During the autumn of 2020, RSPB Cymru received a £194,379.00 grant from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) as part of the Strategic Allocation Fund with the primary purpose of supporting the sector in adapting to the new Covid-19 environment and
Fersiwn Gymraeg ar gael yma.
It has been a challenging time for us all and we know that nature has played a pivotal role in helping to boost our emotional and physical health.
This funding was a really vital boost for us and other environmental charities as the pandemic has hit many of our income streams this year as our visitor centres have been closed for long periods and community fundraising activities have been curtailed.
With the support of the grant, we have been able to continue keywork across Wales. This includes conducting work on widening and managing footpaths, trail and path audits, tree safety, nature interpretation, health and safety and access inspections, creating Covid-19 compliant one way systems at our visitor centres and important signage about what you can see at the reserves and how to ensure your visit is safe. With many new visitors who have never come to their local nature reserves before, a warm welcome and information about what see and how to get the most out of their visit has been very important.
NRW’s ambition is to put tackling climate change and the loss of nature at the heart of Wales’ recovery from the pandemic. RSPB Cymru are delighted to be able to support those ambitions through this grant . With the funding, activities and conservation work have been able to continue at RSPB Gwenffrwd Dinas, South Stack, Cors Ddyga, Lake Vyrnwy and Newport Wetlands.
Mike Sidaway, RSPB Cymru Site Manager at Gwenffrwd Dinas said:
“The Strategic Allocation Fund has been a real blessing for us at Gwenffrwd Dinas nature reserve in Carmarthenshire. We were eager to invest time into replacing an old wooden boardwalk with recycled plastic which will allow more visitors to see the spectacular nature we have to offer. It is fantastic that NRW has recognised the importance of the natural world to our well-being and have supported us with this project. They have helped with other aspects of our work at the nature reserve too, enabling us to adjust our visitor operation to accommodate important Covid-19 guidelines for visitors.”
At Cors Ddyga nature reserve on Anglesey, the fund has supported the important work of opening trails, raising a stone track and replacing old fencing. After many years of having issues with flooding, raising the stone track has allowed the site team to add more stone onto the lowest part of the track to make it less prone to flooding and in turn, allowing more visitors to enjoy the wonderful nature trail.
The fence running along the Lon Las Cycle path network on the reserve separates path users with livestock and wildlife, providing safety and security for the animals including wildfowl, little grebe, kestrels, otter and bittern. The team have spent the past few months replacing the old and rotten fencing with a brand new one. The fund has also allowed the team at Cors Ddyga to reopen trails by widening them, ensuring that visitors can pass each other safely and keeping a distance.
We also want people to feel informed and inspired about nature through their connection with RSPB Cymru and during this difficult time, so we have been creating digital content using equipment purchased from the fund. From #WildlifeWednesday and #BirdoftheWeek to video diaries and photo updates on the all-important conservation work at the reserves, our supporters and members have been with us each step of the way. We are delighted with the level of engagement we have been getting on social media.
With uncertainty still surrounding this year’s spring and summer visitor season, we don’t yet know what impacts there will be on the charity sector and our ability to fundraise this coming year, but we know that nature needs wildlife charities more than ever now, if we are to tackle the twin challenges of the climate and nature emergencies and what this will mean for our conservation delivery programme. RSPB Cymru is very thankful to NRW for enabling our essential work to continue over this last year.
Last Updated: Friday 12 February 2021