Gwent Wildlife Trust

Gwent Wildlife Trust (Welsh: Ymddiriedolaeth Natur Gwent) (GWT) is a wildlife trust covering the area between the lower Wye and Rhymney rivers which forms the vice county of Monmouthshire in south-east Wales. It is a registered charity and a member of the Wildlife Trusts Partnership.


Its origins lie in the Monmouthshire Naturalists Trust, formed in 1963. In the 1980s the Trust was renamed the Gwent Trust for Nature Conservation, and then Gwent Wildlife Trust. Gwent was an administrative county between 1974 and 1996, covering a similar but not identical area to the historic county of Monmouthshire.

The Trust's first objective, under the then presidency of FitzRoy Somerset, 4th Baron Raglan, was the conservation of Magor Marsh, the last remaining area of fenland on the Caldicot Level. It was particularly responsible for survey work, training programmes, and increasingly in educational projects and in campaigns against inappropriate development proposals, particularly those affecting the Severn estuary.[1] In 1991 it purchased Pentwyn Farm at Penallt, a unique smallholding, including ancient meadows and a collapsing medieval barn, having raised the purchase price of £150,000 within six weeks through a public appeal. In 2001 it bought Springdale Farm near Usk, containing 40 acres (16 ha) of species-rich unimproved grassland, 60 acres (24 ha) of other grassland, and an ancient wood. It now manages 32 reserves, and has a membership of some 7,500.[1]

Current activities and responsibilities

Magor Marsh Nature Reserve (Gwent Wildlife Trust) by Roger Davies
View westwards across Magor Marsh Nature Reserve, with Gwent Wildlife Trust information board

The Trust currently manages over 800 acres (320 ha) of wildlife rich habitat including working farms, woodlands and marshes. Projects such as wild flower meadow restoration take place on the reserves. Its projects also involve reviving traditional countryside skills such as charcoal production and dry stone walling.[2]

The Trust currently designates four "Premier Reserves":

  • Magor Marsh (Welsh: Cors Magwyr). This is a 90 acres (36 ha) wetland reserve with a rich variety of habitats, including damp hay meadows, sedge fen, reedbed, scrub, wet woodland, a large pond and numerous reens. It includes breeding grounds for common snipe, common redshank, reed warbler, grasshopper warbler and Cetti's warbler. It is the richest site in Wales for wetland beetles and soldier-flies.[3] It is the last remnant of fenland on the Caldicot and Wentloog Levels,[1] and its pattern of drainage ditches and other features has remained unchanged since the 14th century.[4][5]
  • Pentwyn Farm. This covers 30 acres (12 ha) high above the Wye valley, with traditional farm buildings, small fields and stone walls. It contains one of the largest areas of unimproved grassland in the area, and provides a habitat for dormice, adders-tongue fern, and many other species.[3]
  • Silent Valley Nature Reserve. This covers 125 acres (51 ha), including Britain's highest area of beech woodland, together with wet woodland and flushes. The reserve is managed in partnership with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.[3]
  • Springdale Farm. This covers 120 acres (49 ha) of working farmland, notable for its hay meadows and woodland flowers.[3]


The Trust objectives can be summarised as:

  • To stand up for wildlife and the environment
  • To create and enhance wildlife havens
  • To inspire people about the natural world
  • To foster sustainable living

Full list of reserves

  • Prisk Wood SSSI, Penallt
  • Rogiet Poorland
  • Silent Valley SSSI, Cwm
  • Solutia Reserve at Great Traston Meadows, Nash
  • Springdale Farm, Llangwm
  • Strawberry Cottage Wood, Llanvihangel Crucorney
  • The Wern, Monmouth
  • Wyeswood Common, Trellech


  1. ^ a b c "Gwent Wildlife Trust". The Wildlife trust. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
  2. ^ "Gwent Wildlife Trust". The Big Give. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d A guide to the nature reserves of the Gwent Wildlife Trust, leaflet, 2009
  4. ^ "Magor Marshes – a summary of ecological information". Severnside Area Forum. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
  5. ^ "Magor Marsh". South East Wales. BBC. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2009.

