Paul wins a Lantra Award!

Gelli Hir Woods

Gelli Hir Woods

Paul Thornton won in the Lifelong Learner Category

Paul Thornton won in the Lifelong Learner Category

Well Done Paul!

Last month, Lantra (Sector Skills Council for land-based and environmental industries) announced their Land-based learner of the Year Awards 2018. The ceremony took place at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair with the awards presented by Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs.

Our very own Senior Wildlife Trust Officer, Paul Thornton was nominated by Julie Thomas at Simply the Best Training and won the Lifelong Learner (Animal Health and Welfare, Horticulture and Environmental) category.

Paul’s experience and training record is extensive, all of it put into practice delivering work for The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

Speaking about the award Paul said,

“In my opinion, most importantly this award should bring kudos for The Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales, who have encouraged, enabled and facilitated my training and career development over the last 11 years. I have every hope I will still be doing this job in twenty years time, managing habitats, working with colleagues and volunteers and sharing my skills and knowledge with others. Winning this award is recognition of the efforts I have put in to build my skills over the past twenty years”.

Paul and his team manage a number of reserves in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.

The majority of their time is taken up with habitat management; most of this is also supported by volunteer effort without whom, we would not have half the impact.  This year, the team have been busy managing those woodlands that require attention, such as thinning and coppicing at Craig cil Hendre, The Dranges, Gelli Hir & Priors. We’re continuing to work towards engaging and inspiring people and this year we have given guided walks, activities and talks for the communities that neighbour or use our reserves. We’ve also lead field trips for farmers and other specialist groups.

Great Crested Newts discovered

This year’s highlight has to be the discovery of Great Crested Newts at Priors Wood and Meadow. The next nearest record is 5km west of here, this suggests the population spread of this animal on Gower may be greater than ever thought. The team have also been very busy keeping paths open, litter picking, maintaining reserves infrastructure, boundary checks and gate and fence maintenance.

We’re so proud of Paul and the work that he, along with other members of staff and dedicated volunteers, are doing to help protect local wildlife on your doorstep.

If you’d like to support our vital conservation work, please consider becoming a member of The Wildlife Trust.