Case Study 03: Cwm Colhuw, Llantwit Major (Biffa Award)

In 2012, WTSWW received a Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) grant to help restore the Cwm Colhuw Nature Reserve for people and wildlife. The project has enabled WTSWW to create a long-term management plan for the nature reserve and implement the management to improve the condition of the calcareous grassland, coastal scrub and woodland habitats. The grassland has been brought into favourable management by the installation of grazing animals and also by mowing and the regular removal of ragwort. Scrub has been cleared back from the meadows, exposing the Scheduled Ancient Monument for the first time in a number of years and invasive species have been removed from the woodland. Amphibian hibernacula have been created on the reserve and a series of new bird boxes and bat roosts put up to benefit some of the species present.

As well as restoring important wildlife habitat, the local community has also benefitted. Paths have been improved and new stiles and gates installed with regular litter-picks carried out on site. Local volunteers have been crucial to the project’s success and will help WTSWW manage the reserve sustainably into the future.

A regular series of bird surveys and community bat walks and moth trap events along with numerous talks and interactions with local groups has greatly increased people’s awareness of the reserve and the wildlife that is present. A local councillor was selected to be a Volunteer Warden for the reserve and he has been an excellent link between the Wildlife Trust and the local community.