Withybush Woods enhancement project nears completion
One of Haverfordwest’s favourite woodlands has been transformed over the past two years, thanks to an EU-funded improvement project led by Pembrokeshire County Council.
Withybush Woods is a tranquil dog-friendly woodland featuring two ponds, a wetland area, an accessible 1.5km footpath with bridges and a boardwalk, and lots of wildlife including resident ducks, moorhens and swans.
Owned by the County Council, the wood is located not far from Withybush showground and is part of the Victorian garden of Withybush House, demolished in the 1960s.
Work to improve the site has been carried out by the Council with support of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority youth rangers, and volunteers from Rudbaxton Community Council.
Cllr Cris Tomos, Pembrokeshire’s Cabinet Member for the Environment and Welsh Language, said the Council has received lots of positive comments about how peaceful and beautiful the area is.
“Together with our partners, we have worked hard to improve and enhance Withybush woods and we’re delighted with the feedback that we’ve received,” he said.
“We know it was especially popular with local people during the pandemic and we’re pleased that it provided them with some tranquillity and the opportunity to relax and spend time amongst natural surroundings.”
Cllr Tomos said the new features had also been welcomed, and had made a real difference to the overall appeal of the area.
“As well as a newly-restored lower pond and a new wetland area, we have de-silted the upper pond, created an extra 500m section of accessible footpath including bridges, planted thousands of wildflowers and bulbs, installed signage, birdboxes, feeding stations, and more.
“There are still some elements of the project which haven’t been completed as a result of the pandemic, including the installation of an otter holt and planting of native trees – but this work will be carried out as soon as we are able to.”
Cllr Steve Yelland, county councillor for Rudbaxton, said: “I am delighted with the work that has been carried out at the woods, it has greatly increased the attraction and pleasure for many. The extension to the path and the new pond has added to the enjoyment which is used by both children and adults alike and is proving so popular that the car park is quite often full, which is a pleasure to see.
“I have had many people comment and say how much they appreciate the improvements that have been made and how much they enjoy walking through the woods.”
The enhancement work received funding by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. It also received funding through the Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme, through the WCVA.
Lead image: Cllr Cris Tomos, Cllr Steve Yelland, and Helen Ross, External Funding Officer. (Image: Pembrokeshire Council)
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