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Welsh community woodlands to be restored

A neglected and overgrown woodland in Cardiff is to be restored thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Gwern-y-Bendy woods and part of the Rhyd-y-Penau complex, which sits within the site of Lisvane and Llanishen reservoirs, has successfully secured a grant from the fund.

While Welsh Water took over the reservoir site in 2016, for years up until then the woods had been left largely unmanaged.  This in turn has resulted in overgrowth, the emergence of invasive species and left the woods largely inaccessible.

Now thanks to the Welsh Government Community Woodlands initiative and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, many of these issues will be addressed and the woodland brought under a sustainable management plan.

The intention is to do it all with the help of the local community and Welsh Water’s inaugural ‘Friends of’ group.

The project will support a woodland management plan which will include the removal of invasive species. This in turn will enable the regeneration of woodland flora and fauna as well as plant connecting hedgerows which serve as wildlife corridors.

The more sensitive areas of the woodland will be protected through the creation of conservation zones while a learning zone will provide an education amenity for local schools, community and visitors.

The project will also include restoring a historic fishpond within the woodlands to further enhance its biodiversity credentials.

‘We are delighted that this funding can support the restoration of a much-loved and valued area,’ said Welsh Water’s chief executive officer, Peter Perry.

‘It is important to Welsh Water that we collaborate with the local community and this project will not only accelerate the restoration of woodlands but will also enable the development of volunteers’ skills and knowledge and broaden public access as part of the wider development of the site.

‘Once restored the woodland will provide accessible green spaces for the community and will contribute to the health and well-being goals for the people of Cardiff and the surrounding areas.’

Photo Credit – Welsh Water

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