Craig Cilhendre by Alltwen, Pontardawe, is partially mixed broadleaf woodland topped by upland oak woodland with an understory of bilberry. This reserve is within our current WREN funded Wild Woodlands Project. The project’s aim is to improve habitats and undertake public engagement.
As part of writing a new management plan for Craig Cilhendre, surveys are required to advise decision making. Potential species we may wish to attract and manage for include pied flycatcher, small pearl bordered fritillary butterfly, bilberry bumblebee and woodland hellebores. To be able to accurately write this plan for the best interests of this individual site, Wild Woodlands Project has been creating management access through the woodland to allow surveys to inform best practice for management. It is important to leave these access routes for management purposes only, as disturbance from visitors and dogs may alarm wildlife and therefore alter the dynamics we are doing our best to capture in surveys.
Surveys already underway to inform this plan include breeding bird surveys, which look at the number and range of all surveyed species in the woodland. Canopy mapping surveys have started looking at the species composition and light level structure of the woodland plants at present, this will help to make decisions on where actions are most appropriate e.g. we may look at preventing the spread of beech, however it would be undesirable to take out the mature beech along the footpath near the entrance. Craig Cilhendre is also being surveyed and managed to control invasive non native species such as Japanese knotweed and rhododendron, which have the ability to run rampant and exclude sensitive and desirable native species such as British bluebell and opposite-leaved golden saxifrage.
In addition we are developing interpretation and keeping the existing footpaths open for the public to continue to enjoy access in the reserve. We have dedicated volunteers helping with both our surveys and management, if you would like to join us, please contact Tara.
Location and Access Notes
1.5 km south of Pontardawe. Access to the reserve is by way of a made up track to a small car park at the northwest corner of the reserve located at SN724024. Not accessible to wheelchairs.
Bus numbers 122, X20, X25 from Swansea Quadrant Bus Station to Pontardawe.