Gwent Levels

Gwent LevelsGwent Levels

Our vision for the Gwent Levels is a Living Landscape where communities are reconnected to the wonderful natural resource on their doorstep, key species can expand their range and move through a wildlife-rich countryside along networks of linked habitat managed for wildlife and people. The Gwent Levels are recognised as an important landscape for farming, biodiversity and recreation and are vital in helping to address flood risk management and improve water quality.

The Landscape

The Gwent Levels is a unique landscape of fields and drainage ditches, most of which are designated as SSSI. The ditches, known as reens, are home to a vast array of invertebrates and aquatic plants, some of which are very rare. The levels also support otter, water vole and a wide variety of birds, particularly waders and waterfowl. Directly adjacent to the city of Newport, the levels act as a ‘green lung’ for the city, contributing to flood defences and air pollution control, as well as recreation and tourism opportunities. Land management on the levels directly impacts the Severn Estuary, which is internationally important for wildlife.


We have identified a number of priority areas where we shall be focussing our efforts;

  • Identify areas for restoration with maximum connectivity gain, focussed around Magor Marsh, Solutia and Newport Wetlands as ‘biodiversity hubs’
  • Continue to develop relationships with landowners and provide advice and incentives for habitat creation and restoration
  • Targeted species restoration work, for example water vole and shrill carder bee 
  • Stand up for the wildlife on the Gwent Levels through campaigns, advocacy and influencing policy
  • Continue to work with partners and businesses to develop joint working and complementary activities
  • Maximise opportunities to inspire people using our nature reserves
  • Maximise opportunities relating to the Wales Coastal Path – both habitat creation and connecting people with nature
  • Demonstrate the value of the Gwent Levels Living Landscape to people and businesses in and around the area 

Our current work in the area;

  • Our flagship reserve at Magor Marsh lies on the eastern edge of the Gwent Levels.  This was the first reserve aquired by the Trust in 1963, and is the last rememnat of relatively natural wetland on the Gwent Levels.  In 2012 additional land was purchased just east of the reserve, this is Barecroft Common.
  • Two additional reserves are managed for wildlife in the area and are open to all to visit. 
  • We run an exciting and varied education program at Magor Marsh.  Over the last three years the Magor Marsh Centre has hosted over 6000 children on educational visits. The numbers continue to grow.  Click HERE for more information.
  • The shrill carder bee project works with local landowners to encourage better habitat management to help save the rare shrill carder bee.  More information on this project can be found HERE.
  • Our most recent project is the water vole project centred on our Magor Marsh reserve but with outreach work occuring across the Gwent Levels.  More information on this project may be found HERE.