External links

Circuit of Wales

Circuit of Wales (Welsh: Cylchffordd Cymru) is a proposed motor racing circuit and technology park development project in Blaenau Gwent on the outskirts of Ebbw Vale, Wales, adjacent to the Neath to Abergavenny Trunk Road (A465). The intention is that it would be funded by private investors and backed by the Welsh Government. In April 2016, BBC News reported that The Heads of the Valleys Development Company, would continue to negotiate with both the financial backers, Aviva, and the Welsh Government.The circuit is being designed to FIA and FIM standards with the aim of hosting events such as the MotoGP, Superbike World Championship, Motocross World Championship, British GT Championship, British Touring Car Championship and the World Touring Car Championship.Ken Skates, AM and Economy Secretary, issued a statement on 29 March 2017 that detailed reports had been requested and the decision concerning £425M public funding would be available by mid-May. In June 2017, a proposed taxpayer-funded guarantee of £210million was rejected by the Welsh Government on the grounds that the financial risk was too great. The original planned opening had been 2016. In September 2018, an application to renew the expired planning consent was submitted to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.

Croes Robert Wood

Croes Robert Wood is a nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), noted for its biological characteristics, in Monmouthshire, south east Wales. Gwent Wildlife Trust, the owners of the site, manage the woodland through methods of coppicing and charcoal burning to encourage its notable flora and fauna.


Dingestow (pronounced DINJ-stoh, Welsh: Llanddingad) is a small village in Monmouthshire, Wales. It is located 4 miles (6.4 km) south-west of Monmouth and approximately the same distance north-east of Raglan in rural Monmouthshire. The River Trothy passes through the village.

Ebbw Vale

Ebbw Vale (; Welsh: Glyn Ebwy) is a town at the head of the valley formed by the Ebbw Fawr tributary of the Ebbw River in Wales. It is the largest town and the administrative centre of Blaenau Gwent county borough. The Ebbw Vale and Brynmawr conurbation has a population of roughly 33,000. It has direct access to the dualled A465 Heads of the Valleys trunk road and borders the Brecon Beacons National Park.


GWT may refer to:

Gawar-Bati language


Global workspace theory in cognitive science

God's Word Translation, an English Bible translation

Google Web Toolkit, or GWT Web Toolkit

Great Western Trail, in North America

Great Western Trains, now Great Western Railway

Gross Weight Tonnage, a nautical measurement

Guided wave testing

The Gurkha Welfare Trust, a British charity

Gwent Wildlife Trust, in Wales

Sylt Airport, in Germany, by its IATA Code

Gaer Wood

Gaer Wood is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), noted for its biological characteristics, in Monmouthshire, south east Wales.

Graig Wood

Graig Wood is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), noted for its biological characteristics, in Monmouthshire, south east Wales. It forms part of the wider Hael Woods complex.

Gwent (county)

Gwent is a preserved county and a former local government county in south-east Wales. It was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, and was named after the ancient Kingdom of Gwent. The authority was a successor to both the administrative county of Monmouthshire (with minor boundary changes) and the county borough of Newport (both authorities which were considered to be legally part of England until the Act came into force although considered jointly with Wales for certain purposes).Under the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, Gwent was abolished on 1 April 1996. However, it remains one of the preserved counties of Wales for the ceremonial purposes of Lieutenancy and High Shrievalty, and its name also survives in various titles, e.g. Gwent Police, Royal Gwent Hospital, Gwent Wildlife Trust and Coleg Gwent. "Gwent" is often used as a synonym for the historic county of Monmouthshire — for example the Gwent Family History Society describes itself as "The key to roots in the historic county of Monmouthshire".The former administrative county was divided into several districts: Blaenau Gwent, Islwyn, Monmouth, Newport and Torfaen. The successor unitary authorities are the Blaenau Gwent County Borough, Caerphilly County Borough (part of which came from Mid Glamorgan), Monmouthshire (which covers the eastern 60% of the historic county), City of Newport and Torfaen County Borough.

In 2003 the preserved county of Gwent expanded to include the whole of Caerphilly County Borough; the Gwent Police area had already been realigned to these boundaries in 1996. In 2007, the population of this enlarged area was estimated as 560,500, making it the most populous of the preserved counties of Wales.

Magor, Monmouthshire

Magor (English: ; Welsh: Magwyr) - meaning 'a wall' - is a large village in Monmouthshire, south east Wales, about 9 miles (14 km) west of Chepstow and about 9 miles (14 km) east of the city of Newport. It lies on the Caldicot Levels beside the Severn Estuary, and is in the community of Magor with Undy. Magor lies close to the M4 motorway. There is a nearby motorway service area sharing its name and it is within the commuter belts of Newport, Bristol and Cardiff.

Magor Marsh

Magor Marsh is a 90 acres (36 ha) wetland reserve, located on the Welsh side of the Severn Estuary. It is managed by the Gwent Wildlife Trust. It has a great variety of habitats, including damp hay meadows, sedge fen, reedbed, scrub and wet woodland. There are also a large pond and numerous reens at the reserve.

