Nature Networks

Child playing with leaf in waterConnecting nature across Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen

Nature needs to be able to move around, to find food, water and shelter in order to thrive – the same as humans do. Unfortunately, wildlife can’t always easily do these things so Nature Networks aims to provide a helping hand by creating more places for nature to thrive. There are over 80 sites across Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen for you to discover and explore.

Grassland network

Across the UK, 97% of grassland habitats have been lost since the 1930s due to building projects, changes in farming practices, inappropriate tree planting and road building. In Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen we want to restore and create wildflower grassland habitats wherever possible and appropriate. This will help to form a network of grassland sites that spread out from Local Nature Reserves and other designated wildlife sites, giving nature a chance to recover and making natural spaces more accessible to local communities.

What you can do:

  • make your garden a refuge for wildlife by letting some areas grow wild, planting pollinator friendly flowers and creating ‘bug hotels’;
  • tell your local council how much you enjoy the wildflowers where you are and nominate more areas to include in the Nature Network;
  • discover what wildlife lives in your garden and recording what you find with SEWBReC

Woodland network

Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen have a number of wonderful woodlands, many of which are ancient woodland (meaning it is been woodland for at least 400 hundred years). Woodlands and trees are under pressure from the impacts of climate change, building projects, road building, diseases and invasive non-native species.

Through Nature Networks, we aim to connect these woodlands through hedge and tree planting, supporting natural regeneration, creating new woodlands where appropriate and diversifying woodland edges.  

What you can do:

  • plant a hedgerow or small tree if you have space in your garden;
  • put up bird and bat boxes;
  • make a hole in your garden fence for hedgehogs to be able to move through;
  • look out for opportunities to get involved in woodland regeneration and tree planting projects near you (sign up for our newsletter if you want to be kept up to date).

Wetland and rivers network

Three rivers start in the uplands of Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen – the Afon Lwyd, Ebbw and Sirhowy. In recent decades these rivers have recovered from pollution from heavy industry and once again support a wide range of wildlife, including otters, kingfishers and salmon. Dotted throughout the landscape are numerous ponds and reservoirs that fed industry – many of these have now become refuges for wildlife, supporting amphibians, birds and insects amongst others.

Through Nature Networks, we’re planning to further restore river corridors and wetland sites making them even better for wildlife and people.

What you can do:

  • support wetland wildlife in your garden by creating a pond or marshy area;
  • make a log pile or hibernaculum;
  • consider creating a dry stone wall or pile of stones for hibernating amphibians;
  • leave some areas of your garden to grow a little wilder as shelter for many different types of wildlife.

If you’d like more information about a site near you or want to let us know about a place you want to nominate, you can contact the Local Nature Partnership.

Last Modified: 18/06/2020
For more information contact:

Local Nature Partnership

Email: veronika.brannovic@torfaen.gov.uk

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