About the CLAS Awards
The ‘Community Land Advisory Service Cymru Community Management Award’ began in 2019 and is run by Social Farms and Gardens to acknowledge the community management of green spaces.
Green spaces include a range of vegetated land such as parks, community gardens, orchards, woodlands and hedges, informal green spaces, allotments and food growing sites, plus areas of water, including rivers, canals, lakes, ponds.
At Social Farms & Gardens we aspire to all green spaces in Wales including an element of food growing, however big or small. This ranges from community gardens and allotments with food growing as their primary focus, down to incidental food growing such as a few apple trees, wild raspberries, or a hedgerow with varieties of tree suitable for foraging. Pollinators are essential to successful food growing, so we encourage all sites to plant with pollinators in mind, leave some areas wild, and work to improve site biodiversity, particularly through planting native plant varieties.
The Welsh Government funded award recognises the efforts of the community in managing the green space and acknowledges what they have achieved to date. It also means the project is recognised as being a step closer to achieving the Green Flag Community Award run by Keep Wales Tidy.
To achieve the Community Management Green Space Award, groups need to show they are insured, involving the community in their decision making and working with partners such as the local authority.
Site resilience plans
From 2021, groups also complete a ‘site resilience plan’ with a Social Farms & Gardens Development Worker. This is because green space, for example a community garden, may be seen as a feature of green infrastructure.
Green infrastructure is a network of features that are connected to each other, the surrounding countryside and urban populations. It is key that high quality green spaces are bought into urban areas close to where people live to allow maximum access and benefits to wellbeing.
Improving access to green infrastructure and spaces contributes to increased physical activity (especially in children), improved mental well-being, reduced exposure to environmental hazards and air pollution, improved air quality, and increased social participation among older adults, whilst reducing the impact of climate change, giving protection against flooding and erosion. Examples have shown that people who live within 500 metres of accessible green space are 24% more likely to meet 30 minutes of exercise levels of physical activity.
A site resilience plan helps to provide a seal of approval for future funders and demonstrates wellbeing credentials to decision makers in line with the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015.
Please get in touch if you'd like to find out more about site resilience plans.
CLAS Cymru Award winners 2021
This year, we awarded ALL of the following projects with a Community Land Advisory Service Cymru Community Management Award! This was to acknowledge the successes that they have achieved to date in gaining access to land for their projects. The Awards also recognise the hard work in getting a community green space project started. Each group recieves a certificate and a plaque to display in their gardens to show all their hard work and achievements.
Below is a full list of 2021 awardees and links to their social media pages where you can see up to date information of all their activities. If you would like to see a copy of a project’s resilience plan or would like the opportunity to complete one for your project please get in touch.
1. Autism Life Centres, Treherbert
2. Bwyd Bendigedig Port/Incredible Edible Porthmadog
3. Carmel Community Garden Group / Pwyllgro Pentref Carmel
4. Coeden Fach Community Tree Nursery
5. Emmaus Garden Group
6. Friends of Craig Cefn Parc
7. Global Gardens
8. Growing for Change, Bangor
9. Incredible Edible Carmarthenshire
10. Llanrumney Hall Community Trust
11. Pennard Gardening Society Wellness Garden
12. Rhandiroedd Nantporth Allotments
13. Sandfields Community Allotment
14. Welcome To Our Woods
15. Youth Factor, Afon Gwreddiau, and Aberfan, Merthyr Vale & Mount Pleasant Community Group
16. Yr Ardd, Llandysul
We shared each group's story and celebrated their achievements to coincide with national #CommunityGardenWeek - keep an eye on our social media channels for future updates from the groups and help us to share their hard work!
Congratulations once more from all of us at Social Farms & Gardens!
Read case studies from previous CLAS Cymru Award winners to find out more about their stories.