Author: Rose Revera

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:

Book your space now here or ring 01656 724100!

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

Swansea Local Group News March 2016

Swansea Local Group Bird Walk at Cwm Ivy. Robert Davies.

The first Swansea Local Group evening meeting of 2016 was a talk on the High Brown Fritillary Butterfly, from Richard Smith (Butterfly Conservation South Wales Branch). Richard gave an account of the work that has been undertaken in the Alun Valley, nr. Bridgend, to conserve this population, which is the only one in Wales. We will be following up this talk with a trip to the Alun Valley on Saturday 2nd July. Click here for more details.

On Saturday 30th January, 8 local group members enjoyed a sunny morning Bird Walk around Cwm Ivy Woods and Marsh. We spotted a multitude of bird species, including Red Shank, Curlew, Bullfinch, Songthrush, Kestrel and Long Tailed Tits.

The next evening meeting was a slight change from the norm, with a special guided tour from Dr Dan Forman of Swansea University around the Zoology Museum in the Wallace Building. This was a really enjoyable evening, as the museum holds some fantastic specimens, and the group had the chance to hold a tiger skull and touch a blue whale rib!

The next event was a Fresh Air Walk along South Gower Coast, a chance to get out and walk this beautiful stretch of nature reserves. 12 local group members came along and spotted Oystercatchers, Stonechats, Bloody-nosed Beetles and even a Seal!

The next meeting was a talk from Emiritus Professor John Ryland on the wildflowers of Western Australia, especially the orchids. He showed some beautiful photos of the amazing array of wildflowers found on his visit there.

We look forward to seeing more and more new faces at these local group meetings. Evening meetings are on the second Tuesday of the month from September to April (7pm Wallace Building, Swansea University Singleton Campus), with various field trips throughout the year. Anyone is welcome to join us, members and non-members, the more the merrier. Click here for details of our upcoming walks and talks.

Swansea Local Group Committee
Email contact- Chairman Robert Davies.

West Glamorgan Reserves News

Chipping at Coed Gawdir Stuart McKinnon

The winter season as usual has been busy with habitat management. Some of the work has been supported by the Welsh Government’s Glastir Woodland Management scheme and the WREN funded West Glamorgan Wild Woodlands project has enabled us to expand our delivery of work across a greater number of our 31 nature reserves.

Areas of Priors Wood, The Dranges, Peel Wood & Gelli Hir have been coppiced and thinned. A small number of young hazel have been coppiced at Coed Barcud which was planted in 2007; this is a bit of trial to see how these young trees respond to being cut and brought into a coppice rotation early in the woodland’s life.

Alongside this work there has been a big push to clear the very invasive Rhododendron at Coed Gawdir and continue its eradication at Craig Cil Hendre. The pond is now visible again at Coed Gawdir and restoration of this reserve will continue next winter.

Users of the A4118, (South Gower road) may have noticed we have had contractors removing roadside trees at our Kilvrough Woods reserve. This felling was in part required to enable us to manage the risk from tree to the road and road users, but it has also helped us benefit biodiversity by both letting in light to previously dark areas of woodland, which will benefit the wild flowers, and also increasing the diversity of the age structure of the woodland. This reserve is designated SAC and SSSI and has been failing to meet one of its SSSI targets to preserve deadwood habitat; for this reason nearly all of the felled trees have been left on site to decay. Given a season, the areas which may look a little stark at the moment will soon have regenerated.

Information and data for our South Gower coast reserves has been gathered together and we are in the process of rewriting our management plans for these reserves to inform future management work. The focus of our practical management here has been the cutting back of vegetation beside the Wales Coast path. This will benefit path users but will have the added benefit of increasing the areas of shorter vegetation on the slopes which will provide basking areas for reptiles and a diversity of habitats. We have also done a couple of beach cleans at Overton Mere and removed a lot of plastics from the marine environment.

We would like to thank our volunteer team for all their help through the habitat management season. If you would like to get involved then get in touch with Tara Daniels on 01656 724100 or email.

Paul Thornton
Senior Wildlife Trust Officer (Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot)