A natural haven set to be developed at Heol-y-Cyw

Facilitated by Welsh Government’s Local Places for Nature funding and the partnership between the Bridgend Local Nature Partnership, Bridgend County Borough Council and Coychurch Higher Community Council, a new space for nature and the community is set to be developed at Heol-y-Cyw playing field.

The scheme includes the creation of new habitat involving wet woodland, wildflowers, and an area of wetland. The wetland will be created by directing existing surface water to an attenuation pond, not only to improve the conditions of the field, but also to provide a valuable wetland habitat for a range of species, such as bats, amphibians, birds, and invertebrates.

The £150,000 project will also include benches, picnic benches, a new path, and a boardwalk over the wetland area. The scheme will also feature artwork from sculptor, Will Nash, in the form of a bee column, which will provide vital nesting opportunities for solitary bees. The initiative will support this species, which does not swarm or belong to colonies, but is a very important pollinator.

Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, Cllr John Spanswick, said: “We welcome the development of this area, which promises to offer sanctuary for both wildlife and people wanting to enjoy the natural environment – the perfect antidote to the fast-paced culture in which we live.

“Currently, there are around 250 species of the solitary bee in the UK and the space offers support in helping them to thrive. We would like to thank Welsh Government and our partners for allowing the playing field at Heol-y-Cyw to be cultivated in a way that has an abundance of environmental benefits, as well as advantages for wellbeing.

“We would like to reassure residents that the planting scheme will not be taking up all of the open space, the area will still feature two pitches and there will still be plenty of recreational ground for any informal activity.

“We are also currently working closely with Heol-y-Cyw RFC and are discussing a possible Community Asset Transfer at the playing fields, should the rugby club wish to pursue this, and if funding opportunities become available.”