To help people visualise what South Wales was like 300 million years ago, and aid the interpretation of the plant fossils found in the local coal deposits, we decided to grow a Carboniferous Garden. Modern relatives of prehistoric plants including clubmosses, tree ferns and giant horsetails have been grown in greenhouses at Cyfarthfa Castle (Merthyr Tydfil).
The garden has been developed in conjunction with the Local Authority’s Social Services department and is tended on a daily basis by young adults with learning difficulties and special needs. The garden has been developed slowly over a two year period when funding has become available. We are currently in the process of developing interpretation and educational resources and plan to promote the garden as a local educational resource.
Initially many of the plants were grown in moveable containers, so that they could also be taken to events at other locations – in 2015 and 2016 they were used to great effect at the Royal Horticultural Show in Cardiff where we produced award winning displays. The greenhouses are open to the public and can be visited at Cyfarthfa Castle.
For more information see: http://geoconservationlive.org/site/carb-garden/