Refuge For UK Birds Under Threat

Our Trustee Ciaran O’Brien notes the shocking decline of UK birds species and how Penllergare is and aims to be a refuge for many under threat

Wales has been described as one of the most nature depleted countries in the world and this shocking state of affairs has been highlighted by the release of the fourth review of the status of birds in Wales. This review compliments Birds of Conservation Concern 5, a report published in 2021, which covers the whole of the UK.

Birds that breed, winter or migrate regularly through Wales were assessed using data gathered by a range of well-established monitoring schemes, many of which are citizen science initiatives. The report has been produced by a partnership of NRW, RSPB Cymru, BTO and the Welsh Ornithological Society.

A total of 220 species was assessed, ten more than in the last review in 2016. Each was placed on either the Green, Amber or Red lists, indicating increasing levels of conservation concern.

It is quite shocking, in my opinion, that only 69 of these species are on the green list – that’s less than a third of Welsh birds which are not of conservation concern! There are 91 species on the Amber list (moderate concern) and 60 species on the Red List of most concern. And what’s more, the red list includes bird species that we all are familiar with and which would have previously been thought of as quite common, such as Rook, Herring Gull, Swift and Curlew. The Amber list also includes plenty of familiar favourites – House Sparrow, House Martin, Bullfinch, Chaffinch and many more.

The following quote from the report summary should have particular resonance for us here in the Valley Woods:

A suite of woodland species, including Marsh Tit, Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Wood Warbler, Willow Tit and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker remain Red-listed, with the last two at real risk of being lost from Wales. Goldcrest has, surprisingly, joined the Red List following a significant decline since 1995, and Garden Warbler moves from Green to Amber.”

The Trust is committed to the conservation of the land, habitats and wildlife in its care and we must do all we possibly can to bring the Valley Woods into the most favourable conservation status possible and to try to stem this horrifying decimation.

For more details of the report please click the link below:


(Featured photograph – Goldcrest from Wikipedia)