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Conservation & Biodiversity


Bryngarw is sensitively managed and maintained to enhance the park’s natural environment in order to protect this hugely valuable resource and maximise its benefit for wildlife. The conservation of the park’s natural habitats and biodiversity is a fundamental requirement of the management of Bryngarw and there are a number of key areas which are of particular importance:

Wildflower Meadows

Bryngarw has approximately six acres of native wildflower meadows to the west of the park. The UK has lost over 97% of its native wildflower meadows since World War II, so here at Bryngarw we are particularly proud and protective of the meadows we have.


 

Mixed Woodlands

With approximately 80 acres of mixed woodlands, comprise of a range of mature native trees. Many of these trees are hundreds of years old and of huge importance to wildlife. The woodlands are sensitively managed to strike a balance between the needs of park visitors and wildlife. The UK has almost half of the world’s bluebell population, so displays like the ones seen at Bryngarw in spring are world class.


 

River Garw

Previously known as the black river, the River Garw was once heavily polluted by the collieries further up the valley. However, it is now a thriving eco-system home to a diverse range of wildlife with everything from a range of invertebrates living on the rocky riverbed through to the larger mammals such as otter. It is also a marvellous place to watch birds such as kingfisher, dipper, grey heron and grey wagtail. At night daubenton’s bats can be seen hunting just above the river surface.


 

Ponds, Lake and Wetlands

The park has a number of water features including wildlife ponds in the oriental garden, ornamental lake and the ecologically important wet woodland. All of these features are important for wildlife which depends upon them. This includes amphibians such as common toad, frog, palmate and smooth newts. The lake supports a range of wild fowl and a healthy population of fish including rudd, roach and tench. Kingfisher can often be seen in the early morning in summer, diving from over-hanging branches in its hunt for small fish.


 

Conservation Management Works

The rangers are assisted in the conservation of the parks habitats and biodiversity by members of the local community via the park’s annual volunteer programme.

BECOME A VOLUNTEER

THE RANGERS


Keith

Operations Manager for Natural Heritage

Keith has worked at Bryngarw as a Ranger since the late 1980s, and as a countryside manager for over 30 years. His previous jobs involved working for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Sussex Wildlife Trust and Dartmoor National Park. His specialty is woodland birds, especially woodpeckers and he has travelled widely throughout Europe to look for other woodpecker species. He volunteers for the RSPB.

DAN

Development Manager for Natural Heritage

Dan joined Bryngarw in 2007, having previously worked at both Cosmeston Lakes and Porthkerry Country Parks. A keen practitioner of bushcraft, Dan is also a Green Flag award judge and a licensed bat ecologist, helping to conserve the species by conducting surveys and designing mitigation to enhance habitat for bats during building construction and other development across Wales.

BETH

Beth is a Seasonal Ranger; first joining the Ranger team in 2014. Since completing a degree in Wildlife Biology, she has worked and volunteered for a number of conservation organisations including Gwent Wildlife Trust, Swansea Ecology Research Team and the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales. Having a passion for the natural world and travelling, Beth has been on conservation-related trips to Africa and South America and, in her spare time, is an amateur wildlife artist.