Author: Carys Evans

Donations for Dolphins Appeal

Cardigan Bay dolphin by Sarah Perry

Our seas and marine life are suffering the impacts of society and human interference.

We are working tirelessly to monitor and protect the semi-resident population of Bottlenose Dolphins in Cardigan Bay. But we need your help!

Approximately 35% of Welsh inshore waters and 75% of the coastline receives protected status.  What does this actually mean? Unfortunately, despite these designations our seas still suffer from litter, pollution, and insatiable demands for food, energy and aggregates.

Cardigan Bay (the base for our Living Seas work) is one of only two areas in UK waters that host a semi-resident population of bottlenose dolphins – apex predators like these are barometers of the state of the marine environment. For this reason we have been monitoring the population through our Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) for over 20 years.

We need your donations to carry on this work.

Your donations will allow us to recruit and train volunteers to carry out research and monitoring, and to provide the necessary equipment to support them.

At CBMWC, our Living Seas volunteers help us provide information to others on how to respect and enjoy the dolphins without disturbing them. In the face of current acute and chronic ecological change, accurate and long-term monitoring is critical to understand and mitigate the impacts. Cetaceans are long lived, and are much harder to study than terrestrial wildlife, so monitoring must be long-term.

We simply cannot continue this vital work without your support.

You can find more information about the Donations for Dolphins appeal here.

Please donate now, they need you

We would love to hear from you on social media, use the #DonationsforDolphins hashtag to join the conversation!

Join Iolo Williams at Parc Slip!

On Thursday 16 January 2020, renowned naturalist and TV personality, Iolo Williams, will be visiting Parc Slip to provide an informative talk about some of the sites featured in his new book, ‘Wild Places UK – UK’s Top 40 Nature Sites’, available from mid December.

Iolo will also be signing copies of the new book and all funds raised from sales of tickets and the book will go towards the work of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

The event is due to start from 12 midday and run until 2pm.

Tickets have now sold out.

Top 5 Christmas Gifts for Wildlife Enthusiasts

For the ultra organised amongst us, you may have already started (if not finished!) your Christmas shopping. But for those of you who are yet to start buying, time is ticking away! But fear not, we are here to tell you how you can make a difference whilst spreading Christmas cheer!

Why not give the gift of nature this Christmas?

Here are our top picks for Christmas gifts with a difference:

Membership

Our Memberships offer the perfect gift, giving the lucky recipients access to free landing on Skomer Island, our quarterly membership magazine as well as lots of other Membership perks! Recipients will get that warm fuzzy feeling knowing that their gift makes a difference to the wellbeing of our precious British wildlife.

Read more about how to become a Member here.

Wildlife Adoptions

Plush Puffin soft toy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visitors to Skomer Island will be well acquainted with the enigmatic Puffin’s who call the island home for part of the year. These adorable birds steal the hearts of all that meet them.

What if you could adopt a Puffin?

We are here to tell you that you can! For just £25 you can adopt an adorable Puffin to call your own! Our wildlife adoptions are the ideal gift – you will receive a welcome letter and adoption certificate, delightful Puffin pin badge, a Puffin fact sheet plus an adorable Puffin soft toy!
You will also receive an annual report about your adopted animal, so that you can feel safe in the knowledge that your adoption has made a difference to the protection of Puffins!

For the Mammal enthusiasts amongst you, we also have Red Squirrels, Seals, Badgers and Hedgehogs all looking for a dedicated adopter!

The Wildlife Trusts Calendar

Wildlife Trusts 2020 Calendar cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your family can look forward to a new striking image of an iconic British species every month with The Wildlife Trusts calendar! What better way to kick off the year than with the recognisable face of a Fox peering at you from the page?

This calendar is packed full of 12 magnificent images, bound to lift the spirits of anyone following the Christmas festivities!

For young adventurers – Bug Safari kit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is your little one fascinated by bugs? Who isn’t!

