From Opencast Coal Mine To Wildlife Haven...
A South Wales nature reserve, Parc Slip, owned and managed by The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, has fought off competition from across Britain to become the national winner of Biffa Award’s Rebuilding Biodiversity project of the year prize.
The Wildlife Trust has managed Parc Slip nature reserve in Tondu, near Bridgend, since 1989. Formerly an opencast coal mine, the site has been transformed back to a wildlife haven that supports one of the few remaining breeding populations of lapwing in south Wales, as well as locally important populations of reptiles, dragonflies and damselflies.
In 2012 The Wildlife Trust received funding to undertake wildlife conservation work at the site from Biffa Award.
Over the following three years Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers have undertaken habitat improvements for Lapwing, created new arable crops to provide winter food for birds like Goldfinches and Yellowhammers, and introduced three much loved highland cattle to the site which help manage the grasslands better for wildlife.
Rob Parry, Conservation Manager for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, who accepted the award on behalf of the Wildlife Trust at a national ceremony in Coventry this month, said
“we’re absolutely delighted that Parc Slip has been awarded this prize. Our staff and volunteers have worked incredibly hard to make the nature reserve the best place for wildlife it can be. We’ve had brilliant feedback from all our visitors who walk the reserve and who have seen the changes that we’ve made on the site. We’re incredibly grateful to Biffa Award for the difference their funding has made.”
“the prize money of £1500 will be invested back into Parc Slip. We intend to put it towards the costs of building a new bird hide so that visitors can enjoy the site even more, and help us monitor the wildlife that uses the nature reserve.”
Parc Slip nature reserve and visitor centre can be found by following white on brown tourism signs from junction 36 from the M4. The nature reserve is open seven days a week and the visitor centre open from Tuesday – Sunday (10:00am – 4:00pm).