Chris Small and Sally Hyman
Thu 28th Feb
Chris Small (Gower Power) and Sally Hyman (Llys Nini)
Two case studies / Dwy astudiaeth achos
Thursday 28 February / Iau 28 Chwefror 1:00pm
Greening Swansea, 4
Four Thursday lunchtime talks about different aspects of protecting and improving Swansea’s natural environment
Gwyrddio Abertawe, 4
Pedwar cyflwyniad amser cinio dydd Iau am agweddau gwahanol ar warchod a gwella amgylchedd naturiol Abertawe
The final ‘Greening Swansea’ lunchtime session, on 28 February, took the form of two ‘case studies’ of successful local environmental action.
Chris Small, one of the Directors of the Gower Power co-operative, summarised the energy generation and solar power projects organised by Gower Power and associated organisations. At Cae Tan in Ilston food is grown co-operatively and supplied to 130 households by subscription. SCEES (Swansea Community Energy and Enterprise Scheme), set up originally by Swansea Council, supplies solar power to nine schools and a care home; it raised almost half a million pounds through offering shares to supporters, with surpluses returning to the local community. Gower Regeneration Ltd has a solar farm at Dunvant, and raised almost £1m in shares. Gower Power Solar Storage has gone a stage further, by attaching a large battery to its solar farm, so that it can export electricity to the national grid at peak times, when income in highest. It intends to offer (totally green) electricity to selected local consumers at a lower tariff than normal. Finally, Good Energy’s new solar farm at Brynwhilach near Llangyfelach is on a larger scale, generating 5MW.
Sally Hyman described how of Llys Nini, the animal charity affiliated with the RSPCA, has developed its estate at Penllergaer, a large, historic and environmentally important site badly affected in the past by industrial use. The land has been surveyed and fenced. Much of it has been rewooded and other parts rented out for grazing. Meadowland has been restored, and wildlife, especially birds, bats, otters, newts and dormice, encouraged. Native apple trees have been planted, and bees encouraged. Llys Nini has also opened the estate to the public, building paths, boardwalks and a willow maze. All this has been achieved without the use of Llys Nini’s core funding, which is restricted to animal welfare. Instead, Sally and her colleagues have been ingenious and energetic in searching out funding from many other sources.
Two of the points raised in the discussion after the two excellent talks were how to make local people aware of the remarkable environmental activities going on in the Swansea area, like the work of Gower Power and Llys Nini, and how to connect local initiatives with the larger challenges of global warming and loss of biodiversity.