Magor Marsh Nature Reserve is the richest site in Wales for wetland beetles and soldier-flies, and its pattern of drainage ditches and other features have remained unchanged since the 14th century.


Penallt is a village in Monmouthshire, Wales, set high on a hill above Monmouth. In the centre of the village, by the village green, is the 17th-century village pub, the "Inn at Penallt", formerly called the Bush Inn.

Pentwyn Farm Grasslands

Pentwyn Farm Grasslands is a nature reserve, and a series of agricultural fields, in Monmouthshire, southeast Wales. It was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1993, noted for its biological characteristics.

Peterstone Gout

Peterstone Gout is a tidal flap controlling the outfall to the sea near Peterstone Wentlooge, Newport, south Wales. It is located several miles up the coast from Cardiff in the estuary of the River Usk. It is the main drainage point from the Wentloog Levels into the sea. The area is monitored by the Gwent Wildlife Trust.

A plaque is located next to the sluice control valves marking the opening of the facility on July 25th 1960 by Clifford Williams, Chairman of the Usk River Board.


Rassau, sometimes The Rassau (Welsh: Rasa (Gwenhwyseg)), is a village and community located in the historic county of Brecknockshire (Breconshire) and the preserved county of Gwent. It currently lies on the northern edge of the county borough of Blaenau Gwent in Wales. According to the 2011 census, the population of Rassau is 3,234. Residents often refer to either Old Rassau and New Rassau or Bottom Rassau and Top Rassau to distinguish the different parts of the village.

Rassau was originally a part of Beaufort and therefore part of the historic county of Brecknockshire (Breconshire). In 1888 it was transferred, together with a number of other industrialized areas, to the historic county of Monmouthshire (not co-extensive with the modern county of the same name). The postal address of 6 Tramroad Side, for example, would then have been "6 Tramroad Side, Rassau, Beaufort, Monmouthshire". Note that Ebbw Vale was not part of the address as Rassau and Beaufort are on the other side of the river Ebbw – a distinction often ignored today. On 1 June 2010 Rassau became a community in its own right.

Severn Barrage

The Severn Barrage refers to a range of ideas for building a barrage from the English coast to the Welsh coast over the Severn tidal estuary. Ideas for damming or barraging the Severn estuary (and Bristol Channel) have existed since the 19th century. The building of such a barrage would constitute an engineering project comparable with some of the world's biggest. The purposes of such a project has typically been one, or several of: transport links, flood protection, harbour creation, or tidal power generation. In recent decades it is the latter that has grown to be the primary focus for barrage ideas, and the others are now seen as useful side-effects. Following the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study (2008–10), the British government concluded that there was no strategic case for building a barrage but to continue to investigate emerging technologies.

In June 2013 the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee published its findings after an eight-month study of the arguments for and against the Barrage. MPs said the case for the barrage was unproven. They were not convinced the economic case was strong enough and said the developer, Hafren Power, had failed to answer serious environmental and economic concerns.

Stephanie Tyler

Stephanie (Steph) Tyler is a British ornithologist, zoologist, naturalist, conservationist, and author from Monmouthshire. She is particularly known for her work on Dippers and the preservation of river habitats.

The Wildlife Trusts

The Wildlife Trusts, the trading name of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, is an organisation made up of 46 local Wildlife Trusts in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and Alderney. The Wildlife Trusts, between them, look after around 2,300 nature reserves covering more than 98,000 hectares. As of 2017 they have a combined membership of over 800,000 members.The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) is an independent charity, with a membership formed of the 46 individual charitable Trusts. It acts as an umbrella group for the individual Wildlife Trusts, as well as operating a separate Grants Unit which administers a number of funds.

Charles, Prince of Wales serves as the patron of the Wildlife Trusts. Tony Juniper became president in 2015. The chief executive is Stephanie Hilborne.


Trellech (occasionally spelt Trelech, Treleck or Trelleck; Welsh: Tryleg) is a village and parish in Monmouthshire, south-east Wales. It is in the community of Trellech United and located 5 miles (8 km) south of Monmouth and 4 miles (6.4 km) north-north-west of Tintern on a plateau above the Wye and Usk Valleys in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are three Bronze Age standing stones in the village, known as Harold's Stones. The church of St Nicholas is a Grade I listed building.

Although a relatively small village in modern times, it was one of the largest towns in Wales in the 13th century, and is now the location of archaeological investigations to determine its extent and role at that time. The village is designated as a conservation area.There are four nature reserves nearby; New Grove Flower Meadow, noted for its orchids, and Trellech Beacon are both owned by Gwent Wildlife Trust while Cleddon Bog and Croes Robert Wood are both SSSIs.


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