Author: Lyndsey Maiden

Be Inspired to Go Wild at our Bute Park Pop-up Garden


bumblebeeDid you know that there is more space managed as garden in the UK than all nature reserves put together? Imagine what a difference we could make if everyone did something for wildlife in their gardens. The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales are reaching out to Cardiff residents to encourage people to garden with wildlife in mind.

The Wildlife Trust’s ‘My Wild Cardiff’ project, funded with the generous support of the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, is helping people around Cardiff welcome their wildlife neighbours into their gardens.

As part of the My Wild Cardiff project, The Wildlife Trust are creating a ‘Pop-up’ Wildlife Garden in Cardiff’s largest park. Designed by Shani Lawrence Garden Designs, the garden features a pond, a living lawn, a green roof and plenty of homes for wildlife. The temporary garden will serve to inspire visitors and give them ideas as to how they can improve their own gardens for wildlife.

Rose Revera, The Wildlife Trust’s People and Wildlife Officer who is running the My Wild Cardiff project, says “Anything that people can do in their gardens to create more habitat for wildlife in the area will help species such as hedgehogs, bumblebees, butterflies and birds. Creating a network of green areas will strengthen the populations that are seriously struggling, rather than them being confined to a single green area with limited resources. We hope that our pop-up wildlife garden will educate and inspire people to help their wild neighbours.”

The garden will be open to visitors from Monday 7th August until Sunday 20th August, 10:30am – 6pm. Find us next to the Summerhouse Café in Bute Park.

Come and visit us!

For more information, contact Rose via 01656 724100 or Email.

Notes for editor:

Contact – Rebecca Vincent, Marketing & Communications Officer; Email – 01656 724100.

Credit Photos: Photos are for a one time use and to be credited to the photographer who’s name can be found in the image title.
Our website:

The Trust – The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales is the largest charitable organisation working exclusively on all aspects of wildlife conservation in south and west Wales. Our mission is to protect and improve habitats and wildlife in our local area as well as helping people to enjoy and understand their local wildlife. Our vision is for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We achieve this through:

Acquiring and managing nature reserves – we currently manage around 85 nature reserves throughout South and West Wales (including Skomer and Skokholm islands). From ancient woodland to wetland, wildflower meadow to marsh, reed bed to heathland, they contain a rich variety of species, many extremely rare. These nature reserves form a land holding equal to approximately 4,000 acres. Of these reserves 10 lie within Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas, seven are National Nature Reserves (NNRs), 40 are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and five are Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

Acting as wildlife champions – by advising on policy and planning, campaigning on wildlife issues, and protecting wildlife beyond our reserves. We provide habitat and species management advice directly to those managing land and we also work with key partners and local people to promote habitat enhancement and restoration.

Helping people understand, protect and celebrate their environment – the Trust promotes the view that people from all sections of society should have access to wildlife and the natural world for enjoyment, learning, and well-being. We invest in the future by helping all ages to gain a better understanding of nature. Our work with schools and our junior club, Wildlife Watch, is enjoyed by hundreds of children.

People’s Postcode Lottery

• People’s Postcode Lottery is a charity lottery. Players play with their postcodes to win cash prizes, while raising money for charities and good causes across Great Britain and globally
• A minimum of 30% goes directly to charities and players have raised £212.8 Million for good causes across the country
• £10 for 10 draws paid monthly in advance with prizes every day. For further prize information visit:
• Maximum amount a single ticket can win is 10% of the draw revenue to a maximum of £400,000
• Players can sign up by Direct Debit, credit card or PayPal online at, or by calling 0808 10-9-8-7-6-5
• Postcode Lottery Limited is regulated by the Gambling Commission under licences number: 000-000829-N-102511-014 and Number: 000-000829-R-102513-013. Registered office: Titchfield House, 69/85 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4RR
• People’s Postcode Lottery manages multiple society lotteries promoted by different charities. For details on which society lottery is running each week, visit
• This prize was part of the draw promoted by People’s Postcode Trust
Shani Lawrence Garden Designs

Shani is an award winning garden designer based in Pembrokeshire.

