‘Leaf it to us!’ – Volunteers plant trees to support local wildlife

Around 40 helpers met at Gilestone Farm in Talybont-on-Usk on Wednesday, January 9 and Saturday, January 12 to plant trees as part of the Vincent Wildlife Trust’s ‘Our Beacon for Bats’ project and Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Big Volunteer New Year.

Gilestone Farm, situated in the picturesque Usk Valley, sits between two major roost sites managed by the Vincent Wildlife Trust for lesser horseshoe bats. The goal for the volunteers was to plant 3,000 mixed native broadleaved trees enhancing the habitat of these bats and other creatures that call the area home.

Organisers were overwhelmed with the response to their plea for support, with volunteers attending from communities all over the National Park and beyond, as well as representatives from Brecknock Wildlife Trust and Environment Agency Wales.

Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Volunteer Co-ordinator Huw Price, said: “We’re really pleased that so many people have turned up to lend a hand to this tree planting project. Without the support of hard-working and dedicated volunteers and partner organisations projects like this would not be possible. Thank you to everyone who has helped to ensure that in years to come, this place will be a haven for local wildlife and a benefit to the landscape too.”

Geraint Hopkins, Deputy Chairman of the National Park Authority, added: “The time and hard work donated by volunteers really helps make this National Park tick – so much so that our volunteers provide more than 780 man hours a year to help good causes like this one. Well done to everyone who helped make this project such a resounding success.”

The ‘Our Beacon for Bats’ project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Bannau Brycheiniog Trust and Environment Agency Wales.

If you’re interested in volunteering with Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority please contact Huw Price on 07854 997554 or email here.