WTSWW’s Conservation Report Highlights for 2015 to 2016

Seal and Seal Pup by Pia Reufstec

Seal and Seal Pup by Pia Reufstec

Tawny Owls by Tommy Evans

Tawny Owls by Tommy Evans

The conservation team continue to benefit from a wide range of external funding sources which are critical to our ability to deliver the range of breath taking work that we seek to achieve. These include NRW funding, generous legacies, donations and a variety of grants. Below are a few highlights from the conservation team's report:

• WTSWW recorded a whopping 1290 staff days of conservation work directly involved in mainland land management.
• In 2015, Gelli Hir Nature Reserve was entered into the Welsh Government’s Glastir Woodland Management (GWM) grant scheme which is contributing to the continued habitat and access management of this reserve.
• Over the past 2 years, the staff and volunteers at Parc Slip have been working throughout the autumn and winter to carry out conservation work aimed specifically at increasing and improving nesting and foraging habitats for Lapwing. The project, which has been supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, SITA Trust and Bridgend Country Borough Council, has so far involved over 350 volunteer hours. One of the largest tasks has been to reduce dense scrub and encroaching trees from the margins of the main Lapwing breeding field in order to increase the amount of suitable habitat and to eliminate perches for aerial predators.
• Mike Alexander, a previous Skomer warden, has helped the Trust immensely with developing a new management plan which will allow us to record detailed maps and precise instructions for all monitoring projects. He has done almost all of this work in the capacity of a volunteer and we are indebted to his enthusiasm and dedication.
• In addition to surveys of Skokholm’s current vegetation, work was begun in 2015 to try and discover which species may have been present before humans arrived to the island.
• Every year, in September, we look for Marsh Fritillary larval webs on at least three of our Ceredigion rhos pasture, reserves. This habitat, rich in devil’s bit scabious, is the ideal place for the butterfly to lay its eggs. At Glyn yr Helyg numbers recorded have rised dramatically, from 0 in 2012, to 671 in 2015.
• WTSWW staff at the Teifi Marshes have been working in partnership with the Deer Initiative and with local landowners to monitor the deer population in the Teifi area. This is to get a better understanding of the size and movements of both the Red Deer population and the (non-native) Sika population.
• It has to be said that without volunteers, the Wildlife Trust would cease to exist. This is how important and recognised their input is to the operation of the organisation. The roles that volunteers can play varies greatly and includes services such as providing general administrative support, being a front of desk face at visitor centres, getting involved in practical reserve based work, species monitoring and survey work, representing the Trust at shows and events and managing local group branches.

For the full report visit: https://www.welshwildlife.org/reports/wtsww-publications-and-reports-2015/