Pembrey Primary School visits Ffrwd Farm Mire

It was all hands on deck on a damp day in April when young people from the Prince’s Trust hosted children from Pembrey Primary School at Ffrwd Farm Mire, where the Prince’s Trust team been working hard to improve the visitor access facilities. The teenagers led the children on a nature trail before taking a look at small mammal boxes with Conservation Manager, Lizzie Wilberforce.

The children enthusiastically took part in a wildlife quiz along the old towpath route on the eastern border of the reserve, which sits in an attractive tunnel of green formed by the old willow limbs meshing together overhead. They searched for clues and hidden pictures of wildlife amongst the trees and learned about where the species live and why.

Pembrey Primary School visit Ffrwd L Wilberforce

Pembrey Primary School visit Ffrwd L Wilberforce

With Lizzie’s help, the dormouse boxes were also checked for inhabitants, although no dormice were found on this occasion! Nonetheless many of the boxes were being used by breeding great tits, so they were still providing an important resource, and the children enjoyed the suspense of finding out which boxes were occupied.

The works at Ffrwd Farm Mire are part of the ‘Branching Out’ project run by the woodland charity, Tir Coed.  Branching Out delivers hands-on workshops in traditional green woodwork construction techniques, as well as sustainable methods of woodland and countryside management, to disengaged young people.

In addition to creating beautiful wooden structures that can be enjoyed by the local community, the young people can achieve Agored Cymru (OCN) accreditation, with support from the WCVA GwirVol programme and the Tudor Trust.  For the past 2 years, Branching Out has worked on a number of WTSWW reserves and helped to develop the personal, social and vocational skills of groups of young people in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, while also improving recreational opportunities for the local community.

The schoolchildren from Pembrey certainly enjoyed their introduction to the reserve and the new facilities installed by Branching Out; hopefully they will now also return to the nature reserve in their own time and make the most of this jewel on their doorstep.

Branching Out is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and is a component element of the Countryside Council for Wales' Communities and Nature project.  This project works to improve visitor facilities at natural sites in Wales, with the aim of increasing visitor numbers, and providing benefits to local economies