Spring of 2022
The Idea
Catrin and Anne-Mie have a fun idea

What if we declare that Pontypridd is a Nature Reserve? What would that mean? What would that look like? How would we learn about and protect nature here?

February 2022
They bring Sarah and Angela on board

In the beginning we were just a funny social media meme - an idea, a what if, a prompt to see things differently. People kept sending messages to ask where we were based.

June 2022
We secured funding from Arts Council Wales and lots of match funders too.

Thanks everyone for believing in us!

July 2022
Planning and Connecting
Consulting the Experts

We held talks, meetings and seminars with our funders, match funders, and stakeholders to come up with a plan for activities and events and learning.

August 2022
Community engagement
Foraging with Adele Nozedar

August 2022
Community engagement
Summer of Fun

River Walk with Gareth Edge of South East Wales Rivers Trust 

Butterflies, Bees and Beetles Walk with Liam Olds 

September 2022
Youth Forum
Building a youth forum

Inviting young people to share their ideas and help build the project - we started the NATUR Map here and experimented with making seed paper.

September 2022
Digital Content

We are collecting stories of interesting nature finds around Pontypridd, share your story with our socials and we will add it to the map.

October and November 2022
Creative Output
Creating the Logo

Catrin and Anne-Mie had lots of fun creating different versions of the logo.

December 2023
Youth Forum
Calculating your carbon footprint

We joined forces with the Europe wide Mobile Learning Communities project and let a youth group in Athens set us some challenges. The first one was to calculate our Carbon Footprint and challenge Pontypridd to reduce its Carbon footprint in 2023.

December 2023
Youth Forum
Festive Get Together

This time we joined forces with Coleg y Cymoedd's young friends of the earth to complete another challenge from the Greek youth group - Go for a nature walk and record the biodiversity.

Scan the code to see our biodiversity photos.

January 2023
Welcome to Rhi!
Employing an Intern

The project needed some guidance from a youth perspective so we advertised for an intern. All of the candidates were great - but ultimately Rhi captured our hearts and imaginations.

February 2023
Creative Output
The Promo Video

Using footage from Pontypridd, youth forum members created funny voiceovers with a serious message - nature is all around us, Pontypridd is a Nature Reserve.


March 2023
Working with young people
Walk and Chalk

Catrin embarked on a series of artistic conversations with young people, walking in nature and making note of key words or naming nature in chalk.

March 2023
Youth Forum
Youth Zoom

The youth forum got together online with Angela and Rhi to plan out how to engage new members and come up with ideas for activities.

May and June 2023
Working with and mentoring young people
Seed Hope Now

Catrin and the youth forum invited the community to become Ponty Protectors at Shoni’s Pond and Barry Sidings by Balsam Bashing - a fun way to protect the valuable biodiversity of local habitats.

May and June 2023
Collaborative and creative outputs
Basket weaving workshops

All of that bashed balsam needed somewhere to go so Catrin ran willow basket making workshops with local youth groups. The baskets were placed at Barry Sidings and Shoni's Pond. 

March 30
Community Engagement

We helped turn Ponty blue for dementia.

March and April 2023
Youth Forum
Building on the Youth Forum

Working with Dan from Growth Mind and Thrive we came up with a plan for engaging more young people. This consisted of a 3 tiered approach including outreach sessions at existing youth clubs such as YEPS, public activities and events and work mentoring the core group to become avocates.

April - December 2023
Youth Forum
YEPS workshops

Anne-Mie worked with lots of local YEPS groups to introduce the project and create nature letters for a NATUR ffont.

April 2023
Creative Outputs
Fungi Sculptures

Anne-mie learned how to make sculptures from fungi, using a mould and hemp substrate colonised with Reishi (G. Lucidum) cultures. 

June 2023
working with the experts
Pond Dipping

Pond dipping and river sampling at Shoni’s pond with @rhonddariverforall and Gareth Edge south east wales rivers trust

June 2023
Creative Output
Bot Coeden

Angela has been working with young people, collecting words and poems and ideas about a conversation with a tree which she used as the data to create  Tree-bot.

