Some new access facilities have recently been installed at Ffrwd Farm Mire nature reserve, in Carmarthenshire.
The reserve, which is mostly reedbed, is open to visitors at all times but there are no formal footpaths into the reserve itself, which instead is most easily viewed from public and permissive paths that run along the site’s boundary.
Now thanks to the incredibly hard work of a team of Prince’s Trust volunteers, and funded by WTSWW and Tir Coed’s CAN-funded Branching Out project, a new piece of boardwalk has been installed that leads from the public footpath into an open area of the wetland, with some new benches at the end, so that people can now really experience the feeling of being immersed in the reedbed.
The enthusiastic team of volunteers also made significant improvements to the reserve entrance, where a tatty kissing gate and some broken fencing has now been replaced with some beautiful oak post and rail fencing, and the gate has had a coat of paint and the whole area has benefitted from some serious TLC. The way into the reserve now looks much more welcoming and we hope that lots of people will come and visit and learn about about this nationally important wetland in the Gwendraeth valley.
The new boardwalk and bench overlooks the northern end of the reedbed, where pools, water-filled ditches and fen provide a home for some scarce plants like frogbit and the rare marsh pea. The reeds are home to a number of typical wetland bird species including reed and sedge warblers, reed bunting, water rail and also the Cetti’s warbler, with its incredibly powerful and explosive song. The scrubby areas along the ditches are also home to the diminutive harvest mouse, a very scarce species in south west Wales.
The Trust is very grateful to the Princes Trust and Tir Coed for all their work on this project, and also to Greenways agricultural merchants, our neighbouring landowners who have helped us out enormously with parking, material storage and much more.
Communities and Nature (CAN) is a £14.5m strategic project, developed and managed by CCW, and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Assembly Government. Its aim is to use our natural environment in Wales to create economic opportunities through leisure and tourism - providing valuable, sustainable jobs in areas and communities where they are needed.