LLANELLI Rural Council received a woodland improvement grant for the lower Lliedi reservoir in the Swiss Valley.
A grant of £52,919.74 has been awarded to the council to improve the visitor experience through a new woodland management plan and by providing new signage, rest/picnic areas, accessibility, repairing trails and improving existing wooded trails.
Habitat boxes will also be installed to help monitor and aid biodiversity in the forest.
Over the next few months, visitors should notice the installation of signage, benches, and improved walking and forest trails. Volunteers will have the opportunity to get involved by clearing and improving existing trails. Days will also be set aside for teams of volunteers to set up habitat nesting boxes for bats, dormice and birds throughout the site.
The grant is funded by the Welsh Government as part of its National Forest for Wales initiative. The primary aim of The Woodland Improvement Grant is to provide funding to improve and extend existing forests and create new forests to UK Forest Standard, which have the potential to become part of the National Forest in the future. This means well-managed forests, accessible to people and giving local communities the opportunity to get involved.
The work will complement recent changes to the site to provide a better visitor experience. This has been made possible since the council entered into a community adoption agreement with the landowners, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, at the end of 2020.
Since then, the municipality has improved the paths, access from the two car parks, the toilet block and installed a disabled access ramp and a pontoon on the reservoir to facilitate paddle sports. The council has also helped establish new volunteer angling and canoeing clubs at the reservoir while engaging with outdoor education providers to enable more school and college-aged students to enjoy around the reservoir.
Council chair, Councilor Tegwen Devichand, said: “We are delighted to receive this grant from the Welsh Government to help us with our overall plans to safeguard and enhance this important Swiss valley beauty spot.”
“The grant will further support the improvements identified in our site management plan for the reservoir and surrounding area, but more importantly, part of the funding will also pay for a woodland management plan to be designed to help us maintain and return the more habitable space for wildlife. and maximizing local biodiversity.
“This extra money will help us preserve the reservoir site for years to come and we hope the local community will seek to support us by volunteering for some of the work covered by the grant. Anyone wishing to get involved should contact the council on 01554 774103 or email [email protected]”.