Our Bridgend Local Group are having a special open day at our beautiful Coed-y-Bwl nature reserve at 2pm Sunday March 18th. This has been timed to coincide with the display of the woods famous wild daffodil display.
Alun Cairns, Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan, has been invited to attend the unveiling ceremony of the reserve's new interpretation board - to be performed by Murray McClaggan of Merthyr Mawr Estate - a former chairman of the old Mid Area section of the one-time Glamorgan Trust for Nature Conservation.
With the aid of a £5,000 Lottery Awards For All grant, Trust volunteers have tapped into their own skills to build the interpretation board cairn from local lime-stone. And the board itself, along with the reserve's first-ever colour brochure, was partly produced by members' photographic and literary talents.
The reserve - leased by the Estate to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales - has been in the safe hands of the same volunteering group for many years. Richard Marks, the warden, and Roy Williams started the group in 1972 - and brought in many helpers over four decades. Also in the team now are Peter Hatherley, secretary of the Bridgend Group, Richard Smith of Butterfly Conservation, John Sherwood, Tino Antoniazzi, Mike and Rudi Bright.
The volunteers' good house-keeping earned the wood a Prince of Wales Gwobr\Award in 1975 as part of a nation-wide scheme to improve the countryside.
Last year the wood and its volunteers were highly commended in the Vale of Glamorgan Biodiversity Partnership's Awards for Wildlife.
The prime conservation target has been to save Coed-y-Bwl's locally-rare wild daffodil population in the wake of Dutch elm disease which ravaged the wood over thirty years ago.
Today, the wood is thriving again after the loss of many trees. But management tasks such as coppicing, boundary wall repairs, footpath restoration and clearance of wind-blown trees and branches, still occupy the group's regular Sunday morning work parties.
OPEN-DAY TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS: Due to restricted car parking,visitors are invited to join a Land Rover shuttle - starting at 1.30 pm - from the Fox and Hounds car park at St. Brides Major The event has been timed to coincide with the daffodils' peak flowering - and maybe the arrival in the wood of the first of our summer visiting warblers - the chiffchaff.
Article by Richard Marks
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