Friends of Heath Park Woodlands
The Friends of Heath Park Woodland have been established for more than 12 years and are one of a number of Friends’ groups run by Cardiff County Council supported by the active Ranger service. They carry out a variety of tasks, based on seasonal work such as tree planting in the autumn and winter and pond/clearance work in the early spring. In the autumn they also cut and rake away the grass in the wet grassland area near the King George V memorial pillars. This reduces the fertility of the area to promote more diverse plants and animals.
Other work includes carrying out surveys to monitor bird population and also fungi forays and pond life. The main pond (former Heath House) requires active maintenance to keep it clear of weed, litter and debris. A notice board has been erected to give information about pond life, including the semi-rare great crested newt which breeds here. The pond is designated as a special site and activities should be controlled by law to minimise disturbance to the newts. There are no fish in the pond and their introduction is prohibited. Other inhabitants include horse leech, palmate/common newts, snails, pond skaters, whirligig beetles and also numerous dragon and damsel flies. The odd heron drops in as do ducks such as Mallards.
More than 20 nest boxes have been erected to provide homes for tits, nuthatch, treecreeper and bats. These need to be cleaned out each year to keep them free from insects as they may infest the inhabitants of the boxes.
One of the main tasks is of course tree planting and over 2000 trees have been planted over the years in various parts of the park. They use mostly indigenous species such as oak, beech, mountain ash etc but also more shrubby trees such as elder, dogwood, guilder rose are used to create different layers of cover and food. Mature standard trees are also planted as and when finances allow. A tree with a plaque was planted to commemorate the former Speaker of the House of Lords… George Thomas.
As the park and woodlands are subject to high levels of use this invariably brings problems of litter, graffiti, dog fouling, improper use of the tracks and the dumping of garden cuttings in the woodlands. Both the Council and the volunteers seek to reduce this as much as possible but it continues to take a good deal of time and effort. As at this time we are only a small group any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
All details of our activities, which are suitable for both young and elderly, are set out on the notice board in the car park by the model railway. All children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Meetings are held once a month on a Sunday between 2-4pm. For dates see notice board or contact Steve Bool (Chairman of FHPW) on 02920257684 or the Council Ranger Service based at Wedal Rd. Cardiff.
Woodland near the model railway. Full access to the public at the moment.
(There are plans to make this part of the Model Society's area)