We’re a group of water lovers that spend time near the river every day.
Often we cycle, run, walk, or sit near it. Sometimes we kayak on or swim in it. The Taff is a part of our life – the focal point of our community.
We started the Living Taff because we think the river is being overlooked. Many other towns and cities, around the world, consider their local rivers to be an important part of their identity. Here in the Taff Valley, however, we have used the river for industry and to carry waste. This use turned people away from the river, which is reflected in urban planning.
The river is now relatively clean again, and organisations are working to clean it further. We believe that it is a good time to promote the river as a place to visit, organise events near the river, and to organise meetings where people based locally can talk about the future of urban planning in our valley.
Like the High Line in New York, the Taff’s banks could be a public space that local people find pride in, many will travel to visit, and other post industrial towns will learn from.
We have been developing the idea for about two years, and we launched it in June 2015. The launch was in the Pierhead (sponsored by Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM), where 400 people attended in three hours – it was lovely to meet so many people that share our interest of the river. We have had interest since, including some interviews with BBC Wales news, local and nation radio, and a BBC series about the Taff.
We’re applying to be a Community Interest Company, and we’ll soon launch a couple of projects for 2016 that will help achieve the aims highlighted above. If you would like to receive updates, please sign up to our email newsletter: http://www.tinyletter.com/livingtaff.