A new boardwalk at Big Pool Wood

© Mark Hughes

Funded by Gwynt y Môr Community Fund and Burbo Bank Extension Community Fund, volunteers are transforming Big Pool Wood into a nature reserve that everyone can enjoy visiting by developing over 400 metres of boardwalk!

Regular visitors to Big Pool Wood Nature Reserve will have noticed that, over time, the footpath around the far side of the pond has become muddier and muddier. It has often been impassable in winter without wellingtons – and not much better in the summer! We weren’t sure why this is happening, or even whether it was an issue that we have brought upon ourselves – anything from climate change to increased footfall or clearing invasive willow out of the pond could have contributed. Whatever the reason, it became clear that something would have to be done, especially as it has been a long-held Wildlife Trust ambition to make the whole loop around the pool accessible to wheelchair-users and mobility scooters.

Now, thanks to funding from the Gwynt y Môr Community Fund and Burbo Bank Extension Community Fund, we’re taking a huge leap forward.  Within the coming weeks and months, we’ll be completing a 70m-stretch of brand new wooden boardwalk (sat atop locally-made posts, made from recycled plastic) and upgrading a further 350m of pathway with firm surfaces and passing places; as well as installing a ramp to one of the hides and a pond-dipping platform – what an improvement!  Much of the construction will have been completed before the end of March, and with all disruptive work scheduled before the start of the bird nesting season.

Boardwalk construction

© Mark Hughes 

Valuable volunteers

Whilst the hard cash for this work has come from external funders – to whom we’re very grateful! – the work on the ground is mainly being carried out by our amazing volunteer group.  This incredible effort (especially so because it involves working in mud and standing water!) has two main benefits – it saves money, of course, which can be reinvested in other work for wildlife, but the time contributed also has an ‘in-kind’ monetary value which helped demonstrate our commitment to the funding bodies.  We are, of course, ensuring that we are following all current guidance concerning working during the pandemic – limiting numbers of participants and ensuring all social distancing and hygiene measures are in place.  The linear nature of the task helps, too!

If travel restrictions permit, we’d love you to visit Big Pool Wood. www.northwaleswildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/big-pool-wood

Funders logos_Big Pool Wood