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02 Jul 2018

Biffa Award Grant to WWT Llanelli

WWT Llanelli is excited to announce that we have been awarded funding through Biffa Award; a multi-million-pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund.

The grant will help fund our ambitious plans to re-landscape the Dafen Scrapes and improve existing features; creating important wetland habitat for the benefit of many species and promoting biodiversity across our beautiful site.

The Dafen Scrapes Project will result in the creation and enhancement of rich habitats for many waterbirds, with the main aim of attracting them to the area during the breeding season.

Focus species include avocet, lapwing, oystercatcher and shelduck, but the work will also encourage more roosting and feeding waders outside of the breeding season. In addition, the increased range of habitats will provide benefits for other wonderful wetland wildlife including water voles and invertebrates such as spectacular dragonflies and damselflies. Taking place right behind the British Steel Hide, the project will help to bring even more wildlife closer to visitors, particularly during the summer months.

Our team of hardworking and dedicated reserve wardens and volunteers will begin to re-landscape the existing scrapes to reduce the steepness of banks and improve sightlines for birds. They will create shallow islands in the existing scrapes to increase breeding opportunities, and install floating shingle-covered islands to minimise predation risks. Furthermore, the team will work on new scrapes and depressions in the western portion of the area to increase ground moisture and habitat diversity, bolstering all-important wader chick feeding opportunities.

Inviting nest boxes will be provided along the seawall to encourage colourful breeding shelducks, and there will also be habitat management between the Dafen Scrapes and the stunning Freshwater Lagoon to encourage more waders to use the Freshwater Lagoon by increasing habitat connectivity and improving sightlines.

Reserve Manager Dr Brian Briggs said:

‘I’m very excited to get to work on the Dafen Scrapes project, creating extensive new wetland habitat for a range of wildlife and improving the view for visitors from our hides. We are optimistic that, from next spring, visitors will begin to see the positive effects of the work and we hope to attract breeding lapwing and perhaps even avocet to the area in years to come.’

Gillian French, Head of Grants said:

“It is fantastic to be able to support such an important project. WWT are making new homes for beautiful but vulnerable birds while simultaneously creating new wildlife experiences for visitors to the site.”