Shani has been friendly with wildlife since childhood, when she could be found rooting around for spiders and ladybirds. She now incorporates homes for her former playmates in the gardens of her unsuspecting clients. Shani likes to design wildlife-friendly, sustainable gardens that are places of relaxation and wonder. Contact Shani to unleash her creativity on your patch.

Calling Cardiff Allotments and Community Gardens!

Bug Hotel Competition Flyer 1 WTSWW

Calling all Cardiff Allotmenteers and Community Gardeners!

Enter our competition this year to build a bug hotel to create habitat for wildlife such as solitary bees and lacewings on your allotment or in your community garden.

Enter by the 1st September 2017 to be in with a chance to win some wildlife gardening goodies for your community space.

To enter, email Rose or tag us on social media and use the hashtags #MyWildCardiff #MyWildAllotment

Bug Hotel Competition Flyer 1 WTSWW






Bug Hotel Competition Flyer 2 WTSWW

New Deluxe Bug Hotels Open in Cardiff!

On Monday 10th July, we set up camp outside Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff and invited people to come along and make their own bug hotels to take home and install in their gardens.

Lots of people came along and filled up their plastic bottles with twigs, straw, cardboard and old leaves to create a deluxe bug hotel to put up in their own gardens.

We also had lots of information about bees and what you can do in your garden for them. You can download information about wildlife gardening from our website here.

We’d love to help you create more habitat for wildlife in your own garden- if you live in the Canton or Pontcanna area in Cardiff, you are eligible for a free Bug Hotel or pack of wildflower seeds! Contact Rose to find out more.


My Wild Garden in Bute Park


We are really excited to announce that this year we will be building a pop-up Wildlife Garden in Bute Park, Cardiff, to showcase the features of a wildlife garden and help people learn how they can create them in their own gardens.

The garden will be open to the public from Monday 7th August to Sunday 20th August from 10:30am- 6pm every day. You can find it next to the Bute Park Education Centre/ Secret Garden Cafe, right in the heart of the park.

We are really pleased that garden designer Shani Lawrence (Shani Lawrence Garden Designs) is designing the garden for us and working with us to build it- thank you very much to Shani and Dan!

We will be looking for willing helpers to volunteer with us on the garden, to help talk to visitors about wildlife gardening. If you are interested in helping out, or would like more information, please contact Rose on email or 01656 724100.

This project is funded with the generous support of the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Bee Friendly in your Garden

Bee on cow parsley, Sunnybank NR, Sheffield City Centre

As part of the My Wild Cardiff project, funded with the generous support of the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we are helping neighbourhoods around Cardiff welcome their wildlife neighbours into their gardens.

The neighbourhood around Pontcanna and Canton is surrounded by green spaces and parks, so anything that people can do in their gardens to create more habitat for the wildlife in the area, will help wildlife move from park to park and strengthen the populations.

We are now working to help the Pontcanna and Canton neighbourhood create habitat for bees in their gardens. through the creation of bug hotels, nesting habitat for burrow nesting bees and nectar cafes.

We are holding an event at the Canton Community Garden at Chapter Arts Centre on Monday 10th July, from 6pm-8pm, where local residents can come along and make a mini bug home, plant some seeds to take home and learn more about wildlife gardening. Why not come and join us?

More information from Rose on email or phone 01656 724100

Heath Park is a Neighbourhood for Newts

As part of the My Wild Cardiff project, we have been working with the neighbourhood around Heath Park to help the residents in the area learn more about newts and how they can help them in their own gardens.

Back in April, we started by doing a leaflet drop to houses in the area, which contained information about newts and how you can create habitat for newts in your own gardens and a mini garden survey, as well as an invitation to go out looking for newts in Heath Park.

A number of residents responded to the survey, showing us that newts are readily using garden ponds in the area, including Great Crested Newts.

