Grant set to boost Welsh woodland birds


A new charity has been awarded a grant to help install 100 nestboxes in the Amman Valley, Carmarthenshire.

The Initiative for Nature Conservation Cymru (INCC) Community Connections Project has been awarded match funding of £3,231 from the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA), with £2,785 of it available this year to help volunteers make the boxes. They will then be strategically placed in Cwmamman Woodlands and are expected to be used by species such as Common Redstart and Pied Flycatcher.

Despite a long-term decline, Wales remains a Pied Flycatcher stronghold due to its preferred habitat of upland oak woodland (Michael A Eccles).

The project will with local volunteers and community groups to build and then install the specially designed boxes, with Pied Flycatcher one of the highest priority species. Deborah Perkin, Chair of the SDF committee, said: "We are always delighted to see new groups forming across the National Park to support our wildlife and our communities. 

It's particularly pleasing to see the charity's partnership with Cwmamman Town Council and their excellent woodworking facilities. Making bird boxes and monitoring the birds that use them is vital conservation work, and I'm sure it will be hugely enjoyable for all the volunteers involved."

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Once the boxes are up and occupied the charity will begin monitoring which species are using them, as well as keeping tabs on other wildlife activity in Cwmamman Woodlands. The data will feed back to BBNPA ecologists and – next year – a further £446 will be available to host guided walks and evaluate the impact of the project.

Chief Executive of INCC Rob Parry said: "The oak woodlands of the Amman Valley should be an ideal habitat for Pied Flycatchers and other migratory and resident bird species. Thanks to the partnership, INCC can now celebrate the wildlife of the valley with the local communities and help them take a leading role in the nature conservation of the area."

Robert Venus, Community Development Officer for Cwmamman Town Council, added: "We're very pleased to be working with INCC in the delivery of this project. I feel it will have a significant impact on the future sustainability of our ecology and support community well-being through interaction with our greatest asset."