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What have we been up to at Porthkerry Park?

Group of people working alongside each other, taking part in conservation volunteering in a field on a sunny day

The Porthkerry Park Project is one of our conservation volunteering projects. It’s been up and running again for a few months now. In that time, we’ve managed to help the Porthkerry team of Rangers with loads of essential work across the park.

Re-wilding

Around the re-wilded areas that used to be the old golf course, we helped with some maintenance. Willow can be a tenacious grower, so we removed it from where it became a hazard. We then replanted it to help form a natural fence around the ponds and dissuade people from falling in!

The group had a big hand in helping re-wild the area pre-lockdown, so it was wonderful for everyone to get a good look at the results of their work years on.

Hunting microplastics

Commonly found on our beaches, Nurdles are what we call tiny balls of microplastics. There are a worrying amount of them around as lots of them can spill during all sorts or transportation.

We teamed up with our Boosting Nature volunteers to do a Nurdle Hunt on the beach at Porthkerry Park. Thankfully we didn’t find any on the beach this time. Only a couple of bags of litter too. Not finding enough rubbish is frankly a problem we’re happy to have!

Clearing and cutting back

We’ve spent a lot of time cutting back bushes and clearing areas to stop those bushes from intruding onto the paths. Also, to prepare new areas for other work.

Many trees need to be felled in October to help combat the spread of Ash Dieback. We moved a bunch of these down to by the roadside so the rangers could feed it into a wood-chipper! Some smaller parts also got dragged further down to help create temporary habitats.

And, of course, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to get into the streams and get good and muddy while clearing them out. Over time large pieces of wood and other debris slowly block up the water. There’s something incredibly satisfying about seeing the water flowing freely again after we’ve finished all that work!

One-off activities

Alongside our regular weekly volunteering sessions, we’ve also added a few one-off activities too! These sessions are open to anyone, even if they’re not signed up to the project.  ‘Litter Bingo!’ brought us back to the beach and gave us a bit of extra motivation while we cleaned up.

We recently had a little treasure hunt, encouraging us to explore and get to know the park. But one of our best activities was back in October when we invited people to join us in carving some pumpkins!

We’ve had a busy couple of months, but hopefully, next year; we’ll be even busier.

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