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Industrial site transformed into haven for wildlife

Once an industrial wasteland, Ogmore Washeries have been transformed into a haven for nature and wildlife (Cr.BCBC)

Bridgend County Borough Council has supported Ogmore Community Council in transforming the site of a disused coal washery in the Ogmore Valley into a haven for nature and wildlife.

Several grants were successfully applied for by the community council and the local authority’s Rural Development Team, Reach, to develop the Ogmore Washeries site into an area that would benefit the local community.

Reach first funded an appraisal for the Washeries site that identified potential work and funding sources. They then worked with the council’s countryside team to apply for funding, coordinate site works and undertake the grant claims.

Among the grants, £45,250 was secured from the Welsh Government’s ‘Local Places for Nature’ fund. The project focused on encouraging biodiversity in the Ogmore Valley through habitat management, restoration and creation.

This involved improving habitats for invertebrates, particularly pollinators, through scrub clearance on the site and the creation of a distinct wildlife area. The improved habitat has already become home to a number of very rare colliery spoil invertebrates. Since the work was completed, one of the Wales Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species, the Brown Banded Carder Bee, has been recorded on site.

Another area has been planted with native trees and wildflower turf and a two-metre high bee post installed to attract solitary bees. Forty bird and bat boxes have also been put up across the site.

An additional £50,000 of funding was awarded to the project by the Valleys Regional Taskforce for the provision of paths, benches and artwork at the site. And the community council was also awarded £4,700 in Heritage Lottery Funding for the installation of QR Codes and the development of a map to create a heritage trail.

An outdoor classroom and picnic area have also been installed at the site of the Washeries which closed in 1986.

It has been fantastic to see this industrial site transformed into a wonderful space which we hope will be of real value to the community, a place to relax and enjoy the outdoor space.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the teams involved for their role in securing the funding that made this project possible.

Councillor Dhanisha Patel, Cabinet Member for Future Generations and Wellbeing