Pembroke Upper Mill Pond nature reserve benefits from Co-op funding
In 2015 The Co-operative's Food businesses donated their 5p bag levy to support wildlife projects across Wales. The six Wildlife Trusts in Wales are using these funds to save our most endangered wildlife and wild places for future generations to enjoy.
We have been fortunate to receive funding through this scheme that has recently helped to complete major ground works at one of our wetland nature reserves at Pembroke Upper Mill Pond. Over the last decade the reserve has dried up considerably due to poor flows of water through the reedbed resulting in scrubby and invasive species encroaching onto valuable reedbed habitat and ditches blocked through the build-up of silt.
We employed the services of Angle based Aquaclear Water Management services who utilised their amphibious ‘Truxor’ vehicles to clear ditches and block channels to force water back into the reedbed. They also cleared and pumped silt from areas in front of where the reedbed meets the pond area so as to stop the spread of reed into this area of open water which is an important site for wading birds such as Little Grebe and Heron.
Water levels have already risen considerably and fresh reed is growing once more. With higher water levels, other species such as the Kingfisher, Otter, frogs and toads and species of dragon and damselfly will benefit considerably.
Aquaclear and volunteers from the Wildlife Trust and local residents also spent time clearing areas of willow and alder from the reedbed and so controlling further spread and allowing areas of open water to remain open.
An artificial Otter holt has also been installed to provide suitable shelter and encourage this species to breed on the reserve. Otters regularly use the site and the rest of the Mill Ponds complex. Further work will continue to manage alder and willow during winter months and water levels will be monitored throughout the year.
The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales is grateful for the support the Co-op has given to this project.