Among various other improvements works taking place around the park at the moment, you may have spotted the appearance of several new wooden structures made from tree branches – these are called dead hedge swales.

The Local Nature Partnership Coordinator for Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen having been working with Blaenau Gwent Council and the local Ecology officer to install experimental dead hedge swales at the park to try and slow the flow of surface rainwater in some areas.

Dead hedges are fence like structures made from dead wood and are great habitat for a variety of animals. They provide corridors for small mammals to move around under safe cover from predators, as well as nesting opportunities and food for wood boring insects.

Coppiced willow was used to create the structures, the upright posts that were pushed into the ground has the additional benefits of regenerating. The growth of root structure will aid rain water to further percolate into the ground and act as a sponge to further absorb the water.

Photos courtesy of Veronika Brannovic (LNP coordinator)