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Free half term activities in Newtown

A partnership project that aims to demonstrate the link between sustainably managed green spaces and increased wellbeing launches during school half term week with free drop-in events at four locations in Newtown.

Where the Severn Smiles will highlight opportunities to be happier and healthier in Newtown’s green spaces. The project is being led by Open Newtown, a not-for-profit community enterprise,.

James Lander, who coordinates the project, said: “It is great to in partnership with Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, Newtown Recreation Association, Oriel Davies Gallery, Cultivate Co-operative, Circular Economy Mid Wales and Pont Hafren.”

Oriel Davies Gallery focuses on art, Cultivate Co-operative focuses on food and growing, Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust has a nature  and wildlife focus, Circular Economy Mid Wales focuses on sustainable use of materials, Newtown Recreation Association focuses on sports and activities and Pont Hafren is working with businesses to focus on the link between nature and wellbeing.

People of all ages are being encouraged to go along and try activities in art, food, sport and conservation at drop-in events to be held at the Evangelical Church Hall, Vaynor on Monday, February 17, Treowen Primary School on Tuesday, February 18, Hafren Primary School on Wednesday, February 19 and Maesyrhandir Primary School on Thursday, February 20.

Each event is free and open from 2pm to 7pm, with free food provided from 5pm. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult.

Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust is organising activities including making bird feeders, bug hotels and nest material hangers for participants to take home. Newtown Recreation Association will focus on sports and ideas for leading an active lifestyle at home during the winter.

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Oriel Davies Gallery will show visitors how to print with a pasta machine press and artist Elin Vaughan will demonstrate printmaking, enabling participants to take home their own prints. Fellow Artist Jane Mason will turn trash into treasures by creating ornaments for the home or garden using hidden parts of unwanted electrical goods.

Cultivate will focus on enhancing foraging in Newtown’s open spaces, developing edible trails in the town, finding food for free on your doorstep and exploring people’s favourite foraged food. Food sharing will include vegetable soup, flatbread and Welsh cakes.

All the half term events will be posted on Open Newtown’s Facebook page, facebook.com/opennewtown/events .

Each partner will also be running free workshops throughout March and at Easter. These later workshops – around art, food and nature based activities – must be booked in advance due to limited places available. Watch out for details at the half term events and on Open Newtown’s Facebook page.

Open Newtown is a not-for-profit community enterprise working on developing opportunities for people and enterprise based on the area’s rich nature.

Where the Severn Smiles is funded through the ENRAW (Enabling Natural Resources and Wellbeing) Fund, a Welsh Government initiative to explore how communities can work together to help the nation meet targets in both the Wellbeing and Future Generations Act and the Environment Act.