Biodiversity action in Snowdonia

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'Hedge fund' improves biodiversity

The aim: To improve the landscape of the park and help with conservation and land management by planting 5km of new hedgerows by the end of March 2010.

How they did it: Thanks to its 'The Real Hedge Fund' campaign Snowdonia National Park raised £8,000 for hedgerow planting, along with partners including The Tree Council.

Planting indigenous varieties: The hedgerows planted consisted of:

  • blackthorn
  • hawthorn
  • hazel
  • holly
  • rowan

How does planting hedges help biodiversity?

The hedgerows provide food to mammals and birds. They form paths and networks for creatures such as bats, moths, caterpillars and dormice. And they connect different habitats and help to shelter animals from the wind, rain and sun.

The new hedges are also a source of continuous food for birds. In the last five years hedge-planting has led to a considerable increase in the number of birds nesting in the hedges including:

  • yellowhammer
  • chaffinch
  • sparrow
  • brambling
  • linnet

How many hedgerows were planted?

There was a lot of local interest in the scheme and enough funding to plant 8.5km of new hedgerows by the end of 2010.

Creating a buzz about bees

The project:

The aim of the Snowdonia Buzz scheme was to help people living in the park to become beekeepers - and so in turn increase the number of bees, a key factor in promoting biodiversity.

How the scheme works:

The local beekeepers' association, the Welsh Beekeepers' Association and Bangor University Centre for Alternative Land Use (CALU) invited would-be beekeepers to attend a course to get a beekeeping qualification.

The qualification then entitled them to a grant from the National Park Authority to buy a traditional bee hive.

The scheme has helped raise beekeeping skill levels as well as promoting local produce and contributing towards biodiversity.

In 2010, 14 people registered with the programme and interest in the course continues to grow in 2011.

Welsh Beekeepers’ Association

Orchards scheme set to bear fruit

The project:

The new Perllannau Eryri scheme is designed to encourage park residents plant new orchards and help others manage their existing mature trees - and by doing so, helping to preserve and promote biodiversity.

Progress so far:

The scheme is aimed at a wide variety of residents - not just farmers but also schools, societies and community groups as well as individuals. So far park staff have:

  • set up a register of those interested in the scheme
  • offered advice on cultivating mature trees
  • assisted with planting new trees
  • helped educate people about how to manage their orchards