The amazing transformation of allotments destroyed by Storm Dennis

The terrible floods brought to Wales by Storm Dennis did untold damage to many communities, individuals and businesses earlier this year.

The torrential rain in February flooded whole towns, such as Pontypridd and Monmouth when rivers burst their banks.

Among the many victims were allotment owners in Treforest, who were devastated by the damage caused after the Taff river swelled and flooded the surrounding areas.

Julie Bliszko breaks down in tears as she looks at her destroyed allotment in February 2020 Credit: ITV News

Six months on, and the area looks very different. Julie Bliszko owns the Tinplate Allotment site, and tends to her own patch of flowers and vegetables there.

She lost her whole flock of chickens and geese in the storm.

Storm Dennis destroyed 20 years of work in the allotments Credit: ITV News

"We were at a very low point six months ago", she told ITV News, "and didn't think we would ever be where we are now, with the virus as well, which hasn't helped.

"We've managed to do quite a bit down here. Going around, you'll see quite a bit of change".

Jean Hopkins' allotment was also destroyed. She says she was concerned that silt from the river would render the land barren, but instead it turned out to be a "great fertiliser".

The allotments have been transformed Credit: ITV News

Jean says without the allotment to visit, she would have struggled more since coronavirus hit Wales.

"I couldn't have coped at home, locked down, I just couldn't", Jean said.

"I'm an outdoor person and to able to come here and be isolated and safe has been a saviour".

It appears that more people in Wales are also looking for their patch of the good-life. Julie says there is now a waiting list of allotment applicants.

The Taff burst its banks in February Credit: ITV News

"It's grown threefold since...even despite having the flood here. People have started growing little bits at home and realised that back gardens are not enough, and they want to be able to come down", Julie said.

They have donated lots of what they've grown to a local foodbank.

"It's just nice to be able to give back to the community and to the people that helped us as well", Julie explained.

"We even had some donations of tools from an allotment up in Nelson, because everybody lost their tools when their sheds and things got blown away. So just a simple little gesture like that has made such a difference to everybody, and gave us the inspiration to carry on."