BIODIVERSITY OF THE WOODLANDS
Biodiversity means the variety of species in a given region or area.
The site as a whole is of great biodiversity value, supporting a mosaic of habitats such as acid grasslands, hay meadows, wet heath mire, swamp
and open water.
The two former reservoirs known as Upper Boat and Lower Boat Ponds and the mire and swamp communities surround them are particularly important. Part of the site also includes Mynydd Llangattock Common which is important for notable species such as snipe and breeding lapwing
BREEDING BIRD SURVEY
Local ornithologist Nicholas Beswick, carried out a detailed survey of breeding birds on both the Beaufort Hill Woodlands and the nearby Parc Nant-y-Waun sites.The survey involved three visits to each site between April and June 2007.
The following birds were recorded in the survey :-
Blackbird, Blackcap, Chaffinch, Collared Dove, Crow, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Lapwing, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Linnet, Magpie , Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting, Robin, Skylark Starling, Wren, Willow Warbler.
Water Fowl :-
Canada Goose, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Goosander, Little Grebe, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan,Tufted Duck.
The Heads of the Valleys area forms one of the last remaining strongholds for lapwing in Wales,and Beaufort Hill has been identified as one of three key sites for lapwing within the Blaenau Gwent area with approximately 9 pairs breeding on the site in 2006, 2 pairs in 2007 and 3 pairs in 2008.
Lapwing is a 'Local Biodiversity Action Plan' species that is declining rapidly, both locally and nationally.
Threats to the lapwing include extensive overgrazing of some grassland and heathland areas by cattle and ponies, inappropriate tree planting in areas of biodiversity value and human activity such as unauthorised mountain biking and scrambling resulting in impact upon ground nesting birds (i.e lapwing & skylark) due to damage to vegetation and soil erosion.