On September 12, Brecknock Gardening Association (BGA) held an Extraordinary General Meeting of Members when an agreement was reached to close the Association.

The decision was made due to the inability to form a committee to manage its future.

The remaining funds of BGA have been donated to three charities that are associated with horticulture.

The causes chosen by the BGA Trustees Ellie Hughes (Chair), Susan Walker (Treasurer) and Colin Greengrass are the Apprenticeship Scheme of the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW), Brecon Green Minds Ecotherapy Project and the Gardening Special Interest Group of Brecon University of the Third Age.

A group of apprentices and recent graduates of the NBGW Apprenticeship scheme attended the presentation of £3,500 on October 17 and said how much they benefited from the scheme.

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Colin Greengrass (BGA) second from left, with student apprentices in the Glass House at the National Botanic Garden of Wales (.)

Fundraising and Development Manager, Owen Thomas, said: “We are delighted to be receiving this generous donation from the Brecknock Gardening Association. It will make a huge difference to our Apprenticeship Scheme, which, since 2015, has given over 20 young people their first steps into becoming fully trained horticulturalists. With this support, we will be able to grow opportunities for more people to access our crucial training, providing us with the next generation of plant conservationists.

Jane Down Membership and Volunteer Department Manager, added: “This will really help with the Apprenticeship scheme - our past apprentices have gone on to achieve great things.”

The donation to Brecon Green Minds Ecotherapy Project was given to its leaders, Seren Berry and Ceri Hayes on October 18.

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Left to right: Trish Fretten (BGA), Ellie Hughes (Chair BGA), Seren Berry and Ceri Hayes (Brecon Green Minds) (.)

They said: ‘’We are extremely grateful to the Brecknock Gardening Association for the very generous donation of £2,500. It will enable us to purchase plants, a cold frame and fruit cage for our well-being garden at Brecon Cathedral as well as investing in interpretive boards to keep our local community and visitors to the town informed about our work. Our allotment at the Watton will also benefit. Both sites provide our members with beautiful green sites in which to socialize, learn horticultural skills and connect with nature and we all draw huge benefits from spending time in these spaces.

Quotes from members accessing the project included: ‘’It really helps with my anxiety levels and gets me out of the house doing things that make a difference’’, ‘’Spending mindful time in nature and meeting others is a great way to get out of your head and into your body’’, ‘’Being in nature makes me feel more calm and less anxious. At Green Minds I have made new friends and the sessions have been so rewarding’’ and “I would like to share the peace and tranquillity of this place with others.’’

The donation of £600, to the Gardening special interest group (SIG) of Brecon u3a was announced enthusiastically by Pat Wilkie to u3a members, some of whom are shown in the photograph, at their meeting on October 19. This group has previously undertaken planting of the containers at Theatr Brycheiniog and the donation will help fund their lively programme of gardening talks and visits.

Pat Wilkie and members of Brecon u3a Gardening Special Interest Group said: “We are delighted and very grateful for this generous donation.

“We will endeavour to find ways of spending the money to enhance the enjoyment and knowledge of gardening for members. Many benefits derive from our involvement in our horticultural activities and this will enable the group to achieve even more. We are committed to developing our expertise through the opportunities we will be able to develop as a result of your gift.

However, this donation is tinged with sadness at the loss of a long-standing Brecon association that will be much missed by the local community.”

The Trustees and Members of Brecknock Gardening Association are delighted that their remaining funds will give a much needed boost to all three associations and they wish them every success in the future.