This page shows BWHEG's most recent activities and news.


 Saturday 18th March 2020

Please note: All events and meetings have been cancelled or postponed until further notice due to the restrictions being imposed with respect to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.



BWHEG will be holding their annual AGM on Tuesday 4th February 6:00pm.

It will be held at Blaenavon World Heritage Centre.


 Saturday 19th January 2020

 Saturday 9th December 2019

We just received this Certificate Of Appreciation in the post from TCBC.

Well done all!

 Saturday 2nd December 2019

We welcomed two 'visitors' from Varteg on our last guided walk of the year, "Hidden Forgeside". A short but varied walk with many reminders of Blaenavon's industrial past and plenty of wildlife. Features included Aaron Brute's bridge, a mystery installation above Forge Pond and, of course, the railway.

Do join us again in the spring when our walks start again. In 2020, they'll be on the last Sunday of each month.


 Tuesday 19th November 2019

Well done all!

So proud to receive the Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations' Silver "Go Wildlife!" award on behalf of all the BWHEG volunteers' amazing work.



 Sunday 20th October 2019

October has been an awful month for outdoor activities. 

Members will already know that several of the tasks that were planned for October were cancelled.  

Taking the weather into consideration there will be limited opportunities for BWHEG volunteers to get out and about over the Winter months so, if you can,  please support the remaining planned guided walks.


 Friday 27th September 2019

Despite the horrendous weather earlier in the day the event went ahead as planned.

Unfortunately, no-one told the moths and bats!

It was nice to see people turn out for the event though and, hopefully, they went away with more knowledge about bats and moths than they had when they arrived.

 Monday 16th September 2019

Today we were out clearing back the brambles and other invasive vegetation from around the Engine Pits site.

Whilst brambles, etc may be good for wildlife the doing nothing but damage to mortar and brickwork.

There was a good turnout of volunteers and it was lovely and sunny.

Thanks everyone! It looks so much better.

 Sunday 4th August 2019

August's wetland Bird Survey update -

This year's juvenile water birds are thriving - now six well-grown Tufted Ducklings and two Little Grebe chicks on the top lake and two young Coot on the fishing pond. High overhead a flock of five Swifts which will soon be on their way. Some of the national invasion of Painted Lady butterflies around the reserve and many stripy Cinnabar Moth caterpillars feeding on Ragwort.

 Friday 2nd August 2019

Out today repairing a vandalised fingerpost on the Human Endeavours Trail. Drilling new dowel holes and replacing the blade.

 Tuesday 25th June 2019

 Tuesday 25th June 2019

Out on the Blorenge with volunteers creating scrapes and leaving gravel for the red grouse.

 Sunday 16th June 2019

A blustery morning for this month's Wetlands Bird Survey at Garn Lakes.

Canada Goose 18 plus 10 goslings
Mallard 28 plus 3 ducklings and one white domestic (some starting to moult into eclipse plumage)
Tufted Duck 1
Cormorant 1
Little Grebe 1
Coot 9
Moorhen 1
Also one Herring Gull and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls over.
Other birds included 4 Reed Buntings, Lesser Redpoll, Buzzard and Kestrel. Plus one Burnet Companion moth.

 Saturday 25th May 2019

The evening bat & nightjar walk started at 9:15pm and despite cool, breezy weather, a successful evening for five BWHEG members. We started with Swifts screeching around the town centre and a Cormorant flying high overhead. Up on Llanover Road we picked up the weird sound of Nightjars churring and saw a couple of bats, probably Pipistrelles. We also met a local resident hunting a Pokemon but this unfortunately is beyond BWHEG’s capacity. The International Space Station put in an appearance before we returned to the town centre for a further bat check but drew a blank here.
We will be organising another bat walk around Garn Lakes later in the summer

 Sunday 19th May 2019

While walking around the Garn Lakes checking on the breeding birds we checked out some of BWHEGs nestboxes and look what we found. These nest boxes are not only being used to rear chicks but they are home to tree bumblebees (Bombus hypnorum) too.

 Sunday 5th May 2019

Dawn Chorus Guided Walk - dry but a little chilly at 6:30am.

Several enthusiastic people joined the local birdwatcher around the town and Forgeside Community Woodlands to see how many birds could be identified by sight or sound. 

There were a total of 24 species recorded including:

  • House Sparrow

  • Jackdaw

  • Jay (1)

  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (3)

  • Magpie (1)

  • Mallard (2)

  • Nuthatch (1)

  • Robin

  • Song Thrush (1)

  • Willow Warbler (3)

  • Woodpigeon

  • Wren

  • Blackbird
  • Blackcap (6)
  • Blue Tit
  • Bullfinch (1)
  • Carrion Crow
  • Chaffinch (2)
  • Chiffchaff (1)
  • Collared Dove (1)
  • Dunnock (5)
  • Goldfinch (2)
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker (2)
  • Great Tit

 Saturday 27th April 2019

Milfraen Pits Guided Walk - dry but very, very windy walk just as Storm Hannah was hitting the west coast.  The group walked about 10km (6 miles) from the World Heritage Centre to Waunavon and then returned via a mountain road past the Whistle Inn back to the start.  The route passed the Milfraen and Red Ash collieries.

