WTSWW’s Conservation Team has been incredibly fortunate to receive significant financial support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery through our ‘Pioneer Project’.
This support has made a huge number of projects possible, from improvements to public access on our nature reserves, to projects to support scarce species, habitat management, and public engagement.
In 2017-2018, work was supported both for our Living Landscapes and Living Seas programmes.
Lots of habitat work for the benefit of the Marsh Fritillary has been supported.
Particularly important has been the support for the laborious, but essential, winter task of manually clearing scrub from our marshy grasslands, to promote the open habitats (and particularly Devil’s-bit Scabious, the food plant of the caterpillar), on which this internationally declining butterfly depends.
Much of this work has been carried out in Ceredigion by our officer Em Foot and her volunteers, on a number of sites that are important for this species including Rhos Fullbrook, Rhos Glyn yr Helyg and Rhos Pil Bach.
Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have also supported WTSWW to attend the British Birdwatching Fair in 2017 (and will again in 2018). This amazing event allows the Trust to reach an audience of over 20,000 wildlife and bird enthusiasts.
The funding also supports our Living Seas team.
This year our marine mammal surveys at Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) in New Quay have continued, and the Living Seas team have spent a great deal of time processing the data collected over the 2017 field season (including the checking of our land survey data from New Quay harbour, and entering our boat survey data into the database ready for checking and analysis).
Throughout the 2017 field season the team conducted 1201 shore based surveys from New Quay harbour wall and 256 boat based surveys in collaboration with Dolphin Survey Boat Trips, a local eco-tourism operation.
During these surveys we conducted 63 bottlenose dolphin photo-identification encounters during which we were able to photograph the Bottlenose Dolphins’ dorsal fins in order to be able to identify individual dolphins and thus enhance the data contained in our photo-identification database, building upon the information we have on the life histories of the Cardigan Bay bottlenose dolphins.
As the only member of the Cardigan Bay Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) from the conservation sector, we have been involved in developing the local development strategy for the area and Living Seas Science Officer Sarah Perry attended a number of meetings to further this aim.
Being part of the FLAG has enabled us to work more closely with representatives from the fisheries sector of the local community as well as representatives from other organisations, academic institutions and the local communities within which the FLAG operates.
The funding has also supported us to continue with lots of educational and family events in New Quay.
Also, in spring 2018, we learned that in partnership with North Wales Wildlife Trust we had been successful with a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a three year project, Living Seas Wales, which is also dependent on critical additional financial support from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
The project will provide participants with opportunities to learn about, enjoy and contribute to the conservation of the marine environment, its conservation and how they can impact on its future; whether they live on the coast, use the marine environment for work or leisure, or live inland and visit the coast on holiday.