The Penllergare Trust
Penllergare Valley Woods was once the home of the Llewelyn family and today is still privately owned. The estate consists of over 250 acres of woods, lakes and parkland as well as a Victorian Walled Garden. However, after the death of Sir John Talbot Dillwyn Llewelyn in 1927 the family moved to Llysdinam in Powys and much of the estate was sold off for housing development.
The Penllergare Trust was formed more than twenty years ago following a decision of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust to try to identify and raise money to save and restore the remains of this important landscape and has been built on the three pillars of Conservation, Community and Education.
However, having successfully achieved this first objective (see Saving Penllergare) and agreed a lease with the landowners, the Trust soon realised that to sustain the woods in the longer term, and achieve its aims on conservation and education, it would need to continue to raise funds to provide the staff and equipment necessary for the upkeep of the estate and to pay the agreed £35,000 annual rent. It was therefore decided that with the help of volunteers the Trust would add a coffee shop and car park, build an education centre and try to restore the once renowned gardens.
Today the Trust (as a small charity) consists of a group of eleven volunteer trustees with both commercial and public sector experience, supported by two full time and a number of part-time staff. However, the successful operation of the estate is heavily reliant on its 120 volunteers in areas such as gardening, conservation, maintenance, and the operation of the coffee shop. The Trust is also supported by a very active Friends organisation who continue to raise funding through their subscriptions and other fund raising activities.