View page in: Cymraeg English

RSPB Mawddach Valley Nature Reserve, Wales

People and nature in Wales

People of all ages and backgrounds benefit from getting close to nature. Here’s how we help in Wales, from providing beautiful places to enjoy, to organising local groups and community outreach. There are lots of ways to join in!

Nature reserves: great for people

RSPB Cymru looks after 18 beautiful nature reserves. They are managed mainly to give nature a home, but they’re also fantastic places for people to explore and reconnect with nature.

These reserves receive around 350,000 visitors each year. Some people come to enjoy a peaceful walk but, if you’re looking for something else, we hold events on many of our reserves to suit families and adults alike.

You could choose from wildlife discovery walks for all ages and abilities, Wildlife Bingo, informal nature play areas, photography exhibitions, yoga and even a monthly, local food-filled Farmers’ Market at RSPB Conwy.

Talking of food, you can enjoy a drink, a snack or light lunch at our cafés at South Stack Cliffs, Conwy or Newport Wetlands, followed by a browse around our shop. 

Play in the wild 

Thanks to the generous support of the People’s Postcode Trust we’re building a wonderful wildlife play area at RSPB Lake Vyrnwy. Very soon you will be able to get mucky in our mud kitchen, try your luck on our balance beam or have fun exploring in our enchanted fairy forest! You can enjoy the wonders of the play area for yourselves later this year. 

Family bird watching at RSPB Conwy nature reserve
A family exploring RSPB Conwy nature reserve

Community outreach

RSPB Cymru is running two Giving Nature a Home outreach projects in Cardiff and Swansea. 

We’ve teamed up for three years with the City of Cardiff Council and the City and County of Swansea Council to bring thousands of children and their families closer to nature, helping them take action to support wildlife. Welsh shoppers have helped to fund both projects, via the charges made for carrier bags by Tesco (Cardiff) and Aldi (Swansea).

The schools outreach activities include a ‘bioblitz’, a birdwatch, and habitat surveys to help children explore their school grounds and discover how they can help give nature a home.

And the programme doesn’t stop there: we’re also working in the cities’ parks and woodlands, inviting children and their families to explore nature near where they live. 

Watch out for Giving Nature a Home coming to a city near you soon!

To find out how you can get involved, email us: cymru@rspb.org.uk

Wellies at Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff
Boy taking part in Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff

Volunteering

We rely on our dedicated volunteers to keep our vital conservation work going. In Wales, more than 800 people volunteer for us each year. 

From leading dawn walks to show people the stunning sight of lekking black grouse to helping us managing our administration work, the support they offer across a range of very different activities is invaluable.

How you can get involved

Volunteers can come and stay and work alongside us at some of our beautiful Welsh reserves. You can do all kinds of roles, from welcoming visitors to being a warden, and it doesn't matter whether you're 16 or 76! There are residential volunteering opportunities at Lake Vyrnwy, Ramsey Island, South Stack and Ynys-hir.

Looking to boost your CV? Why not apply for one of our volunteer internships? We offer conservation internships annually at Lake Vyrnwy and Ramsey Island reserves; education internships at Conwy and Newport Wetlands and a volunteer support internship with our Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff project.

Whether you have less than an hour or can make a regular commitment, please get in touch on 029 20 353 000 or e-mail volunteers.cymru@rspb.org.uk. We’d love to hear from you.

Raise money to give nature a home

Why not become a community fundraising volunteer? In 2015 our community fundraising volunteers in Wales raised an amazing £81,631 to help support our work. This total is made up of money raised from the pin badge boxes scheme, and other activities like local fundraising and donations from the public. 

The RSPB Cymru North Wales Fundraisers also raised £9,131, selling home-made jams, cards and second-hand books in the RSPB Conwy reserve coffee shop. All this money will really help us deliver more for the wildlife of Wales. 

This year the target is £93,000, so if you would like to help us hit this, and want to get involved please contact Rob Williams on 029 20 353 016, or email robert.williams@rspb.org.uk 

Local groups

RSPB Cymru’s Local Groups offer you the opportunity to join a lively and friendly group of people in your area who carry out a range of indoor and outdoor activities, including monthly meetings, wildlife walks, nature discussions and illustrated talks. 

There is also an opportunity to try out your practical skills and get involved with conservation work on a local level, or you can join one of the groups’ monthly field trips, visiting a wide range of habitats and improving your knowledge. 

Find your nearest local group