Pontypridd’s local environmental groups are encouraging the organisers of the Eisteddfod to make the environment and sustainability a priority for Eisteddfod 2024, the Welsh language event that will be held in Pontypridd in August next year.
‘In Pontypridd we are very proud of Ynysangharad Park on the banks of the river Taff’ says local resident Catrin Doyle. ‘The park is well loved in Ponty- both by the people who use it every day and also the incredible wildlife that thrives there’
‘There have been several sustainable developments recently which make me feel that it is possible for Eisteddfod 2024 in Pontypridd to be the greenest Eisteddfod ever!’
Alongside local environmental group Friends of the Earth Pontypridd, Catrin campaigns locally for green developments to reduce carbon emissions, prevent climate change, and encourage bio-diversity and nature in the area. Together with young people and ecologists, Catrin has spent the last few years studying and celebrating the wildlife in Pontypridd, including kingfishers and otters in the Taf river at Ynysangharad Park. She says ‘I appreciate the Eisteddfod is doing its best to reduce the plastic waste of the Maes, and I know the wildlife will appreciate it too.
‘As for our carbon footprint and climate change, a lot of work is being done with the trains being electrified in the area, which is a great opportunity to reduce the carbon emissions of the journey to the Eisteddfod. Perhaps the Welsh Government will consider offering discounted tickets to the Maes for those who have traveled on public transport- that would be a fantastic way to show commitment to the nation’s sustainability and de-carbonisation targets.’
Local Green Party councillor Angela Karadog also recognises that there is much to celebrate in Pontypridd but warns against some of the proposed developments. ‘The rivers and mountains in this area were once black from coal, but since the decline of the coal industry we are seeing a regeneration of trees, wild flowers, pollinators and birds returning to Pontypridd.’
‘There is a need to ensure that any infrastructure developments or groundwork in the park are nature-positive and help mitigate the effects of climate change’ stresses Ms Karadog, who opposes the felling of trees in the park to make way for large-scale events such as the Eisteddfod. ‘It would be a tragedy if an amazing event such as the Eisteddfod, an event to promote and preserve Welsh language and culture for generations-to-come, was preceded by felling of trees and robbing those future generations of their natural heritage.’
Alongside many residents and environmental groups in Pontypridd, Angela and Catrin feel duty-bound to preserve life on this planet for future generations. ‘There will be a warm welcome in the hillsides of Pontypridd for the Eisteddfod, but we must put the planet first.’