ST WOOLOS Cathedral, in Newport, will be able to continue their work in creating a wildlife habitat within their church yard thanks to a grant from the South Wales Argus parent company.

Newport Cathedral’s ‘Living Churchyard project’ aims to encourage wildlife in an area of their churchyard.

The project has now been awarded £3,000 by the Gannett Foundation – which is the charitable arm of Gannett Co Inc, the parent company of Newsquest Media Group.

Wildlife coordinator Philip Jones said: “We are delighted to have a received a grant from the Gannett Foundation.

“It will enable us to continue and expand the Living Churchyard project for the benefit of both people and wildlife.”

Mr Jones said they will use the money to provide information sheets, benches as well as bird and bat boxes, amongst others.

He added that a Gwent Wildlife Trust survey in 2016 identified 56 species of wild flowers, saplings and shrubs within the cathedral grounds – six of which are ancient woodland indicators. A survey of the mature trees found that there were 14 different species of trees.

“All these species are found in just over an acre of ground in the centre of the city,” Mr Jones continued. “That is why the cathedral decided to set aside an area of the churchyard, to the north and east of the building, that would be managed to encourage the wild flowers and other plants to thrive.”

The wildlife coordinator said they hope the area will provide a resource for local schools and organisations that are interested in nature.

Activities might include nature trails, identifying trees and plans, forest school activities and studying visiting birds.

Last year, they started to cut a grass path to provide access and the first bird feeders, a nest box and an insect hotel were introduced, he added.

Canon Mark Dimond said: “We are trying to reach out to the community and this is a way of doing this.

“It will benefit so many people.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the project, should contact cathedral administrator Andrea Keen on

Other projects which have benefited from a Gannett Foundation grant include Roots@Bettws, a charity that provides horticultural training to adults with learning disabilities. They were awarded £960 to buy a replacement polytunnel, amongst others items.

The Sanctuary, a project which helps asylum seekers and refugees in Newport, will be able to start two new schemes to help them integrate into the community thanks to a £3,200 by the Gannett Foundation.