An orchard that provides free apple juice for local schoolchildren and a memorial garden to honour lost loved ones have helped the “blooming marvellous” residents of a housing estate win a major environment gong.
The hard work of the Green Fingers group on the Chester Avenue estate in Kinmel Bay has been officially recognised with a Green Flag Community Award from Keep Wales Tidy.
The orchard is bursting with three varieties of apple trees, pear trees and blackcurrant bushes.
Every autumn an apple press is brought in and youngsters from the two local schools, Ysgol Maes Owen and Ysgol y Foryd, are invited down to taste the delicious apple juice.
The attractive memorial garden was a labour of love for the volunteer team who transformed a piece of derelict land and planted roses there.
It was officially opened last year and the plaque unveiled during the ceremony bears the inscription: “In loving memory of residents past, gone but not forgotten.”
Cartrefi Conwy’s environmental development officer, Matt Stowe, was keen to point out that all the credit for the “remarkable achievement” should go to volunteer members of the Green Fingers group who worked tirelessly to brighten up their estate.
He said: “This has really come from the community group themselves, from the tenants.
“The only support that we’ve given really is with the application process for the Green Flag community award.
“It’s so refreshing to see that the community group has got together with a shared intent. They’ve taken the bull by the horns and they’ve got that direction and that enthusiasm and that passion.
“I’m extremely proud of what they’ve achieved and I had every confidence that they’d be successful, having seen the hard work that they’ve put in.
“For them to be recognised with a national award is really something to be very proud of. It’s huge achievement.”
Emma Abdelkhalek, Community House development assistant, who is also a member of the Green Fingers group, also paid tribute to Stan and the other volunteers.
She said: “They’re a small group of mainly older people so to achieve something as big as the Green Flag Community Award is fantastic.
“They have been instrumental in creating a massive transformation and it has brought a bit of pride to the area.”