when you need a break, they’re also handmade by a great local initiative called Wood-B which supports adults with disabilities to learn practical woodworking and joinery skills and access employment opportunities. Working alongside community initiatives like this is something we’re very proud to be a part of.
As you’ve probably gathered from some of our previous facts, supporting the community and local businesses is close to our heart here at Bryngarw Country Park. We work with some fantastic local suppliers which not only ensures that we offer the best quality Welsh produce but also helps us lower our carbon footprint. Our list of collaborators includes Llandeilo Bakery, Farmers Pantry Clams Cakes, Bishops Fruit and Veg and Sidoli’s Ice Cream.
We welcome more than 200,000 visitors a year. With so much to do and see, Bryngarw Country Park has always been a popular place to come for a walk, a bike ride, or a day out with the kids. The best part is that even on busy days, with over 100 acres to explore, it never feels crowded and you can always find a quiet spot to get back to nature.
The earliest official records of Bryngarw House date back to the mid-1700s when the land was owned by the wealthy Popkin family of Glamorgan. However, some architectural evidence suggests there may have been a farmhouse on the site dating as far back as the 1500s. One of the park’s most iconic features, the building has developed over the centuries into one of the finest country houses in South Wales and is now a popular venue for weddings and events.
If you’re passionate about conservation and want to make a difference, why not join our volunteer group? Not only does it give you the chance to get involved in our many projects and activities it’s also a great way to meet likeminded people and learn new skills. The group meet up on the first Saturday of each month from 10 am to 2 pm.
For the days when you just want to get away from it all in the countryside, we’ve got everything from wetlands and ponds to shady woodland glades and open meadows to discover. So you’re sure to find somewhere to take a relaxing stroll, sit and watch the local wildlife or treat yourself to a peaceful picnic. Research shows that spending time in green spaces is calming and hugely beneficial to our overall wellbeing. So, when you need to lower those stress levels, why not pay us a visit?
Visit Bryngarw Country Park, Bridgend
If you fancy a trip to Bryngarw Country Park, you’ll find us just North of Junction 36 of the M4 (CF32 8UU for the Sat Nav).
And if you’d like more information about our community initiatives or getting involved in as a volunteer, please give us a call on 01656 725155 or send an email to email@example.com.