Inspire future conservationists with a fantastic Bug Safari kit! Children (and adults!) will delight in the ability to study mini-beasts using their professional equipment. Peel their eyes from the television this Christmas, and let them explore what is right under their nose in the garden!

Binoculars

Oregon 4 PC 8x32 binoculars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be the first to spot that rare bird with our selection of binoculars! A must for all wildlife enthusiasts, our shop sells a range of binoculars starting from just £39.99!

All binoculars are available to try in our gift shop at the Welsh Wildlife Centre, so don’t take our word for it go and try our brilliant binoculars for yourself!

Our online shop has something for the whole family, so take a peek this Christmas!

When purchasing souvenirs from our online shop and gift shop at the Welsh Wildlife Centre, you’ll be contributing to the vital conservation work that we carry out locally.

100% of profits from gifts in our shop goes towards:
• Funding nationally important conservation projects across South and West Wales
• Lobbying for better legislation to protect all wildlife in South and West Wales
• Preserving and improving wildlife habitats throughout South and West Wales.

Our supporters fund a large amount of the Trust’s work – every single thing you buy does make a difference!

Amazon Smile

If you’re looking for gifts that we don’t stock in our online shop, why not try Amazon Smile?

We’ve become part of the Amazon Smile initiative. Amazon Smile is an easy way to make charitable donations to us without costing you anything extra!

Simply shop at www.smile.amazon.co.uk – the same amazon you know with the same products, prices and service but Amazon Smile will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases to us.

Support us by shopping on our online shop, or through Amazon Smile and selecting The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales as your charity to support.

Thank you!

Exciting plans for Parc Slip!

Parc Slip Visitor Centre Tondu

Parc Slip Nature Reserve was recently named a Discovery Gateway Site for the Valleys Regional Park Project. As a Gateway Site, Parc Slip will be one of the places where you can first discover the cultural, industrial and environmental heritage of the valleys.

This exciting project provides funding to make some positive changes to the reserve and improve the visitor wildlife experience over the next two years. The changes will be both big and small, some of which have already been made!

November 2019

Regulars to the Visitor Centre at Parc Slip may have already noticed that the Café furniture has been replaced with some beautiful tables. These replacements will provide more seating, therefore more people can enjoy the delicious food that is on offer all year around!

If you live in the local area you may have noticed the closure notices for the council’s long boardwalk from Tondu (part of Cycle Route 4) that ends at the border of Parc Slip on the East side of the reserve. The path is closed so that the current boardwalk can be rebuilt with a sustainable recycled plastic structure and sturdier wooden boards on top. There are diversions in place for pedestrians and cyclists while the closure is in place.

December 2019

One of the first major improvements will be made to the visitor centre’s plumbing system likely to take place in mid-December. Although not the most glamourous of jobs it is entirely essential to the successful running of the centre and to maximise customer experience. We will be upgrading the toilets so that they will be more sustainable and cost effective. Whilst the improvements are being made there may be some disruption to the accessibility of the toilets and car park for a few days. Exact details will be released nearer to the time so do check our website and social media pages for updates.

January 2020

New Year, new pond?
In January, the pond outside the visitor centre will be excavated. Although at first the landscape will look a little untidy, with time the pond will soon return to it’s former glory. As a result of the excavation work the canal path and some of the car park may be closed to allow the works to be done. Definite details will be released closer to the time.

March 2020

During early Spring we hope to improve the paths on the East side of the reserve and the main haulage road track through the West side of the reserve. This will greatly improve the access throughout the reserve, hopefully making the reserve suitable for a visit from the whole family!

To make sure that Parc Slip is the perfect spot for a family day out, we will also be making improvements to the furniture on the reserves. We will be changing benches, gates and pond platforms and will also be adding new signage for circular walks and updating the reserve map.

April 2020

We have lots of exciting plans for the visitor centre in 2020! Firstly we will be installing a covered outdoor seating area at the back of the visitor centre to shelter from rain or sun while still enjoying the café’s delicious food. This is a perfect spot for those walkers with canine friends!

