NEWPORT wildlife has benefited from the latest Gwent Wildlife Trust’s project at the Great Traston Meadows Nature reserve.

The trust started work in 2012 which meant that birds, mammals and insects living on the Gwent Levels, have the opportunity to spread to areas more suited to suit their needs.

The project, which will end next month, has opened up many of the overgrown and shaded ditches, and allowed open and varied vegetation to form along the water’s edge.

These new plants provide different opportunities for a wide range of wildlife to thrive, including small, rare insects, secretive voles, grass snakes, owls and even hunting otters.

Elsewhere on the reserve, a small wildlife orchard with local varieties of apple trees has been planted and the trust has constructed barn owl boxes and otter holts.

The project has been funded by the Veolia Environmental Trust awarding a grant of £36,658 through the Landfill Communities Fund, with much of the hands-on work on the ground has been provided by volunteers, including those from Kaleidoscope Newport, the Wildlife in Newport Volunteers (WING) and the Gwent Levellers Volunteers.

Richard Baker, reserves officer at the Wildlife Trust, said: “With such variety, it is clear why this wonderful part of Wales is designated a site of Special Scientific Interest and people travel from all over the UK to explore the hidden treasures it supports both on land and in the water.”