At the heart of INCC’s work in the Amman Valley is community nature conservation. Local people of all ages and abilities are able to have a direct role in helping conserve wildlife in their landscape.

Community events were organised with the support of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Cwmaman Town Council and National Lottery Awards for All. The events highlighted the ecological importance of the Amman Valley and inspired local communities to get involved in nature conservation.

Community volunteers undertaking a marsh fritillary larval web survey

Community nest box making events were organised in early 2019 in preparation for the spring breeding bird season. Over 220 volunteer hours helped make and install an initial 145 pied flycatcher nest boxes in just three months.

Guided wildlife walks for local communities were organised throughout 2019. Many local residents were able to see the nest boxes that they helped make being used by pied flycatchers and other woodland birds. The wildlife walks were designed to inspire people about local wildlife and encompassed a variety of Amman Valley habitats. Habitats in the valley include upland heath, bog, woodland, marsh, meadow, scrub and river and stream.

Bluebell woodland in the Amman Valley

The walks, coupled with volunteer days making woodland bird nest boxes provided a stepping stone for people of all ages to explore the valley’s wildlife and to take a greater interest in its conservation.

The success of the original community nature conservation project led to the development of a number of other species and habitat conservation projects. Bat boxes, kestrel boxes and hedgehog boxes have all now been made by local volunteers in an attempt to support local wildlife.

Early in 2020, INCC was able to create a community polytunnel dedicated to growing wildflowers and promoting sustainable horticulture and wildlife gardening. With support from local partners and communities, INCC was able to develop and launch the ‘Joint Vision for Nature Conservation in the Amman Valley’. The document sets the foundation for all future community nature conservation activities in the valley.

Volunteers helping to build the community polytunnel in the Amman Valley