Please note that this site is still under construction

It took many months of searching and viewing land to find an appropriate location central to the area covered by our membership – the former county of Gwent. In the beginning of 2017 we found a lovely 5 acre site near Llanfair Kilgeddin. We have been supported by many of our members and
their partners who have tirelessly given of their time and expertise to enable us to find, buy and register the land. Purchase was completed in late 2017.
The next step was to obtain planning permission for a building fit for purpose. We put our ideas together and employed an architect to design a building with a small hall, kitchen, toilets, veranda separated by glass from the hall –(children inside, bees being demonstrated outside), honey lab and extracting room, a large store room and workshop. Planning permission was granted in September 2018.
Having failed to obtain a large grant from the Assembly to fund our build, we have now decided on a smaller timber-frame building, and have resubmitted our plans to accommodate this.

Our site is 5 acres. The apiary and study centre are to be on the west side. Our plans for the remaining area of land are to nurture a wild flower meadow, and plant a community orchard - that we have now done. National Grid have donated us £10000.00 for some stock proof fencing, the fruit trees and ground work. This work has now been completed.

We have been fortunate to receive a donation of £11,756.22 from Waitrose Abergavenny plastic bag fund which we have put towards the new build. Tesco have donated us £2000.00 from their plastic bag fund. Garfield Weston have given us £10000.00,  the Florence Shute Millennial Fund £5000.00.  and Usk Farmers Club £500.00.  The Heritage Lottery Fund has donated £10000.00 for apiary works and car parking. The Woodland Trust have supplied us with hedging plants and Knauf insulation of Cwmbran is giving us roof insulation. Monmouthshire Building Society have donated us £516.00 match funded to buy 9 new bee suits. The Prince of Wales fund is donating £5000.00 for apiary equipment. Western Power are donating £1000.00 for apiary/lab equipment. Hewlett Packard Foundation are also making ongoing donations to GBK through their employee volunteer scheme. We, at GBK, have saved £20,000.00 towards this project.

We have further smaller grant applications in the pipe line and we are continuing to working on these to raising funds.
For many years Gwent Beekeepers have aspired to own our own teaching apiary. This will enable us to have apiary meetings as frequently as needed which would maximise our teaching potential both
for our own members and invited members of the public and school groups. Regular weekly
meetings in well-equipped surroundings would engender a pleasant social atmosphere, that would encourage members new and veteran to attend and share their experience. Beekeeping is an increasingly challenging activity to maintain. We need to support and encourage each other to sustain and increase our number of beekeepers. Not owning our own site has been a disincentive to investment on site to improve our facilities. Up until now we have had generous land-lords who have allowed us to use their land, but access has been limited and landlords circumstances can
change. We have had to move site several times. The disruption to the apiary and work involved in finding alternative sites has been enormous.
In 2016 we were offered a very generous private donation of £80000.00 to buy our own land. As a registered charitable association, there are limitations on buying land so the next step was to apply to the Charity Commission and change the status of our organisation to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation – CIO. This was transacted and completed in September 2017. We are now GBK CIO reg no 1174746.

Donations gratefully received so far:

 

Private donation for the purchase of the land

Waitrose

National Grid

Garfield Weston Foundation

Heritage Fund

Monmouthshire Building Society

Prince of Wales Charitable Fund

Western Power

Tesco

Monmouthshire County Council

Hewlett Packard Foundation
The Florence Shute Millennium Trust

Woodland Trust

Usk Farmers Club

Knauf Insulation

 

 

Our new study centre and apiary

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