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If you go down to the new woods today PDF Print E-mail
The Go Wild event held on 6th June at Pantside, Newbridge certainly  lived up to its name with rain initially then strong winds, but nevertheless "Go Wild" proceeded as planned.  The 2015 event took place at Pantside near Newbridge in an area that has seen mixed fortunes over the years. By the 1970s this part of the valley had been filled with waste from local collieries and ancient woodland,which had escaped the tipping was given over to plantation forestry.
 
More recently however Caerphilly County Borough Council has been working with Pantside Residents and Tenants Association and Natural Resources Wales to create new native woodlands on and around the site of the Pantside Tip and the location proved to be ideal for Go Wild.
 
The day started with a parade of local children dressed in wildlife costumes, accompanied by a Samba band.  Then visitors had the opportunity to look in on the marquees where they could meet hedgehogs, bats, owls, butterflies, moths, reptiles and amphibians, as well as learning about biodiversity.
 
There was a wide range of activities for children such as pond dipping, seed bomb making, face painting, as well as a “Battle of the Bees” game.  Also, a range of organisations and groups were present to provide advice and information about the measures that people can take at home to conserve and enhance the environment. This included bee keeping, building bird boxes and creating ponds. The Society was very pleased to be involved in the day and ran a stand and its usual bird quiz, which created plenty of interest.  There were also lots of general enquiries about birds and people wanting to share their experiences of avian encounters.
 
Alison Jones the principal ecologist at Caerphilly County Borough Council said of the event:   
"The local Pantside community have never had anything like this in their patch before, and although the numbers were lower than we have had in the past, we achieved what we set out to do – which was to engage with a new audience in a deprived community." One young lad at the end of the day said  “this is the best day ever, it is even better than all the school trips I have been on!”
 
My thanks go to Dave Brassey and Lee Taswell who helped run the GOS stand on the day and to Mick Bailey who manned the adjoining BTO Garden Birdwatch stand.
 
Helping at these events is great fun and can be very rewarding.  You will meet people who also have an interest in birds and who are keen to share their experience,  The Society has opportunities for members to help out at future events and would welcome anyone coming forward who can lend a hand.  You don't need to be a bird "expert" to volunteer, just have enthusiasm and a general interest in all things with feathers.  To find out more, contact Trevor Russell at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 
Richard Clarke