A new wildlife watching hide has been completed in Gallt y Tlodion / Poor Mans Wood nature reserve near Llandovery. The new hide has been constructed by young volunteers through the Branching Out project, which is led by Tir Coed, in partnership with WTSWW.
The new hide has been sustainably constructed, with main timbers coming from oaks felled during the ongoing management of the nature reserve for wildlife. The oak roof has been made using other sections of timber from a small number of trees that had to be felled for safety reasons. You can’t source timber more locally than that! However the reserve is very steep in places, and some of the large sections of oak had to be carried to the construction site by hand, or brought down the hill by zip wire- hard graft for all involved.
The hide is located next to the main footpath through the reserve, and in an area surrounded by nest boxes, which during the summer months are used by pied flycatchers, a bird typical of Welsh oak woodlands like Gallt y Tlodion. Pied flycatchers are migrants, in the UK between April and September. Falling numbers mean that the pied flycatcher is now on the amber list for birds of conservation concern, but we continue to manage Gallt y Tlodion to maintain suitable habitat for these charismatic little birds- and the hide now provides the perfect venue for a bit of summer flycatcher-spotting.
The hide is the latest success of the Branching Out project, which has also recently completed a new bird hide and series of bespoke oak seats at the Trust’s Castle Woods nature reserve near Llandeilo, also in Carmarthenshire. The project’s volunteers are all young people aged 16 to 28 years, who are currently out of work and training. As well as creating these amazing structures for the visitors to our nature reserves, the project enables disengaged young people to learn new skills, and to develop the confidence to follow pathways to employment.
So, next summer, when the migrants start to return- we recommend a visit to this beautiful reserve. We hope you enjoy both the reserve and the new hide. Let us know what you think.
Branching Out is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Assembly Government and is a component element of the Countryside Council for Wales' Communities and Nature strategic project, which works to improve visitor facilities at natural sites in Wales, with the aim of increasing visitor numbers, with a knock-on effect on local economies.