AN INITIATIVE designed to reward community and voluntary groups who improve the well-being of their communities, has its first winner.

The Hayscastle Environmental Society (HES) is the inaugural winner of the Pride in Pembrokeshire Award.

The project is the result of a partnership between the Pembrokeshire Public Services Board (PSB) and the Western Telegraph.

As well as receiving £200, each month’s winning entry will have their work featured in the Western Telegraph

The HES was among dozens of organisations who applied for the inaugural award.

Panel members were particularly impressed with the length of time that the organisation had been running; the number of volunteer hours contributed; the intergenerational nature of the activities; the focus on environmental enhancement and the strong links with other groups in the community and external partners.

Dave Baster from the Society said they were delighted they had been chosen.

“We will be putting the prize money to good use” said Mr Baster.

In not more than 500 words, applicants were required to detail their work and how it benefitted the community.

Mr Baster explained: “The HES has been operating for the last 17 years taking responsibility to maintain and improve the natural environment in the Hayscastle area.

“Our membership consists of farmers, self-employed people and retirees. Last year the group recorded 1,080 volunteer hours involving 65 activities.

“We work closely with members of the Hayscastle Community Forum and run a fortnightly Grasshoppers Club for children in the community to give them a practical introduction to gardening and biodiversity.”

On-going projects include:

• planting and maintaining eight flower beds in the village

• maintaining the community woodland

• cleaning and monitoring 30 bird nesting boxes and nine barn owl boxes

• carrying out litter-picks

• organising walks and field trips.

To submit an application for the next Pride in Pembrokeshire £200 cheque, just download the application form from the PAVS website – – or contact PAVS on 01437 769422 to receive a hard copy. Detail the work of the group and how it benefits the community in no more than 500 words and send the completed form to PAVS at the address provided.