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

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.

  • Crassula Erradication on the Dranges Paul pumping out the pondOn the 19th June the covers came off the ponds at The Dranges NR; time to see if the UV proof membrane had had any effect and with the licence from NRW in place and a good dry spell forecast it was time to drop the water levels in the pond and spray the invasive ...
  • Latest on the Gower Paul Thornton shows Gower Society Ilston QuarryIs it late spring or early summer? I am never sure. What I do know is that things are growing like crazy our meadows are flourishing, coppice regeneration is growing back strongly, path side vegetation to keep us busy and unfortunately the invasives are doing quite well too, Himalayan Balsam seems to be having a ...
  • Crassula Invasion Paul and Crassula filled pondNot only is this invasive weed at Parc Slip but it is also infesting two out of three remote ponds at our newest west Glamorgan reserve, the Dranges.... Read More » This job became a priority due to the need to attempt to get the weed under control before the growing season and also because of ...
  • Fancy becoming one of voluntary wardens? Cliff Woodhead at Coed-y-BedwMany of our nature reserves are lucky enough to benefit from the input of a voluntary warden. Here at WTSWW we manage around ninety sites, and within that, a little over sixty voluntary wardenships. Whilst for some nature reserves a voluntary warden is not a realistic prospect- such as our offshore islands- our mainland reserves ...
  • Thinking of spring on Gower Our New Conservation CowsAs spring approaches we are starting to wrap up our winter habitat work. We are coming to the end of the 5 yr Better Woodlands Wales grant scheme and management plans which have driven much of our woodland work since 2008. This winter we limbered up coppicing in the Bishopston Valley on contract to National Trust ...
  • Laura tells us all about Local Wildlife Sites Laura DellSo where to start? Hi everyone, my name is Laura and I will be working with WTSWW throughout 2014 as the Wildlife Sites Officer, based at The Nature Centre in Tondu.  My main role will be helping to set up a new Local Wildlife Site network within Glamorgan, working in partnership with the Local Authorities, ...
  • Marsh Fritillary on the Dranges Surveying amongst Devil's bit scabiousThe reserves team in West Glamorgan have been involved with the management of The Dranges, Bishopston for the last 6 years and it is soon to be leased to WTSWW. This 16ha site owned by the Pressdee family is a magical place, hidden away at the top of the Bishopston Valley adjacent to Barlands Common ...