Gwyrddio Penarth Greening

Community, Third Sector • Vale of Glamorgan

Building a sustainable community in Penarth by planning and supporting local environmental projects.

  • Benthyg Penarth
  • a local Library of Things
  • Colin Jackson and local attendees at Plastic Free Penarth's launch event

Gwyrddio Penarth Greening's story

Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) is a lively, community-led organisation which is working with local people to take action on local environmental issues and address climate change. By involving people of all ages, experiences and backgrounds, GPG is developing practical projects which will help reduce dependency on fossil fuels and lead towards a more sustainable and resilient future for Penarth.

GPG have been working on greening Penarth since 2009, developing projects including Plastic Free Penarth, Benthyg Penarth and Penarth Growing Community.

In 2021 GPG received funding to open Benthyg Penarth, a local Library of Things, that allows Penarth's residents to borrow items that are rarely used, such as pressure washers, gazebos, power tools or tents, for a small fee. Benthyg (a Welsh word meaning BORROW or LEND, pronounced ben-thig) aims to make borrowing as easy as popping out for a loaf of bread. It's great for the environment, and for your pocket!

In 2019, GPG helped Penarth achieve 'Plastic Free' community status, by signing up to the national Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities campaign, which has now involved over 900 communities across the UK. In 2022, GPG began the work to update Penarth's Plastic Free status, successfully renewing in 2023. Being 'plastic free' is a long term vision, and in Penarth it's not about removing all plastic from our lives: it's about taking steps to cut our use of avoidable, single-use plastic, and changing the system that produces it. Actions included getting Penarth Town Council to pass a resolution supporting the journey to Plastic Free Community status; getting several local traders to remove items of single-use plastic and achieve Plastic Free accreditation; gaining support from community groups including Penarth Youth Action, Penarth Scouts and local schools; and engaging positively with local residents to help inspire the wider community to spread the plastic-free message.

Penarth Growing Community is a GPG project to create and maintain spaces for wildlife and food growing across Penarth, running workshops, open sessions and events. PGC was founded in January 2020 after a community gathering of over 100 people came together to define what could be done locally to tackle the climate and nature crisis. PGC works closely with other community groups, namely Penarth Civic Society, Penarth Living Streets, STOL Coffee and the Friends of groups for the local parks. PGC has been supported by Keep Wales Tidy with two small garden packs, installed at Golden Gates Park and at Stanwell Crescent. PGC supports Friends of Belle Vue with their raised beds, Penarth Town Council to tend the West House Community Garden, and works most closely with Friends of the Kymin and Benthyg Penarth in developing the Kymin Grounds. In March 2022 PGC ran Growing Together – Grow-along: a year-long programme of workshops, open sessions and events on growing, foraging and eating well.

Useful learnings from Gwyrddio Penarth Greening

Taking action locally, on a huge global issue like climate change, is not only possible but is also incredibly rewarding. It's always a challenge to find enough volunteers to get involved and help out but we have a small committed group, and have built strong connections across a number of other community groups such as Penarth Tree Forum.

People seem to enjoy the more practical aspects too; involving people in food growing is a good way into the wider conversations that we need to have if we are to begin to address the climate and nature crises.

Over time our focus is shifting from the notion of community growing, where the attention is on food growing and nature, to the locus of action being around growing community. Hopefully our community bonds and cohesiveness will give us the opportunity to move forward, together, one small step at a time.

Gwyrddio Penarth Greening's metrics

Sustainable Living: Our projects encourage local people to make greener choices.
Community Action: We work with people and organisations locally to create change.
Involving People: Number of volunteers contributing to creating thriving community locally.

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...

Response to climate crisis

Mitigation & Adaptation




Community, Third Sector, less than 9 people

Shared by

Carbon Copy

Updated Feb, 2024

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