Pathway 21 is the name given to a group of residents who established and maintain the gardens within the village of Ystradowen. It originated through the WI when in 1999 a project was set-up within the Federation (called Pathway to the 21st Century) which was aimed to enhance a part of the village that had become neglected and overgrown.
An amount of £5 was given to all WI's undertaking this project and Ystradowen WI decided to tidy up the layby area on the main A4222 behind the bus shelter, which was simply used as a dumping ground for rubbish and also an overnight stopping place for passing lorries. The original idea was to simply clear the area of debris and plant a few bulbs, but when other members of the community got involved, the £5 project turned into a £2,000 landscaping marathon! Money-raising events were put on, grants were applied for and presentations given by members of the WI to obtain the vast amount of money that was needed, and the result is what you see today. Unfortunately, we do not have photographs of what the area looked like before this transformation, but we all know what it looks like now and many people, whether local residents or passers-by give many favourable comments about the area.
Since the official opening in 2001, we have won the Best Kept Village in the Vale of Glamorgan four times, and come 2nd and 3rd several times in other years. We also won the Community Award in the Calor Gas National Competition in 2004 and this year again we are entering the Vale of Glamorgan Best Kept Village competition. In previous years, the money we have won from these competitions has allowed us to continue with the upkeep of the gardens. This, together with fund-raising events in the Village Hall and donations from the YCSA and members of the village, we have been able to maintain the high standard that you see today.
YSTRADOWEN VILLAGE GARDENING DAYS
SECOND SATURDAY EACH MONTH - APRIL TO OCTOBER
Although this originally was a WI initiative, now the whole community can get involved. We meet every 2nd Saturday in the month between April and October inclusive at 10.30am (weather permitting) by the bus stop. No one needs to be a gardener, just someone with enthusiasm to look after the environment in which we live - and a pair of gardening gloves! There are no age barriers - we have had young people who needed to do a community project for their Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, and we have retired people with an hour or two to spare. Anyone is welcome so please come along and join our Ground Force team!br> Photo Album