About Keep Wales Tidy's Tidy Towns' work in Cardiff

Hi, my name is Chris Partridge and I am Keep Wales Tidy's Tidy Towns Project Officer for Cardiff. Activities we undertake are often in partnership with Cardiff Council's Parks Department (both waste services and Community Park Rangers) and Street Cleansing. We have organised events for several businesses across Cardiff and is happy to accommodate future requests. For more information you can contact Chris on 07717 412 270 or by Email: chris.partridge@keepwalestidy.org You can also follow me on Twitter for upcoming events @CardiffKWT

Friday, 20 May 2011

19.05.11 Wild Weekend for Wales: Dormouse Boxes in Fairwater

I started assisting with one of the first Wild Weekend for Wales events in Cardiff yesterday and it was great fun. Firstly, I should raise a quick point on the wildflower seed mixes that are available from B&Q. The native seed varieties are as follows:

a. Suttons Wildlife Garden, Wildflower Collection Mix. Cat number 5 011567 300484. Contains Corn Marigold, Ox Eye Daisy, Wild Pansy, Field Scabious & Field Poppy.

b. B&Q's Wildflower Collection. Cat number 0311 1239. These contain foxglove which is very poisonous, so bear this in mind. Contains Field Cornflower, Field Poppy, Foxglove, Cowslip & Ox Eye Daisy.

c. Suttons Wildlife Garden, Shaded Areas Mix. Cat number 5 011567 300620. These also contain foxglove. Contains Foxglove, Oxlip, Columbine & Wood Sage.

The first Wild Weekend for Wales Event involved making dormouse boxes to go up in Fairwater to assist the surveying work of Gareth, one of the Community Park Rangers. Previously, the Goodies in Hoodies, a group supported by Fairwater Communities First, had assisted in clearing an area of Fairwater of rubbish which appears to have perfect habitat conditions for dormice (Muscardinus avellanarius). To find out if they are present, surveyors either look for hazel nuts in which the discarded shells have been gnawed in a particular way, or boxes can be constructed and erected and these can be periodically checked (these are used all year round by the dormice). Dormice are a rare, but locally abundant, European Protected Species, so harming them in any way is a serious wildlife criminal offence, but we would like to know if they are here in Fairwater.

The first port of call was to B&Q to purchase some of the tools and materials for this project. Luckily the store at Culverhouse Cross has a massive saw which they can cut up non-tanalised wood for you. Alex, who works in the wood section was brilliant and he cut the 9mm thick x 2440mm width x 1220mm length WBP external plyboard (cat number 5 022652 835965) into strips that could fit into my car and that were the right widths for the various panels on the dormouse boxes (12, 14.2 & 15 mm). I then went over the Waterhall Youth Centre in Fairwater to help them, again with assistance from Louise Bassett from Communities First, construct the boxes. At least 10 of the children helped to measure up and cut sections out of the plywood for the various panels needed to make the box. This took longer than we expected due to the preciseness of the work. However, by 9 pm we had finished our very first prototype box, which we will improve upon on further examples next week.

More pictures to follow, but here are a couple of the pics from the day.

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