BEDFORD PARK in Bridgend county borough could soon be granted Local Nature Reserve (LNR) status with a management plan being established to prioritise areas for action and funding.
The 45 acre park near Kenfig Hill and Cefn Cribwr which features the remains of the 18th Century Cefn Cribwr Ironworks forms part of the Bedford Park Site of Importance for Nature Conservation that supports marsh, woodland, grassland and wetland habitats.
Providing a habitat to a large number of common species such as the speckled wood butterfly and chiffchaff, the park is also home to a number of rare species such as dormice and pipistrelle bats which both receive extra protection under wildlife legislation and are only found in a few sites across the county borough.
The local authority’s cabinet members are being asked at a meeting on Tuesday 6 April to declare the park as a local nature reserve and approve the extension of Frog Pond Wood local nature reserve in Pyle to include Village Farm Meadow. The meadow which is about half an acre in size mainly consists of purple moor grass.
In declaring both areas as a local nature reserve, the local authority which has received the backing of Natural Resources Wales, would make a commitment to manage these areas as nature reserves and protect them from inappropriate uses or development.
For a site to become a Local Nature Reserve, it must have natural features of special interest to the local area, and the authority must either have a legal interest in the land or have an agreement with the owner to manage the land as a reserve. In Wales LNRs have been designated over a number of years, from 1970 to the present day.
There are currently five local nature reserves in Bridgend county borough – Locks Common in Porthcawl, Craig Y Parcau in Bridgend, Frog Pond Wood in Pyle, Tremains Wood in Brackla and Kenfig Nature Reserve.
If approved by cabinet members, the local authority plans to make available an annual resource of £15,000 to help fund the site management.