Splott community allotment wins Green Flag award

Volunteers’ environmental haven in Cardiff has been named one of the greenest in Wales

A COMMUNITY allotment in Splott has won the Green Flag award from Keep Wales Tidy and is now looking to expand its volunteer base. 

The group, StarGarAllot, grows nutritious food and distributes it to organisations in the Splott and Tremorfa area to feed those needing it most. 

StarGarAllot gives food to the Oasis centre for refugees, Tremorfa Community Pantry and Splo-Down Food Coop. 

Winning a green flag means the project has been identified as one of Keep Wales Tidy’s very best parks and green spaces.

“People need access to healthy nutritious food always, not just for a few weeks and the different models work for different people,” said Camilla Lovelace, one of the founders of the project. 

Wales has 145 Community Green Flag award winning sites including allotments, churchyards, formal gardens, memorial gardens, a section of canal and woodlands. 

The allotment receives funding from the National Lottery Fund and Community Foundation Wales which allows the group to hire tutors to run training sessions for volunteers and locals. 

“Sophie Bolton, who runs Cardiff Salad Garden, taught us how to grow salads so that we’ve got plenty to give everyone for an extended season and Michelle Fitzsimmons taught us all about permaculture,” said Ms Lovelace.

The allotment team also work closely with GoodGym Cardiff, a group which helps out community projects around Cardiff with any heavy work that needs doing. 

There’s even a fish pond on site. Photo: Tom Burgess

Lucy Prisk, the Green Flag Coordinator for Wales, said: “It is amazing with Covid going on that they have managed to maintain the standards and it judged very well.

“They are quite an exemplar group in that they’ve got a lot going on, they seemed really keen and it’s a lovely site – a great example of a Green Flag Community site.

“A big thing that comes up with a lot of sites is a lack of volunteers and a lack of young volunteers.”

StarGarAllot currently has between 10 and 20 active volunteers. After doubling its growing space, the group is looking to recruit more volunteers.

“We worked really hard on the volunteer recruitment side of the award. We worked hard not just on cleaning up the site but also making sure our policies were in place and that we had a good management team. 

“We really felt that we had earned the flag,” said Ms Lovelace. 

Volunteers are proud to display the Green Flag plaque awarded to the site. Photo: Tom Burgess

Cardiff recently won a Silver Sustainable Food Places award and with more Green Flag areas springing up around the city, hopes are running high that a gold award might soon follow.