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Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
Cycle path over nature reserve opens
An aerial view of the nature reserve
An aerial view of the nature reserve in Pembrokeshire
A group of Pembrokeshire schoolchildren are to cycle their way round a new trail at the Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve near Cardigan.

The trail at the reserve - formerly known as the Welsh Wildlife Centre - links the small village of Cilgerran and the seaside resort.

Otters
The site has a growing otter population

Built with the help of 100,000 from the Welsh Assembly, it is hoped the trail will be used for children to commute to school, promote sustainable transport.

It is also seen as a means of boosting tourism on the Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion border.

The trail will be officially launched with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, followed by 85 local children cycling the two mile route.

The reserve manager Chris Lawrence said the cycle and walking path would enhance the rich bio-diversity contained on the wetland site.

"We have a wide range of wildlife here and it will restore the hydrological control which is key to its management for nature conservation," he said.

Among the wildlife at the reserve is a herd of six wild water buffalo which spend the summer months there.

It also boasts a breeding otter population which has just produced some new cubs.

Water Buffalo herd
Buffalo spend the summer at the reserve

Among the varied birdlife at the site are around 50 pairs of water rail, and as well as the occasional visiting bittern, it hosts about 5% of the UK's population of the cetti's warbler.

While in its reed beds, the wetland has 16 different species of dragonfly.

The route had been impassable because of the collapse of a culvert but the scheme has restored the route.

The trail also follows the route of an old railway line - the historic Cardi Bach Railway - and will eventually form part of the National Cycle Network.

Derek Moore, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, said: "Wildlife conservation cannot be successful without the input and appreciation of people.

This new cycle way encourages more people to visit us and our work by a sustainable mode of transport and hopefully adding to their health and happiness as well.


Where I Live, South West Wales
See also:

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