A new bridge in Ceredigion.

The big news this month is that, after many months of thought and preparation, the new bridge at Cwm Clettwr Nature Reserve has now been installed and is “open for use”! The bridge links the north and south sides of the reserve that were always separated by the river in the past and provides access to the footpaths throughout the reserve from the village of Tre’r ddol.

New Bridge Em Foot

New Bridge Em Foot

Although the main installation of the 10m bridge was done by the contractors, a team of volunteers and colleagues from the Gower, with their quad bike and trailer, helped move all the parts for the bridge to the site- several hundred metres uphill from the road. The steel beams were in 3.3m sections bolted together and then clad in timber.

The bridge was paid for out of a generous legacy left to us by Megan Jones, who enjoyed Cwm Clettwr. Earlier in the year a new section of riverside path was opened to allow access to the bridge site from the existing path, this was cleared of regrown vegetation again this month, some Reserve Welcome signs were also installed and a fence repaired.

We’ve been busy at other reserves too. The footpaths at Coed Penglanowen and Old Warren Hill were cleared of overhanging and encroaching brambles, bracken and other vegetation. The woodland glade in Coed Penglanowen was also cut and the clippings removed. We had a joint work party at Teifi Marshes cutting blackthorn for the brown hairstreak butterflies that lay their eggs on young blackthorn. It will be cut in rotation to always provide some blackthorn of the right age.

We also spent two more days at Rhos Marion pulling the last of the ragwort and then a day looking for marsh fritillary larval webs. Unfortunately we didn’t find any here, though there was plenty of devil’s bit scabious, or at Rhos Pil Bach. We may return to Rhos Pil Bach later in the month to check again as this used to be a strong hold but numbers have declined in the last few years, just holding on for several years. Hopefully we just didn’t find them. We’ll also be looking at Rhos Fullbrook, where we have found them for the last couple of years after several years of not being seen and also at Rhos Glyn yr Helyg where an adult was seen earlier in the year but no webs have been found for several years.

Thank you very much to everyone who has helped this month. If you would like to volunteer with us in Ceredigion there are work parties twice a week out on the reserves, year round, contact Em on 07980932332 or e.foot@welshwildlife.org or to find out more about Ceredigion reserves visit: https://welshwildlife.org/locations/ceredigion/