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New footpath celebrates an ancient landscape at National Trust Southwood Estate, Newgale

The new permissive path joins the Welsh Coast Path ©National Trust Images John Millar

A new footpath now open on National Trust Cymru’s Southwood Estate, will give better access to the ancient and beautiful landscape near Newgale Beach, Pembrokeshire.

The 2km footpath has been made possible thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, whose support has also meant more could be done to protect and enhance the biodiversity of the 850-acre Estate. Further project work has focused on enhancing the traditionally farmed Folkeston Farm, so wildlife can continue to thrive and people can benefit from being surrounded by nature.

For the first time visitors will be able to visit Folkeston Farm via the new permissive path which links in with existing footpaths to Southwood Farm and the National Trust Maidenhall car park. The footpath will take walkers across farmland where funding has supported the creation of 400m of new hedgerows; vital habitat for farmland birds including the Yellowhammer, which faces rapid decline across Wales.

Funding has also allowed for the installation of 8km of new fencing at both Folkeston Farm and Goodhope Farm, near Strumble Head. This expands and protects existing hedgerows and ensures cattle can continue to graze the ancient wildflower meadows.

National Trust Volunteers, passionate about caring for the Estate, contributed over 400 hours of their time to the project, assisting Rangers with everything from installing signage to hedgerow planting.

Speaking about the new path and the future of the farmland and Estate, National Trust Ranger James Roden said:

“This crucial investment has meant we can continue to care for a combined area of 350 acres of farmland at Goodhope and Folkeston Farms, monitoring the wildflower meadows and the farmland bird populations. This work, in addition to the continuation of conservation management across the Southwood Estate and at Goodhope Farm, will create a more climate resilient, healthier, wildlife rich landscape.

A further aim is to increase public access across the Southwood Estate, adding to the creation of the new permissive path, with more footpaths planned over the next few years for everyone to enjoy.”