Hello everyone, I’m Rhi the new Water for Wildlife Officer for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW), based in Swansea. My role over the next few months will be to help enthuse, inspire and change the way local communities use their water environments and to raise the profile of the wildlife that they support. I will also be working with partner organisations Swansea Environmental Forum and Natural Resources Wales on the new Clear Streams project, which aims to change the way that both communities and businesses treat the water environment in Swansea, with the aim of reducing pollution incidents and cleaning up Swansea’s waterways for people and wildlife.
I will be working with communities in Swansea to improve all types of aquatic habitats, from creating garden ponds for amphibians and invertebrates, to the clearing of polluted streams and rivers. WTSWW believes that all this can be achieved by enthusing people to become more engaged with their local environment and by encouraging them to consider how they use water in the home. Simple changes to what we put down our drains and use on our gardens can have a huge benefit to wildlife. We will be helping people and wildlife by installing water butts and garden ponds to improve water efficiency and storage, and even working to improve the aquatic habitat of the bay itself. Hopefully by doing this all of the waterways of Swansea will be fit for wildlife to flourish, and for communities to enjoy.
We have a wide variety of events planned for the next few months, including practical habitat management such as invasive species removal and pond creation as well as ecological surveys such as pond dips, river walks and moth and bat nights. All these and more will be taking place along waterways in Swansea, with the aim of showing local people the wonderful wildlife and habitats that they share an environment with, and inspiring people to work towards their conservation.
Clear Streams will also be attending a variety of events across Swansea, including Baefest and Greenfayre, so pop over and say hello, and try your hand at some of the watery themed games and quizzes, and hopefully learn something new about your local water environment along the way!
I have a passion for this role that stems from a personal love of Swansea, having been a resident here for 5 years and completing both my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the university. I feel a duty of care towards my local environment, and really feel honoured to have been placed in a role where I can make a real difference to the environment for wildlife and people in Swansea.
I am a passionate ecologist, with a particular interest in birds and invertebrates and can often be found running a moth trap in my garden or watching birds all over Gower and beyond. I love to get stuck in to any practical conservation work, so don’t be surprised if I meet some of you on workparties or similar events!
I am really excited to be a part of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales team, and I am looking forward to working with many of our members over the next year.