Bedford Park in Bridgend county borough has been declared as a new Local Nature Reserve (LNR).
Bridgend County Borough Council’s cabinet granted the LNR status at a meeting on Tuesday 6 April while also approving an extension of Frog Pond Wood local nature reserve in Pyle to include Village Farm Meadow.
In declaring both areas as a local nature reserve, the local authority which has received the backing of Natural Resources Wales, makes a commitment to manage these areas as nature reserves and protect them from inappropriate uses or development.
Bedford Park is a 45 acre park near Kenfig Hill and Cefn Cribwr which forms part of the Bedford Park Site of Importance for Nature Conservation that supports marsh, woodland, grassland and wetland habitats.
It provides a habitat to a large number of common species such as the speckled wood butterfly and chiffchaff as well as a number of rare species such as dormice and pipistrelle bats which both receive extra protection under wildlife legislation and are only found in a few sites across the county borough.
The park which also features the remains of the 18th Century Cefn Cribwr Ironworks is on the National Cycle Network and has its own car park.
Meanwhile, Village Farm Meadow in Pyle is about half an acre in size and mainly consists of purple moor grass. Improved management of the grassland will provide an opportunity to support a greater number of species.
The council’s director for communities Janine Nightingale said: “A management plan will now be established to prioritise areas for action and funding with an annual resource of £15,000 being made available to help fund the site management.
“The management plan will focus on protecting the environment and biodiversity as well as encouraging the community to enjoy these beautiful green spaces which provide places to play, learn and explore, and also help to deliver significant health and wellbeing benefits.”
For a site to become a Local Nature Reserve, it must have natural features of special interest to the local area, and the authority must either have a legal interest in the land or have an agreement with the owner to manage the land as a reserve. In Wales LNRs have been designated over a number of years, from 1970 to the present day.
There are currently five other local nature reserves in Bridgend county borough – Locks Common in Porthcawl, Craig Y Parcau in Bridgend, Frog Pond Wood in Pyle, Tremains Wood in Brackla and Kenfig Nature Reserve.