West Glamorgan and the Gower

West Glamorgan and the Gower has 25 nature reserves which Paul Thornton (Senior Wildlife Trust Officer), his team and volunteers manage.

Paul Demonstrating his Spoon Making Ability

Paul Thornton (Snr WTO) Demonstrating his Spoon Making Ability

Latest News in West Glamorgan

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Recent highlights 2011: over half of WTSWW reserves in this area are predominantly woodland. In 2009, Senior WTO Paul Thornton and his team also planted up 2 ha of improved grassland to create a new woodland reserve, Coed Barcud.

Over 100 nest boxes have been installed across 12 reserves including dormouse boxes in Gelli Hir/Priors Wood, and bat boxes at Killay Marsh.

The team has cleared extensive rhododendron and cherry laurel, especially in Gelli Hir and Priors Wood. A programme of thinning and coppicing has also been started in Gelli Hir, with coppice coupes being cut to create dormouse habitat, and thinned areas bringing more light to the woodland floor,encouraging more vigorous growth of hazel, honeysuckle, and other understorey species important for wildlife.

Sleeping Dormouse Photo by Bev Lewis

Sleeping Dormouse Photo by Bev Lewis

Derelict coppice in Hambury wood has been brought back into rotation.

Future work: Through the next 3 winters, Paul and his team will continue with the ambitious conservation thinning programme in Gelli Hir and coppicing plans in Hambury.

Next winter, they are planning thinning and glade creation throughout Priors Wood. Ring-barking will increase the quantity of standing deadwood which is incredibly important for invertebrates.

New works will begin at Craig Cilhendre and Melin Cwrt with conservation thinning being carried out over the next 5 years.

Thinning of beech (as part of the restoration) will be carried out at Kilvrough Woods to encourage ash regeneration. Some of these activities require a great time commitment and investment in machinery, and your support is needed to help us meet the costs of this essential conservation work.

  • West Glamorgan Reserves News Chipping at Coed Gawdir Stuart McKinnonThe winter season as usual has been busy with habitat management. Some of the work has been supported by the Welsh Government’s Glastir Woodland Management scheme and the WREN funded West Glamorgan Wild Woodlands project has enabled us to expand our delivery of work across a greater number of our 31 nature reserves. Areas of Priors ...
  • We’re Singing in the Rain! IMG_4992.jpgEarlier this year, the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales were engaged by Natural Resources Wales to create a Sustainable Drainage Scheme (SuDS) in the heart of Swansea. SuDS mimic the countryside in our towns and cities by using features such as ponds and green roofs, which intercept rain water as it falls, storing it in ...
  • Rain Gardens for People and Wildlife in Swansea Drain-rain-garden-planter-llanelli.jpgRain gardens are being planted at the heart of a city community to reduce the risk of flooding and improve habitat for wildlife. The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales has teamed up with Swansea Council’s Swansea Vale Resource Centre to install Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) at the facility to improve the way they deal ...
  • Horses for Courses in Woodlands Paul-and-Sol-working-horse.jpgWoodland management is a huge part of our job at the Wildlife Trust. Well managed woodlands are havens for biodiversity and can even be a source of income for the Trust, for example, at Gelli Hir wood, where we use the coppice to create ‘Gower Charcoal‘ for sale in local shops. To do this, we sometimes ...
  • Working for Wildflowers at White Rock Meadow-and-White-Rock-copperworks-RR-crop1.jpgWhite Rock is a wonderful place to discover, right in the heart of Copperopolis in Swansea. It is the site of one of the oldest Copper Works in Swansea, established in 1736, and was one of the most important works for copper smelting in the Lower Swansea Valley. Now, hidden under encroaching vegetation, there is an ...
  • New Woodlands Officer Tara out in the fieldHello West Glamorgan I’m Tara Daniels, the new West Glamorgan’s Wild Woodlands Project Officer for The Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales. I’ll be working in 12 woodlands across parts of the Gower, Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot area funded by WREN is a not for profit business that awards grants to community projects from funds ...
  • Wild about Swansea with the Local Group Mike Bright talks Fungi at the first talk of the autumn seasonFollowing a decline in members in the old West Glamorgan local group over the last few years, despite Swansea having a very high proportion of Wildlife Trust members, this year, members of staff joined forces with other local group committee members to rejuvenate the group and relaunch it as the Swansea Wildlife Trust Local Group. First ...
  • Gelli Hir in Focus Gelli Hir WoodGelli-Hir Wood is a mixed broadleaved and wet woodland with a large pond, home to many species and the base for the Gower Charcoal Makers. Gelli-Hir is the perfect place to come for a walk, with wide open tracks and a number of different habitats to explore. You can also see the charcoal kilns of ...
  • Water for People and Wildlife in Swansea Garden_PondA natural water system is a finely balanced thing, relying on wetlands, ponds, trees and plants to slow down the journey of water into rivers to create a healthy home where people and wildlife can flourish. So what happens when we pave over these green areas? Water is no longer absorbed by soil and vegetation, ...
  • Winter Departures – no, we didn’t head for the sun Woodland managementThis winter has been a bit of a departure from the norm for the staff and volunteer team. We left the woods and headed for the fields mainly focusing on the SITA Trust funded project at The Dranges. That’s not to say we haven’t been in the woods at all this winter. We have been carrying ...
  • The Dranges Marsh Fritillary Habitat Recovery Project Dranges swing gateIt felt like we were doing battle with the weather and ground conditions but as winter progressed so did the SITA Trust funded project to restore the habitat for Marsh Fritillary butterflies at The Dranges, Bishopston. February 2015 saw the completion of the external fencing, a total of 2500m. Internal boundary fencing was commenced and completed ...
  • The Dranges Marsh Fritillary Habitat Recovery Project Dranges workIt felt like we were doing battle with the weather and ground conditions but as winter progressed so did the SITA Trust funded project to restore the habitat for Marsh Fritillary butterflies at The Dranges, Bishopston. February 2015 saw the completion of the external fencing, a total of 2500m. Internal boundary fencing was commenced and completed ...