We will also be transforming our Discovery Room (upstairs room) to a welcoming escape perfect for those rainy days! We will be showing wildlife films and our new 360 virtual reality experience of Parc Slip.

Last but definitely not least, to encourage sustainable transport we will be installing a covered bike rack and two electric car charging points.

May 2020 onwards

In the second year of the funding we will be building wildlife gardening features around the visitor centre area to showcase improvements visitors can make to their own gardens that will benefit wildlife and themselves.

There are also exciting plans to put in an orchard where eventually people will be able to pick their own fruit.

We hope you are as excited as we are for these fantastic improvements!

Please keep an eye on our social media and website for updates.

Cheers! Barti Rum raise £552 for wildlife!

Pembrokeshire based Barti Rum, specialises in the production of delicious rum infused with hand picked laver from the Pembrokeshire coast. Having launched in 2017, Barti Rum has been making waves ever since with innovative flavours and an important message.

For the last two years Barti Rum have held a social media art competition where artists of all kind submit their Barti inspired artwork for the chance of winning some incredible prizes. Over the course of two years Barti received over 100 entries from paintings, furniture, illustrations, pottery and everything in between! By the end of the second competition they were running out of space so decided to hold an exhibition and auction off some of the art work for charity.

We were delighted to hear that Barti decided to donate some of the funds raised to our vital conservation work.

We spoke to Fran, MD at Barti Rum who had this to say:

“We selected The Wildlife Trust after seeing what you were up to with the restoration of the kelp forests, I believe this is happening off the southern coast of England. Obviously as a coastal based business dealing in rum which is infused with laver seaweed, the subject of saving seaweed and raising awareness of the importance of the kelp beds on the rest of the world was naturally very appealing, and something we felt was an entirely worthy cause.”

An incredible £552 was raised for The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW)!

Carys Evans, WTSWW Communications and Fundraising Officer said:

“On behalf of the Trust I would like to thank Barti Rum and all entrants and bidders for raising this incredible total. This money will help us to continue our vital conservation work in South and West Wales. Thank you!”

For more information about Barti Rum and their art competition take a look here.

If you would like to fundraise for us please get in touch with Carys on cm.evans@welshwildlife.org

Breconshire Birds Annual Report 2018 is now available!

Blackbird at Parc Slip by Vaughn Matthews

The latest report compiled by the Breconshire Ornithological Records Committee is now available for purchase. The report aims to track the fortunes of the county’s birdlife, including some rarities.

You can get your copy here:

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, Brecknock office, 6 The Bulwark Offices, Brecon LD3 7LB (Mon, Wed & Fri. Tel: 01874 625708);

Biodiversity Information Service office, 6 The Bulwark Offices, LD3 7LB (Thurs & Fri, Tel:01874 610881)

£7.00 per copy (+ £1.50 postage if you are unable to call in). Cheques payable to Wildlife Trust South and West Wales.

Calling all Brecknock based Fungi enthusiasts!

After the success of the Fungi Identification walk in Brecknock in December, one of our volunteers would like to see whether there is enough interest to form a Brecknock or Powys Fungi Group.

This group will visit locations around Brecknock/Powys to find, identify and record fungi species.

If you are interested then please email Alan on alansalter53@zoho.com.

Brecon Local Group Update

The winter programme of talks has proved very popular so far with 30 attending Lizzie Wilberforce’s talk about the Mid Wales Red Squirrel Project.

The programme for the New Year has been amended from that printed in the Local Group Calendar of Events due to speaker availability.

The updated programme is below:
28th January 2020 – Beavers in Wales by Alicia Leow-Dyke
25th February 2020 – Wildlife about Brecon by Keith Noble
24th March 2020 – Butterflies of the UK by Cate Barrow

The correct details are on the website.

Have you signed up for updates from the Brecon Local Group?
If not, sign up here.

