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Entrance to the Kilvey Community Woodland

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The Kilvey Community Woodland is a designated nature reserve on the fringes of the city of Swansea (Abertawe), Wales managed jointly by the Forestry Commission, the local council and a local volunteer group. The three-square kilometre (1.2 mi2) site, about one kilometre (0.62 mi) from Swansea docks by road, occupies the slopes of Kilvey Hill and some of the flatter land to the northwest.[1]

Kilvey Community Woodland is considered to be an urban fringe woodland owing to its close proximity to a built-up area, and is one of the largest of its kind in the Swansea area. Swansea Council describe the area as “a refuge for wildlife in the city”, featuring areas of woodland, heathland, wetland and meadow.[1]

The woodland features a Community Sculpture Trail, featuring eight pieces of art made by volunteers and members of the local community.[2]


The area around the woodland was previously part of Swansea’s industrial heartland, known for its production of tin, copper, zinc and other metals.[3][4] Copper production in particular left the soil contaminated and unsuitable for most of the local trees,[4] and the surrounding area as “barren as the road”,[3] largely empty of plant and wildlife.[4] In 1832 local farmers took John Henry Vivian, master of the copper works, to court over the damage being caused to their livestock by the pollution, but were unsuccessful.[3]

A redevelopment programme initiated in the 1960s included the creation of nature trails and replanting, but support for the project faded. By the 1980s the area had gained a reputation for anti-social behaviour.[2] Fir trees were planted in the woodland owing to their resistance to the toxic chemicals left in the ground, and in more recent years there have been attempts to reintroduce native plant life to the area.[4]



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