This is another of the ‘Nature Keepers’ oak sculptures.
The Nature Keepers project has been led by Bridgend County Borough Council, working together with local community groups.
They add interest to our beauty spots, and with the accompanying poetry, they capture the imagination of younger visitors by interweaving mythology into the sites.
Their aim is to spark an emotional connection to our green spaces, and so encourage people to visit as well as care more for them.
The Nature Keepers were carved out of Welsh oak by local sculptor Dai Edwards.
The sculpture is in Maesteg Welfare Park which is approximately nine point four hectares of formal parkland. Owned by Bridgend County Borough Council, it includes rugby pitches, bowling greens, tennis courts, formal bedding and tree lined paths. A local festival takes place each summer in the park.
The park’s newer features include wildlife ponds, runoff channels, paths and a footbridge. These works have been made with the Friends of Maesteg Welfare Park.
Originally the park was developed for the families of local miners in the 1930’s. Latterly a friends group has developed around the park and seeks to improve the biodiversity of the space through the Eco Llynfi project.
Keeper of the Valley: -
“I am the valley, its story I have kept
For I am the Keeper but long have I slept.
Look around you now, as I wake.
Look at my world as it passes.
Here there is a present, a gift from the past
From those who have died to those who will marry.
Here all is connected, here all is one,
Boundaries cannot split us up where I am the valley.
I am a hollow cradled out of earth,
Hills for my head, green for my girth.
I am a landscape busy with life,
Winking windows, dumb witnesses to strife.
I am the embers glowing in a grate,
An emerald jewel, in a necklace of slate.
I am a baize with rabbit hole pockets.
I am a landing pad for alien rockets.
I am a disco for wasps and bees,
Glitter balls of berries spinning in trees,
A drive thru for swallows, scooping up flies,
Buttercup glory, children’s mud pies.
I am a racing track for slugs and snails,
A land speed record for leaves in gales,
A dragonfly’s sweet shop, drizzled in sun.
I am a moment to sit, walk or run.
I am a comma, in the river’s story,
Polished diamond raindrops, water glory.
I am the gift of people who survived
For I am the valley, and I will thrive.”