What is the aim of the Local LAND Project (Live Actively, Nurture Diversity)?
The project has two main objectives. The first is to develop Talley community owned land for improved access for both local residents and visitors to the area. The project will also act as an example of how community engagement and access to the outdoors can improve health and well-being. An education and community centre (eco hub) with good access and facilities, on the community land, will enrich the area for visitors, facilitate access to outdoor learning for local children and enable community activities to develop.
Second, local landowners will be able to engage in the development of sustainable land management practices on their own farms to face a number of regional and national priorities. These include: improving water retention in the uplands, development of wildflower meadows and diverse leys, tree planting and actively managed woodlands, improved access, better habitat connectivity and improved soil management. A focus on green infrastructure including planting wildflowers, restoring public footpaths, planting native trees, encouraging the use of sustainable drainage and demonstrating soft engineering techniques, will help with surface water retention and improve wildlife corridors as well as creating a nicer place to work for people in the area. More information is available here.
What is LAND and how does it differ from the TCAA?
In April 2019 the Local LAND Project was awarded a £500,000 Sustainable Management Systems grant (SMS). LAND means Live Actively, Nurture Diversity. It is a project that has a start and end date. It began in April 2019, when the grant was awarded and will disband when the project ceases in 2023. Due to delays caused by Brexit, the first installment of funds was not received until November 2020.
In contrast, the Talley Community Amenity Association is a local charity that has been in operation for nearly 20 years, and is governed by a board of Trustees with a Secretary, Chairperson and Treasurer. The TCAA oversees the LAND project and ensures its goals are carried out to parameters defined by the Welsh Government. The TCAA already manages the Talley owned land, collaborating with residents and organisations involved in the local area, including having a management agreement with NRW and working with the Wildlife Trust on the SSSi lake area.
How is the local LAND project governed?
The TCAA oversees the LAND project, which is strictly overseen by the Welsh Government (WG) as it is European Funding and all money spent must comply with the grant specifications, as well as ongoing procedures set by WG, with reports and constant communication. The grant money has been very carefully allocated to specific things, agreed with WG and this money cannot be redirected to other projects. In addition, the below chart shows the governance mechanisms in place.
How much money is designated to the community land?
In accordance with the project guidelines, about a third of the money is allocated to management of the Talley Community owned land on Mynydd Cynros, opposite Talley Abbey, to increase biodiversity through conservation grazing, tree planting and invasive species removal as well as other initiatives. A conservation expert has been employed to do a survey and gave us a detailed plan of action. This survey will be completed again at the end of the project to show the positive effects of the work, as part of the auditing process for WG. Also, this share is for community development and sustainability through eco-education such as craft classes, land management courses, improved access to footpaths and information boards.
Can an eco-hub be built somewhere other than the TCAA community land?
No. The eco-hub can only be built on TCAA community land in the area adjacent to Mynydd Cynros as per the grant agreement.
Is the eco- hub just a village hall?
No. The eco hub is a place where children and adults can meet to do activities related to nature and the natural world. Eg forest school, courses in green woodworking, and heritage crafts. There will be information boards for visitors about the local flora and fauna. Village events could be held here.
What is different about the Eco-hub construction?
The eco hub will be built from sustainable materials and will have a negative impact on the environment …. Infact using a special mix on the walls could sequest carbon for up to 100 years. The final design is still being discussed. You can contact us to be involved in this.
Don’t Compost toilets smell?
No if constructed properly there is no smell with compost toilets. Urine is separated from solids. There are many compost toilets in the area which demonstrate this.
How much money is designated to private lands?
In conjunction with the Welsh government, in accordance with grant guidelines this is equivalent to £2,000 plus £60 per acre for all land holdings within the catchment area. Holding must be 2 acres minimum to qualify for this.
What is the catchment area?
The catchment area is about 3,500 acres of land surrounding the community in land spanning Talley and Cwmdu. The catchment area was developed in consultation with the Welsh government to ensure a balance between meeting the original parameters of the project which require a “visual component, to ensure that much of the catchment area can be viewed from the site, this helps underpin the information and education elements of the project” whilst also taking into account an equitable distribution of capital across local landowners, wildlife corridors and diverse habitats.
What happens if the money isn’t claimed?
The money is allocated to each parcel of land within the catchment area. However, if LAND does not spend all the money by 2023, the money will be returned to the Welsh government. There is no possibility of getting an extension on the date, despite delays due to COVID because the money is from the EU. Therefore, if toward the end of the project (exact date to be determined), landowners have not applied for and received monies and we have made our best effort to contact them, the money will no longer be earmarked for private land. These funds will be given a new designation within the project, such as being used to develop the green marketing brand for local businesses part of the project (see initial grant application)
How do I know if I’m eligible?
