Sandy Scott provides Rainbow Brands with some insight in to the work undertaken at the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust including plans for the future.
Tell us a bit about the work of the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust and its mission.
Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust has worked for over 30 years protecting wildlife and wild places, educating, influencing and empowering people. We directly manage 18 of the best sites for wildlife in Montgomeryshire and work with other landowners on many more. Our work is helping to secure the future of many important habitats and species, which might otherwise be lost. Our mission is to rebuild biodiversity and engage people with their environment by being an active and influential wildlife champion.
How many Wildlife Trusts are there across the UK and what’s the best way to learn more about the Trust that is nearest to you?
The Wildlife Trusts is a movement made up of 46 Wildlife Trusts: independent charities who all share a mission to create living landscapes and living seas and a society where nature matters. To find out about your local Wildlife Trust visit https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/find-wildlife-trust
Tell us about the Pumlumon Project which is one of the conservation projects you are currently working on.
Established in 2007, the Pumlumon Project is a radical rethink of how the landscapes of upland Britain could work. Across 40,000 hectares of the Cambrian Mountains, we're pioneering an upland economy built around wildlife, ecology and long-term sustainability. The project offers a better way to manage uplands, centred on creating a web of positive outcomes for both wildlife and people.
Are there any new conservation projects planned for this year which you can tell us about to look out for?
One of the biggest projects planned for the next year is the Dyfi Wildlife Centre for which we are currently raising funds, this will allow us to give our visitors and volunteers the experience you would expect from a world-class project. We will bring all the current amenities – the toilets, the café and seating areas, interpretation and osprey screens, the shop and volunteer areas all into one place, under one roof, in a stunning new building with leading-edge ‘carbon positive’ energy performance; we will call it the Dyfi Wildlife Centre.
We are also hoping to work with the Local Health Authority and the Dept of Work & Pensions where we will engage participants in carrying out conservation tasks.
Do you have any pictures of local wildlife to you that you could share and provide a short explanation for us of their relevance and importance?
The Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterfly has undergone a dramatic decline in status and range within Wales in recent decades. It is now restricted to a handful of sites within Wales and the last remaining stronghold is Montgomeryshire, where populations are now known to occur on eight sites, including Llanymynech Rocks Nature Reserve. Working with landowners and graziers, we have undertaken a large amount of scrub & bracken clearance, aiming to cut different areas in different years, to promote the conditions which the PBF needs. It is this work which has changed the fortune of this rare butterfly, in this part of the world and without it, we would soon lose the species entirely.
To really safeguard the PBF, the challenge remains on how to get the grazing right and it is this that the Trust has been and will continue to work towards. Our ‘Precious Pearls’ project is now underway and will run until December 2019. This funding will allow us to undertake more habitat improvements, continue the long-term monitoring for the species and search for new sites, as well as involving local communities, schools and volunteers in work to save the butterfly.
Since 2011 for the first time in over 400 years Ospreys began breeding at our Cors Dyfi reserve. Since then the birds have continued to breed successfully each year. Our HD live cameras have given a fascinating insight to their behaviour and inspired visitors worldwide to follow their success. Visit http://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/ for the full story.
The “busy bees” inspired us to start Rainbow Brands those of us who are working busy lifestyles we want to help alleviate the stress around us with the products we sell and the lifestyles we promote. Wildlife and the great outdoors, is great for improving well-being do you have any specific information in relation to this? Do you have some interesting facts to share about your local bees?
More and more people are living their lives indoors. We do not get to spend enough time in nature because often, there is nowhere nearby that is easily accessible. Those that have the least access to nature also have the worst levels of physical health and mental wellbeing.
Seeing birds near our homes, walking through green spaces filled with wild flowers and along rivers that are clean and clear reduces stress, fatigue, anxiety and depression.
Bees on our nature reserves produce the best honey and healthy bees. The trust allows Hilltop Honey, based at Caersws, near Newtown, to locate an apiary each, with up to 10 hives on three nature reserves. The bees pollinate plants on the reserve and surrounding land while producing top quality Welsh wildflower honey and the company makes a monthly donation to the trust to support its work.
How did you hear about the Cora Ball and do you have any specific projects focused on cleaning our waters?
Last year the WI was focusing on Microplastic and `plastic soup` our Biodiversity Outreach Officer Dan researched the subject in order to do a presentation and discovered the `Cora Ball` as a solution to microplastic capture. Since then he has gone on to deliver this presentation to many groups and we now gone on to offer Cora Balls in our shop. We also promote them in our publications and try to spread the word whenever possible!
We hope you have enjoyed this piece and that we have inspired you to learn more about the wildlife near to you why not connect with your local Wildlife Trust to learn more and to spread the word.
Stay safe keep buzzing!