07 Jul 2020 Delivering Biodiversity Gain and Connection with Nature: the work of Celtic Wildflowers
In late 2019 BSG Ecology made a substantial donation to Celtic Wildflowers, a Swansea-based company set up for the purpose of providing plants of local provenance for habitat restoration / creation projects and development-related mitigation work. Our assistance helped them to purchase a large new polytunnel needed to expand growing space and meet increasing demand for plants.
We are delighted to report that the polytunnel has been put to excellent use. To date in 2020 it has been used to grow:
- Over 10,000 native trees, a large proportion of which will be used by the National Trust for native woodland creation.
- Devil’s-bit Scabious plants for marsh fritillary habitat restoration / creation at Hirwaun, Rhondda Cynon Taf. This is the start of a phased programme that aims to increase the area of suitable habitat for the internationally important marsh fritillary butterfly population along with other species dependent on the plant, such as narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth.
- Wildflowers for planting at Babell Cemetery, Cwmbwrla, Swansea; a site where extensive Japanese knotweed has been cleared, missing war graves have been located and which is the final resting place of the Welsh poet Daniel Thomas. The project aims to enrich sward diversity and the associated invertebrate assemblage, providing wellbeing benefits through both its biodiversity value and the creation of an aesthetically pleasing urban green space.
- Plants that have been used in a native wildflower corridor alongside a busy car park at Penclawdd, Gower. This was established to showcase locally-occurring plant species and increase the connection of local people and tourists with nature. It will be complemented by interpretation aimed at raising awareness of the plant species that may be encountered when walking Gower’s footpaths.
- A range of species used to plant up the sea defence dune at the Swansea Bay Campus. This project alone has increased the UK sea stock population by over 10 %.
- Sphagnum plugs for inoculation trials for Neath Port Talbot County Borough’s Lost Peatlands Project. This is a major initiative that aims to both restore extensive areas of upland bog habitats and reconnect people with nature through providing a resource important to their wellbeing.
- Wildflowers for a well-being garden at Gorseinon Hospital, for planting up a soakaway at Singleton Hospital (both Swansea) and plant mixes for two green roofs in Neath Port Talbot
The range of locally and nationally important projects listed above will demonstrably contribute to meeting wellbeing and biodiversity objectives identified in Welsh legislation including the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act (2015) and the Environment (Wales) Act (2016). BSG is very pleased to have played a part in helping Celtic Wildflowers gear up to meet the requirements of these projects, and we look forward to continuing our relationship over the coming years.
For further information on our Habitat Management Planning capability please click here. If you would like to talk to us about habitat creation/management or advice on planting strategies please contact one of our offices.
Top Image: Planting at Swansea Bay Campus
Bottom Image: Beech trees in the polytunnel