Pontcymru have recently heard that the first stage of their Sustainable Management Scheme grant application to Welsh Government, as part of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, has been successful. We are currently working on the application to be submitted in August.
The project, called Dolau Dyfi Meadows, is a collaborative project linking improved natural resources with health and wellbeing in the Dyfi Biosphere. This is to be achieved by encouraging outdoor exercise and activity on promoted access routes through restored habitat.
This project aims to connect people with nature by investing in access works and promotion, thereby encouraging locals and visitors to get outdoors. Investment will be needed to establish a local volunteer’s network, develop art projects and a “walking to health” type programme.
Lowland semi-natural grassland has suffered dramatic losses, estimated at 91% loss in Wales (1930s-2000s), and only fragments of lowland heathland and bogs remain. This landscape scale project will improve the resilience and connectivity of estuarine and lowland ecosystems within the Dyfi Biosphere by producing the attractive flowering habitat, needed by pollinators and other invertebrates.
Habitat restoration will take place on more than 30 sites, covering more than 750 hectares of grassland, ffridd, peat bog and sand dunes, and will include control of bracken, bramble and gorse, reintroduction of grazing, and rush & water management, and work to improve access for the general public. Species which will benefit include yellowhammer, lapwing, small pearl bordered fritillary, ivy leaved bellflower, and brown hare.
A recruited officer and a trainee will be employed to run the project. Financial benefits will be delivered to farm businesses and rural communities, including through the employment of local contractors and local tourism benefits.