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

To sign up to the Swansea E-newsletter and receive all the latest news about our nature reserves and events in Swansea, click here.

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.

  • 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 ...
  • Door to Door Recruiters – Across South & West Wales Help us build a better future, photo by Zsuzsanna BirdLooking to supplement your income or pension? Wanting to work flexible hours? We welcome applications from all ages to our brilliant membership team. Location: Across south and west Wales Hours: 12-15 per week. Permanent, seasonal. Subject to completion of a probationary period. The role: We are looking for people to join our membership recruiting team to spread the ...
  • Tawe Volunteers Tomato plantIn Swansea we have a brilliant group of volunteers who are helping us raise awareness of the importance of local waterways and also are doing a fantastic job of looking after the local environment. Trouble with Tomatoes Happily, there have not been many serious pollution incidents on the Tawe recently, However, Jake Lewis on the M4 bridge stretch discovered ...
  • WTSWW ‘ River Rangers’ monitoring pollution on the city river Tawe River RangersVolunteers have been helping to monitor and report conditions on the River Tawe via a Welsh Government funded initiative, headed by the ourselves at the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. The aim of the project, which began at the end of August, is to accurately record and report water conditions and wildlife abundance on ...