Click to read the full Trehafren Report
Cwm Harry received £1000 funding from the Ashley Family Foundation to carry out community engagement on Trehafren Hill. Through this We hoped to recruit as many local people and organisations to take part as possible and to empower them to feel ownership over the hill, to inspire discussion over viable options and opportunities for the hill in the future; and to create a forum by which decisions could be made.
The consultation included:
– Contacting organisations that had shown previous interest in a project on the Hill
– Contacting other local charities and community groups to collaborate with during the consultation
– Online and social media campaign to recruit participants and opinions
– A print campaign
– Face to face conversations
– A full day consultation event
– Community feedback
All of these activities were delivered successfully, with over 3000 people seeing the online campaign. 7 community groups and organisations acting as partners distributed 2000 leaflets promoting the consultation day.
We set up on a well used footpath on a flat area of Trehafren Hill between 10.30 and 3pm. The Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust and Outdoor Learning Wales created drop in activities for children and young people. This allowed them to draw out ideas from the children and provided us with more time for adults who came to participate.
We collected information using three main techniques:
– Simple questionnaire: tick boxes listing activities that participants may or may not want to see on the hill, possible methods for funding activities and potential for personal involvement etc.
– Mapping exercise: A large map of the hill was drawn out, participants were encouraged to draw / write onto the map adding ideas of their own and commenting on other peoples.
– Proposal Sheets: A series of 12 proposals that had been sent to me prior to the consultation day were written onto large A1 sheets of paper. Each had a small description of the proposal, the and a tally of people who thought it was a good idea and a space for comments.
– This is a good starting point for consultation, though we recommend further discussion to ensure there is community support for any changes.
– The Hill is considered a last remaining wild space by some residents and whilst enhancing that in some way is appreciated, the thought of loosing that is not acceptable.
– There is a slight conflict in opinions between wanting to encourage a wider portion of the community to enjoy and access the hill without taming it in some way.
– We recommend that each of the participants who were willing to take part in forming a management group be called upon to act on this and to take a lead in community engagement around the hill from this point on, with support / leadership from the Town Council.
– If an opportunity under the Grow Wild fund where to become available again, it seems that a soft touch and ecological approach to the management and development of the Hill would be acceptable to most of the participants. So this is well worth considering for the future, especially as considerable background work has already been completed.