Floating island to create haven for wildlife

Posted on: Friday 1 March 2024
Floating island 2

A floating island at Cwmbran Boating Lake has been restored to attract nesting birds.

Torfaen Council's Environment Team and volunteers from Crow Valley Angling Club towed the island, which had broken apart, alongside the slipway, so it could be repaired.

It has since been replanted with native plants, including Cyperus sedge, Sweet Reed grass, Yellow Flag Iris, Purple Loosestrife and Water Mint, in time for the bird nesting season. 

Cllr Mandy Owen, Executive Member for the Environment, said: "It's World Wildlife Day this weekend which highlights the importance of wildlife conservation, so I am very happy we have been able to create an oasis for our own local wildlife. 

"I'd like to thank Crow Valley Angling Club who were vital in getting this project done and went above and beyond to help the contractor on site and Veronika Brannovic, from Local Nature Partnerships, which provided the funding." 

Kenny Pugh, from Crow Valley Angling Club, said: "The renovation of the floating island has created a new oasis for various species of birds, amphibians and insects as well as providing protection for fish.

"The island has historically been used by swans and coots for nesting but will take time to establish. The island was designed as a safe haven for birds away from predators on the banks and will do so throughout the year."

The island was reanchored to prevent it getting damaged in bad weather.

The project is just one of the ways Torfaen Council is working to support local wildlife and increase biodiversity, which helps to tackle climate change.

Since 2020, the council has reduced its spring and summer grass cutting programme in nearly 200 areas to allow grass and flowers to reseed and to provide habitats for insects, birds and small mammals. Watch how the grasslands project is making a difference.

Other overgrown areas are being cleared of scrub to encourage grass and wildflowers to grow, including a site in Llanfrechfa, in Cwmbran, where three pigs, loaned by Greenmeadow Farm, are helping to get rid of old roots.  

Old hedges are also being relaid in Local Nature Reserves using a traditional hedgelaying technique, which involves partially cutting stems at their base and bending them down to a horizontal position, where they are woven into the existing hedge structure. 

Find out more information about how Torfaen Council is tackling the climate change and nature emergency.  

Last Modified: 01/03/2024 Back to top