In Autumn 2021, we secured National Lottery Heritage Fund support to deliver our Lower Wye Valley Nature Networks Project, in partnership with Gwent Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust.
Funding will improve the condition of a suite of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on the Welsh side of the Lower Wye Valley between Monmouth and Chepstow, and work in the wider countryside to enhance connectivity between the special sites to allow greater species movement across the landscape. Invasive Non-Native Species will also be tackled, not only where they occur on SSSI sites, but across our wider project area.
SSSI Site management
Our partners Gwent Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust will be delivering vital management work on SSSI Woodland and Grassland sites, enhancing the habitats of these special places, and putting in place long term plans to enable the excellent work to continue. This will include practical conservation work to create more diverse and resilient habitats, conservation grazing, protection from over-browsing by deer, tree management, orchard creation, surveying and monitoring. Access will also be improved at a number of sites to better enable people’s enjoyment of the countryside. The AONB team are leading on important Invasive Non-Native Species control work with other SSSI landowners, including Japanese Knotweed and Cherry Laurel control.
Connecting important habitats
We’re also working with farmers and other landowners to identify opportunities for habitat connectivity work such as hedgerow enhancements, tree planting and other work to benefit wildlife, working alongside productive agricultural businesses.
If you have land, other than private gardens, within the project area and have any hedgerow, woodland or species rich grassland enhancements work in mind, please do get in touch with Ellie (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nick (email@example.com) in the AONB team to discuss your ideas and eligibility for funding support.
We are extremely grateful to Welsh Government for their funding and to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for their invaluable support with this project, which runs throughout 2022 and up until the end of March 2023.