A Year in the Valleys

As we head towards January I find myself feeling baffled at the passing of another year. Where did the time go? Working for a nature conservation charity means time and resources are always precious and there’s plenty to do! But regardless of how much I have on my ‘to-do list’, nature (and people) can be unpredictable, so a storm, a landslide, or a thoughtless act of vandalism on the nature reserves can suddenly take priority and require extra time. On the plus side, it means that there have been new obstacles and opportunities every year so far!

To help me understand where my time has been spent this year I decided to quantify just some of what’s been going on in the valleys. But before I list these achievements I need to explain that this has only been possible because a group of amazing people have donated their time and energy to the Wildlife Trust, and without them we wouldn’t have been able to achieve half as much for our environment. I can’t express enough how much I value the time which my volunteers have given for free, but I hope this list goes some way towards showing how  they have helped to make our nature reserves a special place for wildlife and people.

  • 176 days of volunteer time have gone into conservation work on 4 nature reserves in the valleys this year.
  • 1.1 Ha of willow and conifer scrub has been removed from the Heathland at Llyn Fach to prevent this special habitat from being lost.
  • 830m of footpaths were widened and 5 boardwalks repaired at Taf Fechan to make the nature reserve more accessible.
  • 4,000 m2 of Himalayan balsam has been pulled up at Pwll Waun Cynon to allow native wildflowers the light and space to grow.
  • 977m of fencing has been replaced or repaired on the nature reserves to allow us to use grazing animals to help manage habitats.
  • 156 hours were spent surveying bird boxes to monitor the breeding bird activity at Taf Fechan and to watch for Pied Flycatchers.
  • 6 trips were taken around Llyn Fach lake to monitor the floating footprint rafts.
  • 1 bee bank and 3 hedgehog homes were constructed.
  • 4 reptile surveys, 1 orchid count, and 1 butterfly transect were carried out.

If you would like to get involved in the new year take a look here

Words by Lorna Baggett, Valleys Reserves Officer