The event was organised by Julie Marsden and the centre’s team of volunteers. Julie has forged a special relationship with the Garden after deciding to walk all the way from Brynberian, Pembrokeshire, to the Botanic Garden in the summer of 2021. Julie and the Brynberian Community Centre’s story is truly inspiring.
A Heritage Lottery Fund grant was awarded to refurbish the Brynberian Community Centre and improve the opportunities for Brynberian residents and surrounding communities. Through these funds, the centre was renovated to become a wonderful place for everyone in the community. Julie had the inspiration to create a garden for pollinators, so she decided to walk all the way from the Brynberian Community Centre to the Botanic Garden (~35 miles) to ask the Garden to donate a plant or two. As Julie began to organise this walk and explore the Garden, she came across our Saving Pollinators Assurance Scheme which inspired her.
The Saving Pollinators Assurance Scheme helps people choose safe plants for pollinators to plant in their gardens. The scheme works with over 30 Welsh nurseries who grow plants which are both proven to support pollinators by the Botanic Garden’s scientific research and are grown without the use of peat compost or synthetic pesticides.
Julie decided to upgrade her walk to the Botanic Garden and also visit about 20 of the growers along the way, sharing her progress on Facebook, collecting plants, and also learning about their growing practices. When Julie arrived at the Garden, Dr Kevin McGinn (scheme lead) and Lynda Christie (former ecosystems trainer) showed Julie and the Brynberian community volunteers around the Garden and Science Centre.
Almost a year after Julie conducted her trip from Brynberian to the Botanic Garden, the centre’s volunteer team hosted an event to celebrate the Saving Pollinators Assurance Scheme and the growers, while also inspiring people from the community to support pollinators. There were lots of talks and demonstrations throughout the day, with 10 growers also selling their plants. The Growing the Future project supported the event by funding the stall hire, materials for educational activities and also a hamper from the Garden Shop for a raffle.
The Pollinator Party was a huge success – with over 200 people attending the event – large numbers for any event, let alone one in such a rural area. There was a lot of positivity and enthusiasm for the Saving Pollinator Assurance Scheme, with everyone showing their support for the growers and the Botanic Garden. The event was truly inspiring, with all the volunteers and attendees being so welcoming. We would probably go as far as saying that the Brynberian Centre Pollinator Party is one of our favourite external events that we (Dr Abigail Lowe and Dr Laura Jones) have ever attended! The event was so successful that the volunteers have proposed to turn this into an annual event.
Read more about the Saving Pollinators Assurance Scheme