Oh my what a beautiful garden!

Here is an artist’s impression of what we can expect the site to look like when it’s in full bloom. Doesn’t it look beautiful? The design is focused around utilising and enhancing what already exists in the landscape, while incorporating subtle sculptural interventions such as the pathway. While some of the existing scrubland will be left untouched, new plants will be added such as colourful wildflower and birch trees which will encourage new habitats to grow.

If you are familiar with Maesteg, you will know the site of the project as the old Maesteg Washery, the former coalfield. It’s right next to Maesteg Comprehensive School and is bordered by Sustrans’ Llynfi Valley cycling and walking route. If you are in the area, be sure to check it out!

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Construction of the artwork begins

Catherine Stephens-Ward, Arts Officer Sustrans Cymru

Construction of the artwork has begun, and today I visited the site to see how the artist, Jony Easterby is getting on. Despite having visited the site on numerous occasions I am always taken aback by how vast it is! Measuring just over one hectare, it’s a huge site for a public artwork, making it arguably Sustrans’ most ambitious art project to date.

Jony has been working tirelessly on the site for the last three weeks, and it shows! Already the site, a former coalfield has been transformed and the artwork is taking shape. There are diggers excavating the ground to create a wetland area at the centre of the site and the leftover earth is being used to create a raised pathway which will provide access into the artwork. I also saw monumental blue pennant stone boulders, which will eventually be used to form a partial screen around the wetlands.

Having worked with the artwork design on paper over the last several months, it is so exciting to finally see it come into fruition. The vastness of the site makes everything seem much larger in real life than I had expected. Jony was excited to give me a guided tour of the site however I was not prepared for how boggy the ground was. Wearing sandals meant that I was forced to observe from afar, however this meant I was able to take some good photographs.

Jony giving my colleagues a guided tour of the site.

In the short time I was there, I spotted many families walking past and stopping to look at the construction work. I spoke to one local family and explained the project and what it will eventually look like. They seemed impressed and said what a difference it would make to the area.

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A new public artwork for Maesteg

Catherine Stephens-Ward, Arts Officer Sustrans Cymru

Sustrans Cymru have been working with artists over the last several years to develop innovative and memorable public artworks along the Valley Cycle Network, part of the National Cycle Network in south Wales.

Public art has greatly enhanced the walking and cycling routes, adding interest for users, providing recreational spaces and opportunities for community engagement and social interaction.

Our latest artwork is an environmental, land art piece which will be situated in Maesteg, nestled within the beautiful Llynfi Valley. This blog will document the artwork’s journey from its conception through to construction and Sustrans participation with the local community.

The site for the forthcoming artwork, a piece of scrub land measuring over 1 hectare in size!

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