Seven people came along on Friday 31st April to look for newts in the ponds in Heath Park- we used a ‘torching’ method, where you shine a bright light into the pond and look for the newts. We saw hundreds of Palmate Newts, including males in breeding condition which was lovely to see!

The My Wild Cardiff Project is funded by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Toads on Roads

Toad Patrol Caroline Cubbin

This is the time of year that toads migrate to the breeding ponds, often in very large numbers. Unfortunately in some places, this requires them to cross roads, bringing them into the path of traffic. Additionally, males have an unfortunate tendency of stopping on roads, as they provide a nice flat surface for them to look for females. This means that in some areas, they are being killed in huge numbers. The problem is particularly bad during the end of February and March, when dusk coincides with rush hour.

One way that we can help with this is by performing ‘Toad Patrols’, where we don our High-vis clothing and head out with buckets and torches to collect toads off the roads and cross them safely to the other side.

I spoke to a member today from Dinas Powys who has started up her own Toad Patrol and is out every wet night helping toads cross the road. She has put up signs on the road asking people to slow down and has received a good response from her neighbours, with many people now making sure they look for toads on the road. At the end of February, she helped 150 toads to cross the road safely. Well done!

You can help by looking out for toads on wet nights when the temperature reaches over 5°C and driving carefully past them. Or if you know of an area where toads are being killed on the roads in high numbers, and you would like advice on how to start your own Toad  Patrol, contact us on 01656 724100. If you’d like to help with organised Toad Patrols, contact your local Amphibian and Reptile Group- details can be found here.

More information:

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust

Toad Size Project


Unknown Wales 2017

Honey Buzzard Stephen Roberts

The 2017 Unknown Wales Conference, run in conjunction with the National Museum of Wales to celebrate the unknown aspects of Welsh wildlife, will be held at the National Museum of Wales Cardiff on:

Saturday 28th October 2017

To book your space, please fill in this form or ring 01656 724100

The schedule for the day can be downloaded in English or Cymraeg, or viewed below:

Please note that there has been a change in the programme- Professor Ormerod is no longer able to talk at the conference but Dr Rob Thomas from Cardiff University will instead be talking to us about Nant Bran Woodland: a new field site for long-term research and conservation.

Please note that there will be some road closures around the museum next Saturday due to another event taking place in Cardiff. Please plan your travel accordingly.

Book your space now here or ring 01656 724100!

Check out this video to whet your appetite for this year:

Skokholm Long Term Volunteers

Skokholm Island
Giselle, Skokholm Island Warden, admiring the view

Admiring the view over Skokholm

Each season we invite four volunteers to come to Skokholm and help the Wardens manage the Island and monitor its wildlife. There are two positions running from 1st April 2020 until 30th June 2020 and two from 1st July 2020 until 30th September 2020.

1st April until 30th June
1st July until 30th September

Spring is a fantastic time to be on Skokholm.

Yes it can be cold and yes it can be wet, but suddenly there are signs everywhere that breeding seasons are fast approaching. Dark nights see the first of our 175,000 breeding Manx Shearwaters return to the Island and quickly the nights become a cacophony of whaling noises.

The first spring migrants begin to pass Skokholm and the Puffins return (from when our evenings are spent counting the large rafts which congregate around the Island). The Razorbills and Guillemots return to their cliff ledges and the gulls begin to lay their eggs. Days are spent counting the nesting seabirds and seeing how the totals fluctuate each day and nights are spent taking guests to see the phenomenal Storm Petrel colony at the Quarry. Moth trapping and the morning census of migrant and resident birds provide a break from the seabird monitoring.

Choughs are secretive around their nests and the staff thus find themselves hidden among the rocks to look for incubation changeovers. The Peregrines and Ravens are more straightforward, as is the mapping of the vocal Oystercatchers.

