ARC’s Connecting the Dragons project started in August 2019 across southern Wales, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Much of our time since has been spent preparing and undertaking pond works over the winter, with a total of thirty five ponds created, restored or managed - an achievement we are very proud of!

Over the first six months, Connecting the Dragons officers have engaged with 668 volunteers and partner organisation staff in southern Wales, who have contributed over 161 days of their time!

As well as liaising with and advising partner staff there have been a variety of training workshops run for local volunteers. Our most successful event was the joint Pembrokeshire Adder Habitat Management Networking Day with Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK, held in partnership with Natural Resources Wales, the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, National Trust, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Pembrokeshire Council, and local landowners. The event provided an opportunity to discuss how habitat management is undertaken across the county and how adder requirements might be weaved in with all the other factors that have to be taken into consideration when managing a site. It was part-funded by the Pembrokeshire Nature Partnership and hosted at Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm with a delicious locally sourced wildlife-friendly cawl and treats from the Grub Kitchen.

The project officers have been spending the past month helping to create ARC's online training materials, engaging with partners and volunteers remotely, and undertaking the necessary preparation work to ensure that we are ready to hit the ground running again soon!