Category Archives: Latest News

Volunteers defy the heatwave

Conditions were far too hot last Saturday for outdoor physical work but, despite this, our volunteers got a great deal done. Their spirits were lifted by the beautiful display of rose blossoms on the shrubs that were planted in the graveyard only a year or two ago.
As part of our efforts to attract wildlife three bat boxes were erected and it is hoped that they will be occupied in due course.
Several gravestones that were leaning over and had become unstable were firmly reset.
During work to level some uneven ground two previously unrecorded gravestones were unearthed. Interestingly the dates on these go back as far as the 1820’s and these will require further research.

Lovely Little Liverworts!

We don’t always appreciate the wonders that lie just beneath our feet. Take a look at this ‘liverwort forest’ spotted yesterday by volunteers working in Saron Graveyard. These plants have been around for 470,000,000 years (that’s 470 million); well before dinosaurs roamed the earth. Amazing!

Love your community, its heritage, its present, its future.

Jean Luffman's photo (1)

The Troedyrhiw community has always participated in and supported a whole range of activities. The village once had an unrivalled reputation locally for sport, music and drama with its chapels and schools playing an important role. There is much still to be proud of with some very active agencies and community groups working hard to bring about environmental and social improvements with all the benefits in health and well-being that this will bring.


Will you support this hard working community group?


After 8 years of effort and many ‘ups and downs’ Friends of Saron remain as determined as we were at the outset to see this project through to a successful conclusion.

It is beyond doubt that the appalling condition of Saron Graveyard before this project began was the result of long-term neglect. The hard work of Friends of Saron volunteers can only take the improvements so far and we now desperately need an injection of funding to replace a large section of retaining wall which, through lack of maintenance over many years, has been allowed to collapse. The positions of those parties that have an interest in this property have not always been helpful and the process of unlocking funding is proving to be complex.

A local professional environmentalist has summed up our situation in this way:-

“your progress to date is fabulous (based on my 25 years of environmental community work experience), setbacks are frustratingly commonplace as you have discovered and more groups than not do not survive even to the implementation of anything significant at all. Worst of all are landowners/leaseholders who contribute nothing at all but dictate such matters as where funds come from to implement works on their land for their benefit and this should be strongly voiced. It is not the leaseholder who is receiving the grant but I understand that awkward people are awkward…and it is people and not organisations when you dig!”

Please support us, if you possibly can, by attending our next COMMITTEE MEETING which will be held at the Angel Inn, Troedyrhiw at 6.30pm on Thursday 15th June.

You might also like to see what we are doing in the graveyard and, perhaps, give us an hour or so of your time at our VOLUNTEER DAY from 10.00am on Saturday 17th June. We would really like to see you.

Some dates for your diary


The excellent turnout by residents at last year’s unveiling of a heritage plaque at Saron Graveyard and at other heritage related events in the village has been most encouraging. Please make a note of these forthcoming opportunities to, again, show your interest:-
FRIENDS OF SARON MEETING – Thursday 15 June – 6.30pm – Angel Inn
VOLUNTEER DAY – Saturday 17 June – From 10.00am – Saron Graveyard
Your support is very important to this project so please attend these events if you possibly can.

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Giving Our Wildlife a Chance

Common Pipistrelle

The Saron Graveyard Project is working to create a memorial and wildlife garden. If you have been following the progress of the project you will have seen some of the ways in which we have begun to improve the habitat value of this area of the village. Now we intend to do something for our bats. These have been described as “unique mysterious creatures glimpsed at dusk darting through the night sky as they hunt for insects”.

DSC01353Why do bats need our help? Sadly our UK bat populations have declined dramatically during the past century. Many of the roosting sites and feeding grounds that they need have been destroyed to make way for buildings and roads, or other changes in land use. Pesticides have not only killed many of their insect prey, but also some of the bats themselves.

At our next Volunteer Day in June we will be installing some bat boxes in suitable locations. Why not call in to see what we are doing? You will be made most welcome.

You might even be motivated to make and erect your own bat boxes. You will find plenty of helpful information online.


Natural Beauty and Human Thoughtlessness


Wildflowers emerging on our waysides and verges can be a wonderful and uplifting sight. These lovely bluebells at the side of the Chapel Street to Cardiff Road footpath should be a case in point. Unfortunately, the scene is ruined by the thoughtless actions of the few people in our community that think they have a perfect right to fly tip anywhere and everywhere around our village.

If you are concerned about this sort of thing then the following piece from the website is well worth reading:-

LITTER, ITS IMPACT ON LOCAL COMMUNITIES Litter is not a small problem. Keep Britain Tidy wrote in a recent report that “litter is one of the first signs of social decay. If we don’t care about litter in the places where we live then we are unlikely to care about other environmental issues that negatively impact on our lives, our community and society”.

People should be proud of the areas that they live in. When an area has a litter problem, it is going to reduce or even destroy the pride that residents have in living there. When an area has a litter problem, its residents don’t want to spend time there, meaning an area become uncared for, community spirit suffers, and as a result people’s wellbeing and health suffer. It also means that residents worry about other problems associated with litter, such as economic impact, crime and anti-social behaviour.

Please let us know what you think about the litter situation in Troedyrhiw and the efforts of Neighbourhood Watch and others to tackle this problem.

We would be very grateful if residents would report this and other incidents of fly tipping to Merthyr Council.

A Heritage Asset Which is Still at Risk

Dating from the 1830’s Saron Graveyard is a vital part of the historic fabric of our village which connects the Troedyrhiw of today with its past.

Neglect, lack of maintenance, vandalism, colonisation by weeds and trees and collapse of boundary walls have all taken their toll. Friends of Saron volunteers have been working hard on a shoestring budget to reverse this degradation and restore an important heritage asset to a condition that we can all be proud of.

If our volunteers had not intervened when they did it is likely that Saron Graveyard would have reached the point of no return. We feel a great sense of satisfaction at the difference that our programme of improvement work has made and remain determined to see this project through to a successful conclusion.

Take a look at what our volunteers were doing last Saturday. Very many thanks to Steve C., Simon, Mark, Steve E., Sheila, Andrew, Phil, Brian, Frances, Chris and David for yet another day’s hard but rewarding work.


Friends of Saron AGM 2017

The 8th Friends of Saron AGM was held at the Willows last week. Many thanks are due to everyone that supported this successful meeting and to those who were unable to attend and sent their apologies. In due course the minutes of the meeting will be posted in the Documents section of this blog.

Please support your Local History Forum

New programme for blog

Are you interested in the history of Troedyrhiw and the surrounding area? If so, then please support this venture.