Projects funded by Welsh Government’s Local Places for Nature are bringing nature to the heart of communities across Wales.
Local Places for Nature is a Welsh Government grant scheme enabling areas of highest deprivation or those with least access to nature in Wales, such as urban communities, to restore and enhance their local nature.
The funding is distributed to communities through partners including Keep Wales Tidy and National Lottery Heritage Fund. Partners supply grants to community groups of all sizes looking to create places for nature across Wales, in areas where people live, work and access public services.
WCVA is also involved in the distribution of funds through our role in the Local Nature Partnerships (LNP) Cymru project, a nature recovery network with coordinators in each county in Wales. Here’s how we support this work and some examples of what we’ve funded.
HOW WE SUPPORT NATURE PROJECTS
The Local Nature Partnerships (LNP) Cymru project has installed a coordinator in each county in Wales, who’s aim is to create a network (or ‘partnership’) of people who want to make a bigger difference to their local nature.
These Local Nature Partnerships can consist of large environmental organisations, community groups or even just interested individuals.
The Partnership Coordinator can also distribute small amounts of funding to community groups to run small scale projects to restore and enhance nature in the area.
WCVA’s portion of the Local Places for Nature pot is distributed directly to these Local Nature Partnership Coordinators, enabling them to plan and deliver large projects that will have a bigger impact on the area’s biodiversity.
Here are some of the different ways that LNPs are using Local Places for Nature funding to develop nature projects across Wales.
OGMORE WASHERIES, BRIDGEND
The Ogmore Washeries Local Places for Nature project focused on encouraging biodiversity in the Ogmore Valley through habitat management, restoration and creation.
The project involved improving habitat for invertebrates, particularly pollinators, through scrub clearance and the creation of a distinct wildlife area.
This dog-free wildlife area includes native tree planting, wildflower turf and a two-metre-high Bee Post for solitary bees.
The project also allowed for the installation of 40 bird and bat boxes across the site.
Check out what the site was like before and after the work!
ENVIRONMENT CENTRE, SWANSEA
The Swansea Environment Centre is the go-to place for environmental information and advice in Swansea.
A Local Places for Nature grant has enabled the installation of a new biodiverse green roof and two new biodiverse green walls on the Centre.
The wall and roof will improve biodiversity in the area but will also provide a range of benefits for the building itself, including cooling, rainwater harvesting and insulation.
Volunteers from the Centre helped with the planting of the wall and roof, giving them a chance to learn about green infrastructure firsthand.
TREE NURSERY, DENBIGHSHIRE
Denbighshire LNP (part of Bionet, the Northeast Wales nature partnership) has set up a tree nursery using Local Places for Nature funding, to grow native trees for planting across Denbighshire.
Using local seeds and cuttings, the tree nursery reduces the risk of spreading diseases, and ensures developing woodland offers the greatest benefit to biodiversity.
The tree nursery will provide trees to some groups free of charge and will run training and volunteer events to engage people with nature and teach new skills.
The entire area is off grid, including the watering system. An onsite water tank collects water from the stream, and any overflow gets pumped into an on-site pond. Everything in the polytunnels is automatically watered in the mornings and evenings in summer months. The process and the whole site is powered by solar panels on top of the storage container.
In 2021 the site will also feature facilities to grow local native wildflower plants, expanding on a successful collaboration with the Woodland Skills Centre in Bodfari.
The plants produced at the site will be used to increase the biodiversity and extent of wildflower meadow currently being managed across Denbighshire, in and around where people live. Currently there are 45 acres of wildflower meadow being managed for nature using Local Places for Nature-funded machinery.
COEDKERNEW MEADOWS, NEWPORT
Newport LNP Coordinator Lucy gives us a windy but wonderful guided tour of the wildflower meadow they've been managing with the help of #LocalPlacesForNature funding! 🍃🌼🌺 @LucyArnoldMatth @Mon_Newport_LNP pic.twitter.com/nMvhnC59Oa
— LNP Cymru (@LNPCymru) August 3, 2021
Newport is officially a Bee Friendly city. In line with this, they’ve recently made drastic changes to their mowing regimes – and driving past one of their many rainbow-road verges thick with wildflowers it’s obvious that this city takes its pollinators seriously.
This commitment is never clearer than at Coedkernew Meadows. It sits just behind the large Celtic Horizons housing estate and is well used by the local community.
The meadow area is mowed annually using their Local Places for Nature-funded Cut and Collect machine, and partnerships with Living Levels and Bumblebee Conservation have enabled the LNP to upskill volunteers to undertake surveys of the meadow’s wildlife.