Cadets of No.3 Welsh Wing "Go Green"


Cardigan Squadron "Go Green"__________________________________

Sixteen cadets and staff of 1429 (Cardigan & Aberporth) Squadron Air Training Corps (ATC) recently joined forces with the RSPB to plant trees and clear a bog at the Ynys Hir Nature Reserve, which is set in a stunning location at the top of the Dyfi Estuary with the Cambrian Mountains as a backdrop.  Tree planting is an important activity that helps to reduce the carbon footprint and encourages wildlife to flourish.

The tree planting exercise and a bog clearing task were encouraged and supported by the senior management team of No. 3 Welsh Wing Air Training Corps.  The Commanding Officer of 1429 squadron, Flt Lt Mandy Ford, said, “We were asked by our senior staff at No. 3 Welsh Wing ATC to assist in this exercise, which was timed to co-inside with the 70th anniversary of the Air Training Corps and the 100th anniversary of RSPB.”  On behalf of the squadron, the Padre of 1429 Squadron, Keith Bradshaw, and his wife liaised with RSPB and were instrumental in implementing these important environmental activities.

The tree planting was a result of the squadron getting involved in clearing a garden area at the Youth Centre in Aberaeron.  A project that is still on going.

Flt Lt Ford commented, “The RSPB donated a bird box for us to put in our garden project in Aberaeron.  The cadets all worked extremely hard planting trees and clearing the bog during the activity day.  They planted 70 trees, one for every year of the ATC and then moved on to clear a bog area of overgrowth.  This was where they got muddy and wet and had a thoroughly marvellous time.  Cadet Sgt Jo Griffiths actually fell head first into the bog, came out smiling and carried on with the hard work.  I can honestly say that no one cadet stood out more than the other, they all put 110% effort into the day and they got a lot out of it.”

There were 16 cadets in the team - 4 female and 12 male cadets.  Numbers were restricted because of limitations on the availability of transport otherwise the team would have been larger.  The team members were all volunteers and the team was selected by drawing the first 16 out of the hat.

The squadron are currently completing the garden project in Aberaeron and soon hope to move onto another project at the Cilgerran Wildlife Centre.

As a result of this exercise with RSPB, the 16 cadets involved are now working towards achieving Sir John Muir Conservation Awards.  Each cadet has agreed to commit at least 20 hours of work to complete a project in the field of conservation.  Upon completion of their project they will individually receive a Bronze Award.

The cadets are currently writing up their individual reports about the tree planting and bog clearing at Ynys Hir.  This will then be followed up with more formal research into the area around the squadron headquarters, as it is partly designated a “Site of Scientific Interest”.

The cadets are also erecting bird boxes on trees within the outer compound of the squadron headquarters, as well as taking part in squadron led field trips to "wild places" such as Nant yr Arian and the Preseli Hills.


Article and pictures kindly supplied by: Flt Lt Mandy Ford OC 1429 (Cardigan) Squadron


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