A helping hand from Pencoed College students

Pencoed College students

Pencoed College students

Students from Pencoed College along with the Trust’s regular volunteers combined to install a new stretch of fencing at Coed Garnllwyd in the Vale of Glamorgan across a couple of damp days in October.

Though mostly woodland, Coed Garnllwyd also has a stretch of meadow which we are in the process of restoring after years of minimal management due to lack of staff resources. Over the last few years, ably supported by incredibly hard-working volunteers, we have pushed back encroaching scrub and started mowing in order to gradually increase the floral diversity of the meadow. It’s a long-term process but is important due to the scarcity of unimproved calcareous grassland across the country as more and more is lost to agricultural ‘improvement’ or neglect.

As part of the restoration we would like to get some light grazing in to complement the mechanical cutting that we have been doing on an annual basis. In order to facilitate this we needed to install a stretch of fencing at the end of the meadow to prevent animals accessing dense scrub or the woodland itself. On the Tuesday our regular volunteer group started the process by clearing the line where the fence was going to go as well as starting the physically draining transfer of fencing material across the site. Then, on the following Sunday, 8 students on the HND Environmental Studies course came along with their tutor, Lyn Evans, on their monthly volunteer session to help out. This was not only incredibly useful to the Trust but also an excellent supplement to their studies and an opportunity for Lyn to demonstrate fencing techniques that they are learning as part of their course and that they could then practise in a real-world situation (with the predictable mud and rain…).

It was a long day and physically demanding but in the end we managed to get the whole stretch of fencing done. We’re incredibly grateful to the college for all their hard work and for giving up their Sunday, along with other work that they have done for us previously such as nest box building and step repairs.

Thanks also to our regular volunteer group who offer so much of their own time to help us manage the site as a whole – we really wouldn’t be able to do it without you!

If you would like to get involved, visit our volunteering web page.