The Vale of Glamorgan Local Biodiversity Action plan was produced in 2002 in close consultation with the Vale LBAP partnership. The Vale of Glamorgan area is 80% rural and consists of rolling lowlands, which are bounded in the south by the coast that includes a 19km stretch of designated Heritage Coastline. Although predominantly farmland, the Vale supports a very rich biodiversity and diverse range of habitats and species, including some globally and nationally threatened species such as the shore dock, the high brown fritillary butterfly and the great crested newt. The Vale LBAP currently contains action plans for twenty species and twenty habitats, and six additional species action plans are soon to be added.
Examples of action for habitats implemented through the LBAP by partners include restoration management at a number of lowland hay meadow sites and large-scale reedbed creation at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park.
LBAP action for species has included pond restoration and enhancement works for great crested newts at a number of breeding sites and large scale habitat management to safeguard and expand populations of the high brown fritillary butterfly.
The Vale LBAP partnership is a large network including representatives from over 40 local organisations including government and non-government wildlife bodies, voluntary groups, local businesses, as well as farmers, landowners and individuals. A smaller subset of the partnership, the Vale LBAP steering group, meets every two months to steer the LBAP and its implementation.
Recent Successes in the Vale
The return of the Chough – after many years of monitoring and habitat work, a pair of Choughs successfully bred in the Vale last year for the first time in over a hundred years.
High Brown Fritillary – the Vale is now the last site in Wales for this beautiful butterfly, but thanks to a lot of hard work from volunteers, the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Team and Butterfly Conservation and funding from the Aggregates Levy Fund, the population in the Vale is going from strength to strength. We are now looking to investigate how we can help the High Brown expand from its current site to others across the Vale.
Vale Biodiversity Award – running for the third time this year, the Vale Biodiversity Award recognises practical projects that promote biodiversity by creating, improving or managing sites for wildlife.