Volunteering at Gwaith Powdwr Nature Reserve
Before leaving Canada, we connected with the North Wales Wildlife Trust to find out about volunteer activities at the local nature reserves.
Every Wednesday, a group of volunteers gather at the Gwaith Powdwr Nature Reserve in Penrhyndeudraeth to work on conservation projects around the nature reserve.
Before we started, we had a tour of the site.
Gwaith Powdwr was once the biggest explosives works in Europe. It was donated to the North Wales Wildlife Trust in 1998 and is now managed as a nature reserve. The reserve offers fabulous views of Snowdonia and the Dwyryd Estuary.
Gwaith Powdwr started producing explosives in 1865, supplying munitions in both World Wars and, in the latter half of the twentieth century, explosives for the mining industry.
In fact, at the top of the hill is a place where they used to test ammunition by putting it in a cannon and firing it into this 2 tonne pendulum. The experts would know how strong the ammunition was, based on how far the pendulum swung!
I can just imagine how loud that would be!
We got a wonderful tour of the area and a description of all the wildlife that live there from the plants and animals.
After that, we were able to help with a few tasks including helping to clear brush around one of the buildings. The building will be getting a new roof to make it a better roosting spot for lesser horseshoe bats.
We will definitely be back again. What a great learning opportunity, and it was nice to meet some of the local people!