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News/Events 2019

December 8th 2018 (Final report from last year by Nicholas Beswick)
Many of the birds have gone from our ponds in the last few days but our lone Mute Swan has acquired two foster-cygnets! They are this year's young which normally stay with their parents until spring. They aren't from Asda - the pair there still have six cygnets in tow - but someone has suggested they might have come from Beaufort Ponds. Meanwhile, at Parc Bryn Bach, there are two cygnets getting on perfectly well without any adults!

January 1st (Report by Nicholas Beswick)
A quiet end to the year for the birds. The cygnets have become very mobile, with four around yesterday. The white Muscovy Duck seems to have settled in on the Machine Pond island. A small flock of Teal are on Horsetail Pond but are well camouflaged in the dead vegetation at the back of the pond.
With colder weather forecast we may see some winter visitors in the next few days. Happy New Year everyone!

January 6th (Report by Nicholas Beswick)
Happy New Year! A big thank-you from the Directors to everyone who has helped keeping the Parc looking lovely over the last year. It was great to see lots of people out enjoying the Parc this afternoon.
Last week's cold spell didn't amount to much. Good news for the birds which are beginning to sing a little more when the weather's fine. Not such good news for anyone hoping that something unusual drops in! A female Kestrel was a nice addition to the usual suspects today. Kestrels have declined in recent years but a few pairs nest locally and this was probably one of our resident ones.

January 26th (Report by Nicholas Beswick)
I was delighted to visit the Parc a few days ago with Liz Hancocks, Blaenau Gwent's ecology officer. Liz has arranged for Dan Burrows to clear some of the silt and vegetation from the Horsetail Pond in the next few days. This is to ensure that we keep open water there and do not allow the pond to degenerate into a bog. There will still be plenty of suitable habitat for Snipe (which are difficult to see on account of their amazing camouflage).
I have spoken to two 'swan rescue' groups about our lone female on Machine Pond. They were both very clear that matchmaking for swans doesn't work. As unpaired birds will be on the move in the spring there is a good chance that our swan will find a new mate without our intervention. Meanwhile, the cygnets that have joined her will move on to join other immature swans until they reach breeding age.

February 1st
A partially frozen Machine Pond - images by Kate Oakes

February 15th (Report by Nicholas Beswick)
A lovely spring-like morning at the Parc today. The birds certainly thought so, with Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Chaffinch, Dunnock and Great Tit all singing. Also a female Bullfinch.
There are still a few 'winter' birds on the ponds - a lovely male Wigeon and seven Teal. No sign of our female Mute Swan, just four yearling cygnets, so we might not have any swans nesting this year as the cygnets are a few years off adulthood.
There will be work at the Horsetail Pond (by the bridge) soon to dredge some of the accumulated silt. This should not affect anyone using the Parc, except to keep clear of the digger moving on site.

February 16th (Report and images by Nicholas Beswick)
Today's photos of Horsetail Pond. Four Teal present, our Mute Swan has returned.

February 22nd ( Images by Jeff Williams)Waterfowl on the Machine Pond on a Spring-like February day.

Thursday 4th April - Wildlife Walk & Litterpick will be held in the Parc from 10:00 - 12:00 hrs

April 18th (Report by Nicholas Beswick)
Spring has sprung! Though there are fewer birds on the ponds, spring is well under way. Most of the Mallards have left for more secluded spots to nest - there are already ducklings on the water locally. We have a large flock of the smart black and white male Tufted Ducks and their plainer mates - some may nest later in the summer.

Our summer visitors are arriving. Listen for the plaintive down-scale song of the Willow Warbler and the rich, bright notes of the Blackcap. We may be lucky to have Whitethroats, Sedge Warblers and Grasshopper Warblers joining them in the next couple of weeks and perhaps a Cuckoo. Swallows are already swooping over the ponds, along with a few Sand Martins. House Martins will be the next to arrive, with Swifts joining us early in May.

May 18th (Report by Nicholas Beswick)
Many thanks to Blaenau Gwent CBC for installing the new litter bin at the Warwick Road entrance to the Parc. Tidy!!

Our first Mallard ducklings have appeared on Machine Pond and a pair of Coots have five newly-hatched chicks on Horsetail Pond. Around the Parc migrant Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and a Whitethroat are singing along with our residents.

Three weeks to go to our Open Day when we will have experts looking for wildlife familiar and unfamiliar. Come along between 11.00 and 3.00 for a wildlife walk or pond dipping.

Thursday 16th May
Photographs taken by Jeff Williams on a short visit to the Horsetail Pond and along Warwick Road

Tuesday 16th July 2019

Parc Nant y Waun are awarded their seventh consecutive Community Green Flag Award from Keep Wales Tidy.
Secretary Nicholas Beswick commented :-
"Proud and delighted to announce that Parc Nant-y-Waun has been awarded its Green Flag again this year. That's every year since the scheme started.
This has only been possible through the efforts of everyone who contributes to keeping the Parc at its best. Also a big thank you to all our supporters, including our local councillors, Blaenau Gwent officers, Keep Wales Tidy and Steve Ambler & Co. Plus a special mention of the Fishing Club for all the improvements around Machine Pond.
A huge thank you to all and keep up the good work!"

Saturday 27th July 2019
We were delighted to welcome Ndaba Maposa to our task morning earlier today. Ndaba is studying at Swansea University and studying the work of volunteer groups such as ours. We wish him every luck in his work.

Today's work featured "litter" picking - one trolley included, path clearance, grass-cutting around the picnic area stones and repairs to the Ebbw Fach Trail feature. Many thanks to everyone for their efforts.

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