We are looking for members for our professional consultancy team!

Welsh Wildlife Centre Building

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW)’s Welsh Wildlife Centre (WWC) have received a confirmed grant of £10,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for an options appraisal project.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the options appraisal project will focus on improving the WTSWW Visitor Centre, infrastructure and ancillary buildings at the Teifi Marshes nature reserve, Cilgerran.  The aim of the project will be to strengthen WTSWW’s financial resilience, increase the number and diversity of visitors, particularly during the off peak seasons and making the WWC buildings more sustainable.

We are assembling a professional consultancy team to work on this exciting project over the next six months alongside the staff of WTSWW and the Project Manager.

The consultancy team will comprise:

  1.  An Architect
  2. Landscape Architect
  3. Building Services consultant
  4. Expert consultancy in sustainable construction/ energy / waste.

If you are interested in working with us, the brief is available to download here and the submission deadline is Thursday 5th December.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Do you shop on Amazon?

With Christmas just around the corner, you are probably starting to think about those all important Christmas gifts! Will you be heading to the high street or shopping online this year?

Our online shop has some unique gift ideas, read our top 5 gifts for wildlife enthusiasts here.

But if we don’t sell what you’re looking for, you may choose to head over to Amazon.

If so, you can still make a difference to our vital conservation work through shopping with Amazon Smile. Amazon Smile is an initiative which allows you to still access the full range of items that Amazon has to offer, with the same prices and service but 0.5% of your purchase goes to a charity of your choice.

This doesn’t cost anything additional to you – but it can make a huge difference to us!

So, this festive season please think of us when you are shopping on Amazon. Select The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales as your charity.

Thank you!

Award for Wildlife!

Congratulations to The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales’ Living Seas Wales team on winning the Pembrokeshire ‘Tourism Business Innovation Award’ for their Sea Wales 7D augmented reality (AR) experience and Roadshow events.

The award was presented to The Wildlife Trust at the prestigious Pembrokeshire Tourism awards evening at Meadow House Holiday Park, Amroth. The evening was hosted by popular Radio Presenter Andrew ‘Tommo’ Thomas and celebrated the very ‘best of business’ in and around Pembrokeshire.

Gina Gavigan, Marketing and Development Manager at The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have won the ‘Business Innovation’ category at the Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards for our Sea Wales experience and marine Roadshow events. Our unique (AR) experience; Sea Wales7D has raised awareness of some of the amazing marine wildlife that call Wales home and inspired thousands of local residents and visitors to Wales to care and more importantly take action for our precious wildlife. Using innovative technology and creating ‘WOW’ experiences is a great way to highlight our important conservation work and research to a wide audience. We would like to thank Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority for sponsoring the Innovation Award category.”

Sea Wales 7D is an innovative group experience which lasts approx. 6 minutes. Using the very latest in augmented reality 7D technology users step into the mobile 7D Dome to experience the unexpected! They feel like they’ve been transported to a wild Welsh coastal location. The 7D augmented reality technology allows the user to have a completely unique ‘sense of discovery’’ focusing on our Welsh coast and marine wildlife.

Realistic CGI animation, an overlay of sound, wind and water spray literally brings the experience to life as users get up close and personal to a variety of amazing marine wildlife including Bottlenose Dolphins, Puffins, Seals, Porpoise and a Thresher Shark. When with Dolphins and Thresher shark leap out of the water users get wet!

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority Chairman, Cllr Paul Harries said:

“It is great to see innovative technology being used to promote the conservation of marine wildlife and habitats in protected areas such as the National Park. This campaign brings the best of Wales’ marine life alive for residents and visitors who may not otherwise have a chance to experience it and raises awareness of the positive steps they can take to help the issues facing our oceans.”

Living Seas Wales is a partnership project of WTSWW and North Wales Wildlife Trust and funded by the Welsh Government’s Tourism Product Innovation fund, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Check out the Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas Wales website for videos and information on events.