Coed Y Bwl Open Day

Coed-y-Bwl Reserve’s celebrated wild daffodils were in full bloom for the Bridgend Group’s highly successful Open Day on Sunday when their new information board and cairn were unveiled by Murray McLaggan of Merthyr Mawr Estate.

Mr McLaggan recalled the early history of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales’ conservation work at the reserve,when over thirty years ago, Dutch Elm disease ravaged the wood and threatened the daffodils with the sudden exposure to invasive bramble.

Coed y Bwl wild daffodil woods, near St. Brides Major by Richard Marks

Coed y Bwl wild daffodil woods, near St. Brides Major by Richard Marks

He also thanked the long-term group of volunteers for their maintenance work to protect the woodland and its wealth of wildlife.

Alun Cairns, Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan, along with Sir Geoffrey Inkin, of Castle-upon-Alun House were among the guests.

And Bridgend Group chairman Tony Wilson was there to introduce the proceedings and pay tribute to the volunteers for their dedication at the reserve over four decades.

Mr Cairns said he was highly impressed by the volunteers’ conservation work over such a long period. The reserve and its lovely setting in the Alun Valley was a credit to the Trust and Merthyr Mawr Estate – and a wonderful local amenity for the area.

And the event was preceded by a timely weather report from the crest of the reserve by ITV Wales weatherman James White who predicted some fine days ahead for spring blossom.

Alan Cairns MP, Murray McLaggan and members of Bridgend Local Group

Alan Cairns MP, Murray McLaggan and members of Bridgend Local Group

Warden Richard Marks thanked Merthyr Mawr Estate and Mr. McLaggan for their continued renewal of the leasehold since 1972 and called on younger volunteers to step in and help protect the wood for future generations of country lovers.

Scores of visitors walked around the six-acre reserve to see the daffodils and listen to Spring birdsong.

Group secretary Peter Hatherley said: “The event was a resounding success – blessed by fine weather which encouraged a steady flow of visitors. Thanks are due to Trust staff  for helping to organise the event and running a shuttle service for visitors from St. Brides Major.”