The beginning has been to look at what there is and how we can protect and enhance the wildlife, looking at the whole site including the actual castle, woods, hedges, orchard and grassland.
We have had a botanical survey of the Castle lands. This was conducted by the Radnorshire County Plant Recorders Liz Dean and Sue Spencer, who visited the site in late Spring and again in late Summer. The plant list from the survey is available HERE. It is hoped that next we can start to survey the fauna (including birds, bats and mini beasts).
We have started the process of entering the Castle Woodlands into Better Woodlands for Wales (BWW), which is a scheme funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and administered by the Forestry Commission. The scheme provides free professional advice and help in drawing up a five-year management plan for the woodlands aimed at achieving goals that we set ourselves.
Our priorities are twofold:
* to improve the wildlife habitat and
* to improve public access.
The scheme offers at least 50% funding towards any necessary works to achieve these goals and the balance can be made up by volunteer labour. Funding under the scheme should be available to us in the next financial year 2010/11.
It is hoped that all kinds of learning activities can be developed such as using the site as an outdoor classroom and for craft projects [ See Education section for updates on the outdoor classroom ]
[Posted by Adrian & Naomi Oct.2009]