Naturalists’ Trust Reserves in Gower 1968
The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales has been in existence since April 2002 and was formed by merger of Wildlife Trust West Wales and Glamorgan Wildlife Trust but it has a long history of protecting wildlife which started before the Second World War in Pembrokeshire.
Glamorgan County Naturalists’ Trust (GCNT) was founded in January 1961. In 1984, following the county of Glamorgan being split into West, Mid and South, the GCNT changed its name to the Glamorgan Trust for Nature Conservation (GTCN) and then in 1987 to The Glamorgan Wildlife Trust.
The Naturalists Trust Reserves in Gower pamphlet, was kindly donated by one of our volunteers Alice Greenlees. Naturalists Trust Reserves Gower 1968.
The Pamphlet is 50 years old this year and highlights 7 reserves on Gower the trust owned in 1968. We still own and manage these reserves (plus others acquired after 1968) 50 years later
These sites are open to the public today
Although in 1968 you had to be a member of the trust to access Ilston Quarry and Gelli hir.
In the last 50 years there has been vast changes to the countryside and wildlife in Britain. Looking at our reserves 50 years ago compared with today they continue a haven for wildlife, and preserving examples of rapidly dwindling habitats.
There have been changes
For example in Gelli hir 50 years ago, the reserve contains examples of both types of native Gower deciduous woodland, Ash/Elm to the north and west and Birch/Oak to the south and east.
Today there are no large elm trees in Gelli hir, they have been struck down by Dutch elm disease in the 1970s and 1980s, and looking forward 50 years will there be any Ash trees left in Gelli hir? Ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) is a disease of ash trees that has been seen on our reserves on Gower. It first was seen in Britain in 2012 the forestry commission say
‘’We do know that the disease has potential to cause significant damage to the UK's ash population’’.
I'm looking forward to WTSWW managing these reserves (and others) for the next 50 years and making these sites richer in wildlife for everyone to enjoy.
See the website for more information on our Gower Reserves
Ceri Evans Reserves officer