Apart from the very strong winds it was a glorious day with Skylarks singing high in the sky.

Milfraen Pits Guided Walk - dry but very, very windy walk just as Storm Hannah was hitting the west coast.  The group walked about 10km (6 miles) from the World Heritage Centre to Waunavon and then returned via a mountain road past the Whistle Inn back to the start.  The route passed the Milfraen and Red Ash collieries.

Apart from the very strong winds it was a glorious day with Skylarks singing high in the sky.

Sunday 6th April 2019


Sorry for the short notice but the next task will be on Friday 12th April.

Meet at Blaenavon World Heritage Centre before going to Coity Tips.

The task involves clearing unwanted vegetation and removal of invasive trees and bushes. 


Sunday 31st March 2019

We've had a busy weekend with 2 guided walks!

Yesterday there was the "Spring Is Sprung" walk up to the Blaenafon Community Woodlands to look for signs of spring, including bluebells, and other wild flowers. There were chiff chaffs singing and 3 diferent types of butterfly were spotted - Peacock, Tortoiseshell and Brimstone.

Today the guided walk visited the Blorenge to undertake monitoring of the Red Grouse on the mountain. A tape recording of grouse calls was played to elicit a responses from male birds in the area. 6 male grouse were heard calling and 1 female was seen. 

Thanks to everyone who came out with us.


Thursday 7th March 2019

Please note that the March Wetlands Bird Survey has been brought forward to Sunday 17th March. There will be no survey on Sunday 24th March.


Monday 25th February 2019

Please note that the litter pick planned for Saint David's Day 1st March has been postponed until the 19th April.

In previous years the Keep Wales Tidy Spring Clean event has been in early March but this year it is later so we have moved our scheduled litter pick to coincide with KWT events

Saturday 23rd February 2019

A very good turnout for our first walk of 2019 and what a beautiful day too. 

The sun was shining, catkins were hanging from the trees and there was frog spawn in the streams and even in a puddle!

The walk started at the World Heritage Centre and progressed through the Garn Lakes Nature Reserve to the Whistle Inn before returning to the start point via Coity Tip.

The route for this walk can be found at

Monday 11th February 2019

Just a few shots of the bags of rubbish collected in 2.5 hours this morning. 

BWHEG volunteers were working with Thom Board from Keep Wales Tidy to try and tidy the Afon Llwyd riverbanks and surrounding areas where the river passes through Blaenavon.

A lot of rubbish was removed from the bottom of St. Peter's Churchyard. Mainly nearby the gaps in the fence where people take shortcuts through the graveyard.

There were 41 bags in total plus other junk taken away by Torfaen County Borough Council.

Well done & thank you to all who helped.

Saturday 26th January 2019

Seven volunteers attended an "Armchair Archaeology" training course organised by BWHEG and Black Mountain Archaeology.  It was a good day with lots of ideas thrown into the mixing pot for future investigation.

Tuesday 22nd January 2019

Here are two enthusiastic volunteers (and the man behind the camera), braving the Blorenge weather. From sunshine to a five minute blizzard and back to sunshine in -0.5 degrees. The fingerpost had to be replaced as it was vandalised

Sunday 20th January 2019

Guided Walks will begin again 23rd February.

Take a look at our What's On page for the latest information.

Sunday 13th January 2019

First outing this year for the monthly Wetland Bird Survey. Here are the results that will be submitted for the core count

Canada Goose   20

Mallard                 25 (incl 2 domestic)

Tufted Duck        1 (male)

Coot                      10

Herring Gull        1 (flew over) 

The Goosanders have been notable for their absence, though they’ve been about on other local ponds… 

Perhaps more will turn up if winter does! 

The next survey is scheduled for 10 February.

Monday 10th December

Looking forward to our member's annual Christmas walk and meal.

This year we will be walking along the NCN492 cycle route through the lovely countryside around Wainfelin and Abersychan before enjoying a Christmas lunch at The Little Crown.

Wednesday 5th December 2018

Unfortunately, due to inclement weather , the annual cleaning of nest boxes around Garn Lakes and adjacent areas has been postponed.  This task will be rescheduled in the new year.

Monday 26th November 2018

Sterling effort this morning!

Despite the cold weather the volunteers were out cutting back invasive willow on the Garn Lakes reed bed s.


New members are welcome to join any time.

You can download an application form by clicking here and sending the completed form to


Or email if you would like to attend a taster activity with us first.

Blaenavon World Heritage Environment Group

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2018 - BWHEG

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