Much of our time is spent establishing study plots and, as the spring progresses, monitoring a sample of each breeding species; this will be the basis of our productivity estimates. All this, coupled with a long-term Puffin colour ringing study, a study of Manx Shearwater survival rates and the daily ringing of passage birds sees the staff flat out.

Our second team of long-term volunteers pick up where the first team left off.

The productivity monitoring plots are established and the chicks have hatched, but we need to follow the progress of the Fulmar, Razorbill, Puffin and gull chicks to see if they fledge. A large amount of time early on in the period is spent playing Storm Petrel song along several transects, thus allowing an estimate of crevice occupancy to be made. The staff take turns during several 24 hour periods to assess how many of the Puffins arrive with fish.

Many more visits are made to the Puffin study colony to try and see as many colour ring combinations as possible. If the weather behaves, evenings are spent ringing adult Storm Petrels which often goes on until the early hours. Attention turns to the Manx Shearwaters in August with visits being made to our study plots to ring the chicks and monitor their development and fledging.

Autumn migration picks up pace as August progresses and the daily census begins to take longer as the number of birds lurking around the Island increases. If the pond has dried out then there could be several days of hard digging as we continue to remove the sediment which has built up over the decades. September is an exciting month and much time is spent in the field counting common migrant birds and searching for scarcer ones.

This is a fantastic opportunity to work on one of Britain’s most spectacular Islands and to gain experience in a wide range of survey techniques. But it is not all about the monitoring work! The successful applicants will be integral to all aspects of Island management, from providing sanitation and clean visitor accommodation to helping with boat deliveries and physical management such as pond digging. Skokholm relies on bigger groups of volunteers for managing its infrastructure but your help will be needed too; in the spring work concentrates on getting the accommodation ready for guests (so lots of cleaning, painting and lime-washing), whilst in the autumn work usually focusses on the Lighthouse and vehicles.

Each volunteer has their own bedroom at the Farm and share the same facilities as our paying guests; we are thus looking for people who are happy to spend time with our guests and share their passion for the phenomenal things which inhabit Skokholm.

No qualifications or specific experience are required as training will be given on the Island, however candidates who are working towards a career in conservation are preferred. Additionally candidates who have previous volunteering experience, island experience or relevant qualifications such as a ringing permit or who are experienced birders will be well placed. We are looking for people with enthusiasm for UK wildlife who have a desire to learn and get involved in a range of tasks. Candidates must be of a hardy nature as working days can be long and in a range of weather conditions.

How to apply

Please fill in the application form explaining why you are interested in the post, what you could bring to it and what you hope to achieve from the position. No cover letters or CVs will be included as part of your application.

Application forms can be downloaded here.

Applications must reach the below address by email or post by 10th February 2020.

Decisions will be made within the following two weeks and candidates short-listed for phone interviews will be contacted.

Please e-mail (or post) your application forms to:

Giselle and Richard

Email or mail

Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales

Welsh Wildlife Centre

Cilgerran, Cardigan, SA43 2TB

CMB Engineering supports local wildlife

CMB Logo

Cardiff based firm, CMB Engineering, become Platinum Members of the Trust.

Becoming a corporate member of your local Wildlife Trust is a fantastic way of showing your support for wildlife as well as assisting us in our conservation efforts.

CMB Engineering is a socially responsible firm, based in Cardiff and they have highlighted the importance of becoming corporate members of the Trust:

Due to our new Environmental Management System we as a company recognise the importance of managing our impacts on the environment and are willing to back this up by supporting such a worthwhile project such as the Wildlife Trust.


West Wales Holiday Cottages becomes a member

West Wales cottages logo

West Wales Holiday Cottages join us as a Small Business member and we are very grateful for their support. They are a family run business based in Cardigan Bay who help local independent cottage owners advertise their holiday properties.

“West Wales Holiday Cottages is delighted to support The Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales in caring for the natural environment. The Trust have a vital role in preserving and protecting the unique wildlife species and habitats that make West Wales so special for us and our visitors.”