Old Hall Gardens


Financial support

Maintenance and improvement of Old Hall Gardens is one of the projects of the Cowbridge Charter Trust cio, a registered Charity No: 1156293. For full details about the Trust and about the other projects that they are involved with, please have a look at their website: www.cctrust.co.uk.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support we receive from the following organisations:

Creative Rural Communities, which administers the Welsh Government’s funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, has been stalwart in its encouragement from the start of the project.

The façade was restored and painted and the terrace renewed and extended; broken benches in the courtyard replaced and information lecterns and wall panels installed; and leaflets and workbooks have been created. Along with all this there has been a major refurbishment of the access passageway, the lighting and the Georgian walls within the garden. 

Environment Wales is a key supporter, granting funds for much of the planting of the garden, for restoring the pond and building the pergola for the ancient wisteria, as well as contributing to the leaflets and workbooks. We are also grateful for their suggestion of the volunteers wearing work kit which identifies us to the public as we work in the gardens, and then the funding of its supply.

Gareth Davies, Cowbridge Charter Trust’s project officer at Environment Wales, used Old Hall Gardens as a case study to encourage similar groups and wrote as follows:

"When not getting drowned by month after month of exceptionally wet weather, the Old Hall Grounds Revival project is the perfect example of a beautiful urban garden. A haven, where you can sit and watch the nodding daffodils and bluebells, follow the tiny Goldcrest as it hops from branch to branch of the old Yew tree, or maybe chase the small tortoiseshell or peacock as you look for the perfect picture. Under expert supervision the garden is a welcome attraction for the local community, visitors and local wildlife." 

Biffa Award

In 2013, Cowbridge Charter Trust  installed a Story Space for children next to Cowbridge Library funded by a grant of £5k from Biffa Award with match funding from Creative Rural Communities. Biffa Award, whose community and environmental fund is supported by the Landfill Communities Fund and administered by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trust, also awarded the Trust an extra £2k for coming first among the small projects they had supported nationwide, during the Biffa Awards ceremony in September 2013.

Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts

Since 1997, the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) has been awarding grants to environmental and community projects under the fund name Biffa Award. The fund administers money donated by Biffa Group Ltd, a leading integrated waste management business.

Biffa Group Ltd

Under the Landfill Tax Regulations 1996, landfill operators like Biffa Group Ltd are liable for taxes on waste deposited in landfill sites. The Landfill Communities Fund allows them to donate a small percentage of their tax liability to projects working to improve communities living within the vicinity of landfill sites. 

Landfill Tax and the Landfill Communities Fund

Any waste that is discarded which cannot be reused, reprocessed or recycled may ultimately be disposed of in a landfill site. To encourage Landfill site Operators (LOs) to re-use, recycle, recover more value from waste and use more environmentally friendly methods of waste disposal, Landfill Tax is charged on each tonne of waste sent to landfill.

LOs are able to claim a credit (currently 5.1%) against their landfill tax liability to support a wide range of community and environmental projects in the vicinity of their landfill sites through the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF). The LCF is regulated by ENTRUST on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs, and the projects are delivered by enrolled Environmental bodies.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council, under its Rural Regeneration initiative, financed the restoration of the Town Walls and the regeneration of the buildings. The VoG Parks Department gives the project on-going and vital partnership support.

The volunteers

Thanks go to our group of Volunteers, under the guidance of Richard Browning, without whose help on a Thursday morning Old Hall Gardens would soon revert to a wilderness.

Our thanks go also to the many people who gave so generously of their time and expertise to start the whole process of, in the first instance, restoring the Town Walls in 2006. Once that enormous project had been completed, a proposal was drawn up by John Sherwood to revitalise the gardens of Old Hall. Part of the objective was to provide a home for some of the wildlife that had been disturbed by the renovations, and hence the gardens were planned to encourage biodiversity as well as providing a pleasant place for people to visit.

A copy of the formal Proposal for the Revival of Old Hall Grounds, November 2006, can be downloaded here.

Some of the early volunteers are sadly no longer alive, and others are now feeling too frail to continue working in the Gardens – without their enthusiasm and commitment, Old Hall Gardens might never have been rescued from dereliction.

Cowbridge Town Walls Restoration Committee and Volunteers (2006):

  • Luke Millar (Chair)                       
  • Jeffrey Alden
  • Robert Cope
  • Peter Jones
  • Bruce McGovern                                         
  • John Sherwood
  • Dick Tonkin
  • David Williams

 Old Hall Gardens Committee (2008):

  • Linda Adams, now Osborn (Chair)
  • Phil Chappell
  • Francis Hayes
  • Peter Jones
  • Luke Millar
  • Linda Nottage
  • John Sherwood
  • Mary Wallis
The website

The photographs included on this website have been taken by volunteers: Linda Nottage, without whose help it would be very much less colourful; John Sherwood, responsible for many of the Moths photographs; and Biga John. All copyright to these photographs remains with them; they may not be reproduced anywhere without written permission, for which please send an email to: cctrust@hotmail.co.uk

Notes on the history of Old Hall Gardens are based on: Old Hall Grounds Cowbridge: A Brief History, with kind permission of the authors, Dick Buswell and Linda Osborn. This is a pamphlet published by the Cowbridge Charter Trust and is available free of charge from Old Hall, Cowbridge.

The website has been created with the help of one of our Volunteers: Biga John. If you have any suggestions for information to be included, or for us to form links with your website, please contact her on: biga.john@gmail.com