The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales’ WGWW Project (West Glamorgan’s Wild Woodlands Project) is focusing on restoring woodland and wild spaces in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. In practice this will include improving habitat, controlling Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) and engaging with local communities. As part of this we are always looking for volunteers to get stuck into the project with us and help make the area a better place for both wildlife and people. WGWW also ensures continuation of conservation management, the work includes thinning, coppicing, ride management and path clearance. Most of these ancient management practices allow light to reach the woodland floor, encouraging the growth of woodland flowers, such as wood anemone and British bluebell. It also allows space for regenerating saplings which provide a varied age structure of trees for a healthy woodland.
In addition management has consisted of mowing/scything meadows to encourage wildflowers and insects. We have carried out wildflower survey, bumble transects and moth trapping to monitor the species abundance and diversity. Further surveys comprising of aquatic macro invertebrate, canopy and breeding bird surveys provide data to continue to feed into and inform management plans. These surveys will also show positive change in before and after comparisons of invasive non-native species control, such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and rhododendron.
This on-going project is working on 12 woodlands across Swansea, including parts of the Gower, and Neath Port Talbot area. The project is funded by WREN, a not for profit business that awards grants to community projects from funds donated by FCC Environment to the Landfill Communities Fund. To look up more information and directions to visit these and many more or our reserves for yourself go to the 'Visit' page on our website.
As a conservation charity The Wildlife Trust rely on kind donations, membership, legacies and dedicated volunteers in order to carry out vital conservation tasks that benefit local wildlife and people. Volunteers play a crucial role in helping to make our work possible and The Trust isn't the only one reaping all the benefits, two volunteers explain the benefits that they experience;
“Clearing scrub is physical exercise, so it's almost like burning calories at a gym, but doing something useful and fun at the same time.”
“Volunteering got me out and helped me recover enough confidence and self esteem to get back into work. I also made some life long friends!”
Work parties take place every Tuesdays and Thursdays, occasional Wednesdays and the odd weekend. We achieved 104 volunteer work parties over the last year on this project alone, volunteers’ combined efforts brought the total to 233 days. This is a really good achievement and there is still much more that can be done.
So if you would like to help us make a difference and volunteer with the Wildlife Trust, with surveying and/or habitat management work, we would love you to come join us. No experience required, all tools and necessary training provided. Volunteering roles are flexible and we are happy to work out times that fit in with your lifestyle.
Please contact Tara for further details.