We urgently need your support. Please help the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales raise £150,000 to buy Pencnwc Mawr wood and secure its future for wildlife.
This 33 acre wood borders the Trust’s 160 acre Pengelli Forest National Nature Reserve.
The purchase would create an enlarged woodland nature reserve, an invaluable step towards ensuring a much more resilient, secure and species rich future for this part of Pembrokeshire.
We all know that wildlife is in peril, and that we are rapidly losing our precious species and habitats. Nationally the Wildlife Trusts have an ambitious but essential target to restore 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030.
Our first step will be the purchase of Pencnwc. If we fail, the woodland is in danger of being managed in ways which could seriously damage its wildlife and threaten our neighbouring nature reserve.
The land has enormous cultural and historical significance. During Elizabethan times it was owned by the famous historian and cartographer George Owen of Henllys, who wrote the first description of Pembrokeshire. In Owen’s time the land was important for timber and cattle grazing; today it is an outstanding landscape and a wonderful place for wildlife.
All broadleaf woodlands are important but in Wales. Perhaps above all else, we must celebrate and cherish our temperate rainforests: they are just as threatened as tropical rain forests but much more scarce. Pengelli and Pencnwc are exceptional surviving fragment of the rain forest that once extended along the western uplands and deep river valleys of Wales.
Fragmentation is one of the greatest threats to the survival of our native woodlands. There is a simple ecological rule: the smaller and more isolated a woodland becomes the more likely it is that species will become extinct. We have a rare opportunity to achieve something very special.
If we can extend Pengelli by buying Pencnwc woodland, then the larger nature reserve will be an essential step towards ensuring a much more resilient, secure and species rich future for this area. We will be able to safeguard many vulnerable species, including the rare barbastelle bat, the visiting greater horseshoe bats, breeding populations of dormice, together with the woodland birds and butterflies, particularly the silver-washed fritillary.
We can only ensure the long-term survival of resilient populations of these creatures if we can provide the space they need: secure space to breed, forage and prosper.
An extended Pengelli is just the first step in our vision for nature’s recovery in this area, where a rich and diverse mosaic of interconnected woodlands, grasslands, heath, wet valleys and productive farmland is readily achievable.
This would create a vast area for wildlife, extending west from Pengelli all the way to Fishguard. We hope that the purchase of Pencnwc can provide the catalyst which will help to encourage local people, farmers and other land owners to gently transform their landscape to meet their ambitions for a more natural, sustainable and safer environment: to create a better place for wildlife and people.
Please take part in our mission for nature’s recovery.