A MID WALES wildlife community project has received a £151,000 grant from the Welsh Government and National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Those behind the Fferm Goedwig Gymunedol Dyffryn Tanat Valley Community Forest Farm in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant applied for the Community Woodlands grant to create a community nature reserve after 26 acres of upland sheep pasture came up for sale.

In February, the land became a community asset and was renamed Dolydd Gobaith, meaning 'Meadows of Hope'.

Bridget Neame, from the group, said: "The idea of some type of community nature reserve raised its head a few years ago while I was chatting with my nephew on a Christmas walk in Delamere Forest in Cheshire.

“We’re very grateful for this Community Woodlands funding from the Welsh Government and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

"With Dolydd Gobaith, we’re hoping to help combat climate change, protect and enhance local biodiversity and natural heritage, and find sustainable ways to produce food and other products from the land.

“We’re also aiming to encourage the surrounding communities and local schools, farms, organisations and individuals to get involved and connect with this beautiful landscape and the natural world we are all part of.”

Thanks to the funding, 1.5 kilometres of hedging and several acres of woodland will be planted at Dolydd Gobaith using a mix of local native trees and shrubs.

Up to four acres of the site will be allowed to regenerate naturally and the remaining land will be managed as a mosaic of semi-natural grassland, wetland and ponds.

Fencing will also be installed to protect plants from grazing animals.

A volunteer coordinator will be taken on to recruit volunteers to help make Dolydd Gobaith a well-used and much-loved community space for all those who live in the area, while an IT specialist will also be recruited to develop a website and social media presence.

“We are looking forward to an exciting year on the land," added Bridget. "Already, the knee-high grass and wild flowers are the beginnings of the regeneration of the landscape.

“We welcome visitors and love to share what we are discovering on this journey."

Anyone wishing to visit the land and see the work being done, contact Bridget on bneame@btinternet.com