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Archived Projects

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Brown Hairstreak


Flagship Project -  From Wheat to Heath (cont.)
Although the sulphur spreading is the most radical part of the project, there are other interesting features. The topsoil on these fields had been enriched by fertiliser application over many decades, and the levels of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous were too high for wild plants used to naturally infertile soils. The fields were stripped of topsoil – about 16000m3 in all – and this was used on site to put back over a mile of hedge-banks, following the field boundary lines marked on the old maps. tractor
Spreading Sulphur on the fields to acidify the soil. (Copyright Martin Cavaney) 
These have become important visual and wildlife features in their own right. Lots of interesting plants came up where we removed the soil, providing an instant link back to the historical flora of these fields.

Elsewhere, we’re restoring herb-rich grasslands, using seed-rich hay from nearby meadows to bring back the lost species. We’ve broken up field drains and restored ponds, and left field corners to develop naturally into rough grassland and scrub. We’re keeping arable crops in some fields but making them more attractive to wildlife. This means leaving the edges uncultivated and unsprayed for uncommon weeds like Weasel’s Snout, and leaving the ground unploughed for the whole winter following harvest so flocks of birds can pick over the spilt grain. There are benefits to the important Iron Age fort on the site, and the adjoining wetland is being better protected against fertiliser and pesticide run-off. The public benefits include 20 hectares of new permissive access along the coastal belt, and the project is providing both direct and indirect assistance to the local economy.

Matt Sutton – Countryside Council for Wales

Pembrokeshire Jointly Wins the Wales Biodiversity Award 2004
The Marloes Coast Project was presented with the first Wales Biodiversity Award in September, for its linking of conservation, farming and industry in a radical and innovative fashion. Pete Smithies from Trehill Farm, Marloes, won prize money of £250 which he is planning on donating to further work benefiting the local community.  volunteers
Volunteers building a traditional Hedgebank at Trehill Farm, Marloes
 Matt Sutton, from CCW, worked with Pete - conceiving, planning and delivering this project. Few conservation projects manage to blend farming, industry and biodiversity as skilfully as Matt has done here, and we hope that it stimulates more exciting projects and partnerships in Pembrokeshire and beyond.
Carwyn Jones (AM) presenting the WBP Awards