Neath Port Talbot Council’s Working with Nature project has now been running for three years and is a big success having ‘smashed’ its targets for the initiative.

Launched in the Autumn of 2016, the project’s overall aim is to build the capacity of volunteers and community groups in Neath Port Talbot in taking a more active role in the management of the County Borough’s local, natural green spaces, while at the same time fostering a greater understanding and connection with the natural environment.

Catrin Evans, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Countryside and Wildlife Team Leader, said: “We have had an amazing time running the project and getting to explore and manage so many of Neath Port Talbot’s nature sites.

"To date, we’ve carried out management activities across 21 different sites. A mammoth effort by our small team and only made possible by the support of our dedicated volunteers.

“From woodcarving and willow weaving to the detailed study of tree identification, we have loved every second of the project and hope those who have attended any of our events have taken something from them and gained a greater appreciation for nature.”

The project also hopes to improve employability skills and opportunities through work experience in conservation and to create a better understanding of our natural environment through engagement and awareness raising.

Its aims are also to enhance the local environment through volunteer activities and to improve the well-being of our rural residents through outdoor based activities.

Under the supervision of project officers are delivering a wide range of outdoor activities and volunteering opportunities, working in partnership with with Pontardawe Town Council. Sites are under active conservation management, participants are gaining a greater appreciation of their local areas and volunteers are increasing their skills and knowledge in conservation and countryside management.

Working with Nature volunteers have also helped carry out countryside management across the borough as well as contributing their time towards ecological surveying, litter picks and even researching the fascinating history of some of Neath Port Talbot’s nature sites.

If you’d like to volunteer, email