New initiative to save Wales’ threatened species

A new initiative – Natur am Byth – to save rare species and reconnect communities with nature is getting off the ground in Wales.

The shrill carder bee, pink sea-fan coral, barbastelle bat, and Snowdonia’s arctic alpine plants are just some of the species in line for intensive care.

Overall, the project will help recreate habitats, restore landscapes and hopefully change lives by connecting people with nature.

Natur am Byth, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, unites nine environmental charities with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to tackle the startling decline in biodiversity – Wales’ Nature Emergency.

A number of new jobs are on offer over the next few months to help shape Natur am Byth into a major nature recovery programme in Wales.

John Clark, Natur am Byth Project Manager, said:

“With the backing of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Welsh Government, we’ve started the process of recruiting a high-quality team to plan this wide-ranging programme to work with communities for the benefit of Wales’ most threatened species.

“In February 2023, at the end of the 18-month development phase we will present our bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support a four-year programme of action from 2023 to 2027.

“If successful, that’s when the exciting practical conservation and local engagement will happen.”

To prepare the full National Lottery Heritage Fund bid, the new team and contractors will consult with local communities, conduct species surveys and plan detailed recovery plans for species and habitats across many of Wales’ most treasured landscapes.

They plan to work with a diverse range of communities to find out what matters to them, and how connecting with nature can support well-being and Covid recovery.

John Clark added:

“We’re looking for passionate project officers, who understand the importance of protecting species and involving the communities and landowners who are custodians of Wales’ natural heritage.” If that sounds like you, please check out the project webpage and follow #NaturAmByth across all the partners’ social media for job vacancies.”

The 10 partners in Natur am Byth are Amphibian & Reptile Conservation; Bat Conservation Trust; Buglife; Bumblebee Conservation Trust; Butterfly Conservation; Plantlife; Marine Conservation Society; Natural Resources Wales; RSPB Cymru; Vincent Wildlife Trust.

The species that will benefit have been identified by the Natur am Byth partners, in consultation with wildlife experts across the UK. They face the greatest threat of extinction and are particularly important in Wales.

The areas of focus are:

  • The Llŷn peninsula and Anglesey
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Gower and Swansea City
  • Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend
  • Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff and Newport Gwent Levels
  • Snowdonia
  • Powys
  • Wrexham.

By targeting these areas, the project can make the biggest impact on saving the rarest species.

Natur am Byth is working closely with similar species recovery projects in England and Scotland – Back from the Brink and Species on the Edge , ensuring Britain’s wonderful nature recovers across the country.

More information including the job opportunities available can be found on the NRW / Natur am Byth website.

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