Maesteg Wetlands  

maesteg wetland whole site

Year 1


Year 2

A landcape arts commisison through Sustrans Cymru. The brief was to craete a low lying artwork that encompassesd ideas of sustaianability and regeneration onsite whilst creating spaces for habitat generation for both wildlife and people. This resulted in the creation of a wetland on part of the former Maesteg Washery, aheavily polluted site where coal was cleaned and sorted for over 100 years.

Today the wetland covers part of a triangular site of approximately 1 hectare. It incorporates a series of 11 connected ponds. Each pond is at a slightly different level to the others, allowing the system to manage large amounts of water during flash rainfall periods and also providing marginal habitats for amphibians and invertebrates. The site is adjacent to a comprehensive school.

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monoliths     walking on water
  tree grid   girl and dog  

The Maesteg wetlands projects involved the creation of over 2,000 square meters of ponds, scrapes and ditches alongside the planting of approximately 2,000 native trees and shrubs and wildflowers on a further acre of land. The ponds and scrapes have been designed to accommodate a huge variation of habitats and the maximum area of drawdown zones, allowing for colonisation and habitat adaption by the largest number of species possible.

In addition habitat protection has been built into the design, shielding the pond zones from both human and domestic animal interference. This has been created by the use of aggressive barrier planting, sculptural monoliths and stock fencing. The use of a raised walkway and observation mound has allowed for increased recreational use on site whilst maintaining a buffer zone against human interference with the evolving habitat. This has also allowed for a network of ditches which will hold water for a variety of durations to be created

None of the ponds has been planted with aquatic or marginal species in order that natural colonisation will occur on the site. Areas surrounding the site have been successfully colonised by a variety of wetland species which hold a diverse local seed bank. The ponds were designed with the guidance notes and advice from the Pond Conservation Trust.


  Limestone Dressed Pathway and mound leading to the ponds constructed from pond spoil.  
  Ponds with boundary of 60 Blue Pennant slabs up to 3tons and 3m in height  
  large ponds  
  Ponds at Sunset just after excavation  
. 100 tons of agricultural lime was dug into the spoil to neutaralise the acidic overburden  
  lifting stones  
  Ant the digger driver give the finger as I ease a monolith into place with the mini digger  
  kids and trees  
  Muddy kids plant 2000 trees with me....  
  birch in leaf  
  Birch in leaf after 1 year  
  Cresent pond  
  Pond and path edges greening up  
  Tadpoles move in  
  Mound and phone  
  The mound is used as a ritual phone stop  
  New trees  
  Trees taking well after one year