If you’re in the catchment area, which spans 3,500 acres centred around Mynydd Cynros, you are eligible to apply. If your property is within the highlighted region you are eligible within the LAND grant requirement.
If I only have a garden, or small parcel of land can I still apply?
Yes! So long as the project fits our guidelines, you can apply. We can’t help you out with your gardening or landscaping projects, but contact us with your interest/idea and we will be happy to see if your project fits the requirements on a case by case basis.
Can I offer my land management services?
Yes! While we cannot pay landowners to carry out work on their own land. You may offer land management services for any properties you do not own. Please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with more information. Preference will be given to local suppliers and contractors.
Where can I find out what contractors are used?
We will publish a list of contractors on the website (page coming soon).
How can I get more involved?
The key to successfully delivering local LAND Project rests on our volunteers. The whole of the TCAA and most of the LAND project is run by a team of volunteers. In order to assure the maximum funds are distributed to the community there are only two paid positions: Engagement Officer, Ian Tame who is contracted to work 1 day a week, and Project Coordinator, Peter Phillips who is contracted to work 2 days per week. However the logistical requirements to deliver over £500,000 of community and environmental amenities between now and 2023 requires participation from a wide and diverse range of community members and volunteers. We would welcome you to contact email@example.com if you would like to get involved in any capacity - we are currently in need of Welsh translators, and anyone who can help us out with communications, outreach, day to day administration as well as our monthly work parties on Mynydd Cynros.
How can I reach you?
You can go to our contact us page. You may also enjoy attending one of our monthly TCAA meetings, or work parties, or other events. If these don’t suit you you can always drop your ideas, comments or suggestions in one of our community consultation boxes located at church hall, community orchard and school . Or drop by Talley pop-up for our bi-monthly community information table where you can meet our volunteers and ask us any questions!
Who is responsible for keeping footpaths and tracks on the mountain clear?
The area on the mountain open to the public is ownedational Resource Wales (NRW) and Talley village. Please refer to the TCAA About us page for a map of who is responsible for which area.NRW is responsible for maintaining the tracks and footpaths they waymark. The area belonging to TCAA (please refer to map) is the responsibility of TCAA. If you see any issues on your walks up the mountain please let the TCAA know and we can communicate with NRW if necessary.
Who do I contact if I want to volunteer to help maintaining footpaths and orchard area?
Please contact Ian Tame via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you doing anything about Himalayan balsam?
We have ‘balsam bashing’ groups in the early summer, but need many more people to join in to have a real effect. If you see any or need help with some on your land, please let us know.
How do I apply for a grant?
To apply for a grant, complete the expression of interest form. If you have any doubts, or queries about completing the application, you can contact Peter Phillips at email@example.com. Once you have completed your expression of interest form, please email it to local.land. firstname.lastname@example.org, post, or deliver it to Ty Ann Arthur, Talley.
When is the deadline for applications?
Deadline for final applications is December 2022. All final works must be completed by March 2023
What is the process once I complete the expression of interest form?
You will be contacted by our Project Coordinator who will arrange for a site visit to discuss your project requirements.
I’m a landowner and would like to use my own contractor. Can I do that?
Yes! For any projects under £5,000, you may use an external local contractor that you have an established relationship with. The WG requires for projects over £5,000 that we request quotes from at least 3 different contractors. All contractors must have professional insurance and a proven track record of delivery. A contract will be issued to individuals, organisations or companies involved in any project delivery activities and will include reference to relevant health, safety and environmental regulations. Timescales for delivery will be specified and selection of contractors will be based upon: value for money, previous track record, locale and delivery capabilities.
Why does it look like one landowner is getting more work done than I can on a similar acreage?
Any 2 acre plus holding can apply for £2000 plus £60/acre (in the designated area) for specified, recorded and agreed projects. The SMS Grant will pay for a contractor and materials, payment cannot be made to a landowner to do the work themselves. A landowner may however decide to do some of the work themselves so as to achieve a larger plan. For example if Landowner A has 10 acres and wants to put in a new hedge (which must be double fenced) they may decide to order and plant trees himself and request the £2600 from LAND for the fencing, hence be able to plant a longer hedge than would otherwise have been possible. Landowner B may require a pond, but the £2600 does not cover the whole task and may pay the extra amount themselves.
Note: the text on this page is not yet available in Welsh (yet). However, if you want to read it in Welsh, try using Google Translate for a Welsh version of this page at your own risk.
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