June 2023
Youth and community activities
Great Big Green Week

Balsam bashing and generally supporting Pontypridd Green Week

June 2023
How to grow a sculpture
Anne-Mie organised a fungi sculpture workshop. We explored how to make moulds and how to ‘grow’ an object. We used colonised hemp substrate with Reishi (G. Lucidum) cultures, a biomaterial that can be composted at the end of its life.
June 2023
Youth takeover
Rhi makes nature music
July 2023
Youth Forum
Book Swap and Catch-up

Youth forum took advantage of a sunny day to exchange eco-books and interview each other about what NATURponty means.

July 2023
Youth Takeover
Alice does work experience

Alice transcribed our youth forum interviews and made these gorgeous frames for our forum member profiles. 

July 2023
Youth Forum
Big Summer Gathering

A thank you to everyone involved so far.

Youth Forum
Meadow Street Masks
We got creative with masks and moss to make us more 'a part of nature' Check out the photos and gifs on our socials
August 2023
Community engagement
Ponty's Big Summer Fun Day

Engaging with the young people in our community to introduce the maniffesto and the NATUR ffont.

August 2023
Creative Output

You can download the font from our website and use it for yourself! 

Each letter was made by young people during workshops across Pontypridd.

September 2023
Youth Forum
Food and Ffwngi
We tasted vegan food to encourage everyone to introduce more plant-based dishes to our weekly diets, and Lynne Boddy, Professor of Fungal Ecology at Cardiff University gave an exciting online talk about The Amazing Hidden Kingdom.
October 2023
Creative Output
Biodiversity Carnival

Catrin worked with photographer Lucy Purrington and the youth forum to make stunning images of nature carnival masks they have created. All will be revealed in our exhibition in January...

October 2023
Youth voices

Following on from Chalk&Talk we took a deeper dive into some of the topics important to the young people we work with. Humans are part of nature and these humans care about expressing themselves through their art, about race, gender, LGBTQIA+ rights and recognition, disability, neurodiversity, accessibility and how our activism for nature can be transectional.

October 2023
Young People and Sustainability
NATURponty was joined by guest speakers Beth Leach and Cllr Jayne Brencher  for this online Seminar exploring the future of sustainability and environment oriented Youth work in Pontypridd
Ymunwch â NATURponty a siaradwyr gwadd ar gyfer y Seminar ar-lein hwn sy'n archwilio dyfodol cynaladwyedd, gwaith ieuenctid, a'r amgylchedd ym Mhontypridd
October 2023
Youth Forum/Community Event
Tŷ Un Nos

We were delighted to be involved in Tŷ Un Nos on the Common. We invited young people to illustrate and comment on the youth manifesto for nature.

October 2023
Creative Output
Mycelium Entity
Anne-Mie worked with youth forum member Lucie Powell to explore the idea of the 'Mycelium Entity' and what it stands for: 
overarching - spiritual, protecting nature and all living organisms in Pontypridd.

We can't wait for you to meet the mycelium entity at our exhibition in January.

November and December 2023
Creative Output

We met with youth groups and members of the youth forum to help put the final touches on the maniffesto. You can see the final piece at our exhibition in January

January 2024
Youth Forum
Next steps and future plans

In a super busy session the youth forum collaborated with Poet Rufus Mufasa to create a sound piece for the mycelium entity. They also made exciting plans for the future including fundraising to print a Welsh language version of the Maniffesto and baking some vegan goodies.

January 2024
Mae Pontypridd yn Nature Reserve

Our exhibition reflecting on events, talks and workshops by NATURponty - the Pontypridd Nature Reserve project - a participatory art project that aims to engage young people in discussions around biodiversity and climate change, and playing with possibilities for sustainable living side-by-side with nature through creative activities.

The Future