Friends of Cardiff Reservoir Volunteers on Patrol at Llanishen

Action group’s legacy lives on through plans to help needy families enjoy Llanishen Reservoir

Left over money from the Reservoir Action Group’s 22-year long campaign could allow free access to Llanishen reservoir and its activities for struggling families.

Friends of Cardiff Reservoir Volunteers on Patrol at Llanishen Reservoir helping Welsh Water rangers point new visitors in right direction (Credit: Peter Fullerton)

FAMILIES from disadvantaged backgrounds are set to have improved access to Llanishen reservoir thanks to a windfall from the Reservoir Action Group, which is disbanding.

The Friends of Cardiff Reservoirs is due to receive “a substantial donation” from leftover RAG funds.

The group will use the money over “several years” to give some families the opportunity to try out water sports they have on offer, including paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing, said Friends chair Peter Fullerton.

These activities usually cost between £25 and £40 per person but with the donation, they hope to make some sessions free.

Water sports on Llanishen Reservoir (Credit: Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoir Website)

Other plans include hosting educational events for children informing them about the wildlife around the reservoir.

The Friends of Cardiff Reservoirs was established in 2021 as a successor to RAG and has about 250 members.

Their work includes providing talks on the wildlife that lives on the reservoir’s embankments, woodland management and patrolling the reservoir.

Friends of Cardiff Reservoirs Volunteers planting bird islands at Llanishen Reservoir (Credit: Peter Fullerton)

Membership fees are typically used to provide volunteers with equipment such as hi-vis tops, gloves, and rakes.

The donation from RAG will allow them to expand their work to communities outside Llanishen so that more Cardiff people can enjoy the new facility.

The Action Group decided to disband in late October of this year after the reservoir reopened to the public in July.

Over the last 22 years, the RAG managed to prevent an American owned company, Western Power Distribution, from completing plans created in 2001 to destroy the reservoir and build houses in its place.

Upon the group’s closure, outgoing RAG chair Richard Cowie said, “Our job is done, we have saved the Reservoir!”.

Mr Cowie also revealed that the organisation has also given leftover money to Cardiff Conservation volunteers, and Friends of Nant Fawr. He described Friends of Nant Fawr as “a local community group who look after the meadows and the woods that are adjacent to the reservoir”.

All three groups chosen by RAG are involved with protecting and celebrating the natural beauty of the reservoir and its surrounding areas.