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Wetlands restored as part of No Net Loss project

Credit: Forest Farm (Facebook)

Work to restore important wetland habitats at Forest Farm has been completed as part of the ‘No Net Loss’ project, funded by Network Rail.

The project has also seen almost 1000 native trees planted to increase species diversity at the site and 5,500 bluebell, snowdrop, wild garlic, wood anemone and primrose bulbs planted at the Cardiff Council owned Nature Reserve, to benefit the biodiversity of the habitat.

The pipework feeding the wetland ponds, which are home to a diverse range of wildlife, including Kingfishers, Herons and Otters, were previously blocked and the water levels too low. With the help of 2,158 hours of work from volunteers, new pipes have been installed, vegetation and reed beds cleared.

Kingfishers are regularly spotted at Forest Farm and a new nesting bank has also been constructed as part of the project, to encourage further breeding of this distinctive species.

Woodland management and hedge-laying works have also been carried out in the first year of the project.

Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury, said: “Forest Farm is a real haven for nature and protecting and conserving the habitats found there is key – for Cardiff and beyond.”

“Nature is under pressure globally and Wales is no exception. The 60 hectare Forest Farm site links in with the Wales-wide B-Lines connectivity corridor for pollinators and other wildlife – meaning the benefits of the work we’re carrying out in Cardiff could stretch far beyond the site itself.”

Network Rail Environmental Specialist, Mike Franklin, said: “It is fantastic to be able to support this project which will boost a range of habitats at this much-loved nature reserve. Projects like this are invaluable and help to maintain and improve green spaces for the benefit of people and wildlife.”

Work to train a pool of volunteers to carry out site surveys so that the impact of the work on flora and fauna at the site can be measured has been temporarily delayed due to Covid-19, but this work will commence when it is possible to do so safely.

The partnership project with Buglife and the Friends of Forest Farm, is led by the Council’s Community and Woodland Ranger teams and will run for at least one more year.