Since the nesting season started, work at the Wildlife Trust’s West Williamston nature reserve in south Pembrokeshire has moved away from habitat management tasks such as scrub clearance, coppicing blackthorn and thinning/clear-felling trees in the woodland. Efforts now lie primarily in maintaining reserve infrastructure of which footpaths are the main focus.
Recent work events on the reserve have involved volunteers repairing steps on the woodland paths, removing rotten risers and replacing with new. Additional steps have been installed in areas where they are needed, enabling better access through the reserve. As much of the reserve is comprised of underlying limestone rock and old spoil heaps from the activities of historical quarrying, bedding some steps in proved to be more onerous than anticipated! None-the-less, volunteers were keen and very much able, so all planned work was completed in time.
Other work included removing the build up of moss and grass from the tarmac road leading down to the meadows and foreshore from the carpark. This is an annual task that helps to maintain the integrity of the road and avoid the need for resurfacing. This is a task that is mundane in nature and doesn’t really get noticed yet can save the Wildlife Trust considerable investment in the long term.
Ongoing tasks over the summer months will involve cutting back vegetation from encroaching on to paths and upgrading interpretation.
Over the years the reserve has been under Wildlife Trust management, funding for enabling work to occur has come from a variety of sources. Recent improvements have been funded through the People’s Postcode Lottery. The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales are very grateful to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery who have made all this work possible.
Nathan Walton, Pembrokeshire Wildlife Trust Officer