Living Levels Partnership
A grant of £2.5million has been allocated for plans to enhance and celebrate a unique landscape.
Living Levels Partnership is thrilled to announce that a grant of £2.5million from the National Lottery has been secured to help recapture, enhance and celebrate the unique heritage of the historic Gwent Levels Landscape.
The partnership, led by RSPB Cymru, consists of 12 organisations who have come together to provide a sustainable future for the Gwent Levels and includes three local authorities – Cardiff, Newport and Monmouthshire – National Resources Wales, Gwent Wildlife Trust, Gwent Archives, Buglife Cymru, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, The National Trust, Cardiff Story Museum and Sustrans.
The announcement comes following years of planning and groundwork by the partners working alongside local communities to design a scheme to celebrate the Gwent Levels and make the wonderful nature and history of this area more accessible to everyone to enjoy and explore.
The landscape reclaimed from the sea in Roman times, the Gwent Levels are a criss-crossed network of fertile fields and historic watercourses, known locally as reens.
This unassuming, yet appealing, landscape of high skies and low horizons lends it its status of one of the finest examples of a ‘natural’ landscape really crafted by people of Europe. It is one of the largest tracts of bio-diverse wet grassland left in the UK.
Including seven Sites of Special Scientific Interest, the mosaic of ditches supports aquatic plants and insects unique to Wales, which boasts populations of lapwing, otter, water vole, the great diving beetle and one the UK’s rarest bumblebees, the shrill carder bee.
The area also hosts a number of specialist plants, including frogbit, arrowhead and
Wolffia-arrhiza – the smallest flowing plant in the world.
The Living Levels Programme
Over the next three and a half years, the Gwent Levels would benefit from a series of projects designed to restore and enhance the natural heritage of the area, to improve the visitor experience and to inspire people to learn about and participate in the heritage of the levels.
The key aim of the Living Levels project is to help restore key heritage features across the levels, including its ancient orchards and habitats of rare species.
The partners have also developed an ambitious programme to enforce illegal incidents of fly-tipping and encourage changes in behaviour to bring about a sustained reduction in fly-tipping incidents in the future.
Investment in new visitor infrastructure, new walk in and cycling routes, as well as sculptures of artwork will make it easier than ever before to discover the history and heritage of this popular and fascinating area.
From getting down and dirty with conservation activities, or bringing together opportunities to get involved through volunteering, training and a programme of exciting events celebrating the unique local heritage of the Levels.
Did you know the Levels has its very own ‘Levels Lingo’ consisting of a watery lexicon of terms that describe special features of the historic landscape?
There are so many fascinating gems to discover about the Gwent Levels heritage and the partners can’t wait to start exploring these, together with local communities through the many projects which are going to be starting in the next weeks and months.
The partners are confident that the many projects in the Living Levels programme will bring the stories from this fascinating landscape to life, many of which are yet untold and promise to engage and captivate both old and new visitors to the Gwent Levels.