One of Swansea’s hidden rural gems has received its first coveted Green Flag Community Award thanks to the “unwavering dedication and commitment” of its selfless volunteers.
Cadle Heath Local Nature Reserve in the Penderi area, has been awarded the prestigious accolade from Welsh environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, after being maintained by its volunteers for a number of years.
The 11.5 hectare heathland received Green Flag status in recognition of its excellent visitor facilities, high environmental standards, and commitment to delivering great quality green space.
Cadle Heath, which is owned and maintained by Swansea Council in partnership with volunteers from Swansea Community Farm, sits on the edge of the Penderi regeneration area and is a key green space for nature and the surrounding community.
As one of the country’s exemplary urban heathlands, it is protected as a local nature reserve and is home to species including butterflies and dragonflies, frogs, skylarks, heather, southern marsh orchids and whorled caraway.
Katharine Aylett, wellbeing officer at Swansea Community Farm, which is situated next to the heath, said: “Cadle Heath is an absolute gift on the farm’s doorstep, a free to access green space with diverse wildlife and lots of areas to explore.
“For the farm volunteers, the Heath offers huge benefits for their wellbeing, it feels like a wildlife haven in the city, giving them the time and space to slow down their day and take notice of nature.
“We’re so glad that all of their hard work in keeping the heath well-maintained and beneficial to wildlife has been recognised by the Green Flag Award.”
The Green Flag Award programme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, with support from the Welsh Government. Cadle Heath is one of six Local Nature Reserves in Swansea owned and managed by Swansea Council.
Councillor David Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Biodiversity, said: “We are delighted that Cadle Heath has achieved this much-deserved Green Flag Award, and would like to thank the Community Farm volunteers for all their support in helping the council to look after this very special wildlife site, which provides opportunities for local people to connect with and enjoy the nature on their doorstep.”
The heathland falls within the Penderi regeneration area, which is part of housing association Pobl’s Penderi Green Regeneration Project. The project aims to support local people in Penderi to connect with their green spaces to boost wellbeing, develop skills and support nature to thrive.
Funded by UK Government, under the Community Renewal Fund (CRF), Pobl Group is able to deliver the Project with the help of key partners, Swansea Environment Centre, Room To Grow, Swansea Community Farm and the Nature Conservation Team at Swansea Council.
Image caption: from left to right: Steffan Thomas, Harlie Miles, (centre) Kate Gibbs, Sophie Richards and Steffan Baker