December was very similar to November with a great deal of time and effort focussed into Wild Weekend Projects. Most of these were achieved from permissions granted from Parks Services to build on the hard work we have been doing over the last few years in some of Cardiff’s Green Spaces by constructing various habitat boxes including birds, bats or dormice. The Wild Weekend Grants came from WG, Homebase and CCW and the lucky grant winners received Homebase Vouchers.
Community Park Ranger putting a bat box up a tree from St. Bernadette's Primary School's efforts
We started two very similar projects over in Llanrumney and Lakeside, pairing up litter champions with Primary Schools; these were Glan yr Afon and Lakeside Primary Schools respectively. Both events were great fun and the litter champions really enjoyed it. Great stuff by Dave who made all the boxes himself from our designs and they looked pretty good too. The project in Lakeside was not a Wild Weekend project as it failed with its grant, but was a Tidy Towns-funded habitat project. The nice one about this project is that we again used Ian’s fence preservative which we rescued from a flytip over a fence along Wern Gethin Lane in St. Mellons from earlier this year.
Glan yr afon pupils with their camouflaged dormouse boxes
Our Cardiff Friday Mornings Environmental Project (CFMEP) rolled along nicely in December with a visit to Llanrumney helping out our litter champion over there. On this trip we met a really nice new volunteer who is really keen to join in with our activities. Very, very slowly we are making progress against tough odds and difficult circumstances. The only way to make the changes is working with as many primary school kids as possible in this area. Anyway, the 10 of us cleared 37 bags of rubbish plus about 200kg of larger stuff out of the woods around Llanrumney Playcentre.
An early picture of the rubbish in LlanrumneyWe are always excited about new opportunities and performing habitat and woodland works, so we gave a trial to a lovely project in Troedyrhiw, Merthyr where we made a set and finished off a partially completed set up steps down to the river. This is part of the Wild Fishing Wales project and even though it absolutely chucked it down, we really enjoyed it and will be returning again in January to help out again.
Oh it was so wet, well done you brave few
I also had a look at a 14 acre site in Blaenau Gwent which the Council have allowed our officer over there, Thom, to manage. Here we will set up a coppice block which will be part of a larger rotation managed by Thom. We will be felling trees, processing them and will use the brash to delineate the margins of our woodland block. Again we will be coming here in January and/or February.
All in all, a good year and an exciting few months ahead for us all.