Hopes historic Swansea park will blossom with orchard plan
A PEOPLE'S park rooted deep in Swansea's history could soon be home to a community orchard.
Parc Llewelyn in Morriston was given to the people by John Dillwyn Llewelyn more than 120 years ago.
Now more than £10,000 is being invested in the green space Llewelyn under a drive for the beauty spot to land coveted Green Flag status in future.
As well as creating an orchard where park users will be able to pick fruit, the Swansea Council-backed scheme will also see new benches introduced and the entrances improved.
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Nick Bradley, Swansea Council's cabinet member for regeneration, said: "Parks are important attractions, especially in cities like Swansea because they offer the chance to escape from the hustle-bustle of everyday life. This investment will help Parc Llewelyn become one of our finest beauty spots that people of all ages can enjoy for many years to come.
"It will help the attraction join an elite club of other Swansea-based Green Flag parks in future."
Swansea Council will start work on the project this autumn and is working closely alongside the Friends of Parc Llewelyn, a volunteer group set up in 2006 to try to reverse the park's decline following the Second World War.
Chairman of the group Stephen James said: "We tried before to get money for a historic fruit orchard and for money to help combat Japanese knotweed.
"We were successful with the knotweed, but not the orchard.
"It was just an idea of ours first and we thought it would be nice to have.
"Hopefully, we can have apples and plums and pears — depending on what's available — it will be quite unusual for a park.
"It will help us go for Green Flag, which is a bit like Blue Flag status for beaches, in the future. It means the park would always be maintained to a high status because you want to work to keep that status.
"It would be the first park in the east of Swansea to secure that."
Four Swansea parks already have Green Flag status they are Clyne Gardens, Singleton Botanical Gardens, Victoria Park and Brynmill Park.
The works will follow on from other improvements at Parc Llewelyn in recent years. They include the redevelopment of the multi-use games area, the introduction of a wetland and wildlife area and the construction of a boardwalk.
The scheme is being funded by the Welsh Government under its Tranquil, Greener and Cleaner Places programme and Tidy Towns initiative, Swansea Council, the Biffa Award, WREN, and the National Lottery.
Mr James added: "This park is an important part of Swansea's heritage.
"A lot of work will still need to take place after this if we want Green Flag status, including the paths.
"It has taken a while, but we are glad this work is happening and we have the support now of Swansea Council.
"We couldn't do it without them."