Thursday, 24 March 2016

Goats in Bee Bole

The new kid is now 19 days old and finding its feet; quick and agile on steep slopes, but not yet able to cross over fences. For the time being the kid and its mum are separate from the rest of the gang, unable to get over fences, although today there was a second female or aunt in attendance.

This morning’s weather was foul, cold and wet. As I drove up the hill, the kid and its mum were on the drive in front of me, just above the lower hairpin. They stared at my car for a while, but as the intensity of the rain increased, it was time for shelter. They ran up the slope and took refuge in one of the bee boles. The mum ushered in the kid, then squeezed in herself; a tight fit with her horns touching the ceiling.

The bee boles were built for skeps, the baskets in which bees were kept before the invention of the beehive. It’s good to see old buildings put to new uses.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Natur Cymru 58 Spring 2016

Publication date: 18th March 2016

Cover price £4.50, or quarterly by subscription £18 pa (individual) or £32 (group/organisation)

Politics and Environment: views of the Parties
In the run up to the May elections, where do the main parties stand on key environmental issues?

Er clod i'n cloddiau cerrig ● Twn Elias, Dafydd Roberts a John H. Davies
Mae cloddiau yn rhan annatod o dirwedd Cymru ac yn amhrisiadwy i fywyd gwyllt

Travels in lichenology ● Tracey Lovering
The trials and addictive joys of learning a new subject

Native oyster restoration in Wales ● Andy Woolmer
Bringing back the native oyster to Swansea Bay

Enlightened, wildlife-friendly agriculture ● Ian Rappel
Colin Tudge speaks of the Campaign for Real Farming

Skokholm & Skomer 1946  ● David Saunders
After the Second World War naturalists were keen to return to the Pembrokeshire Islands

Pumlumon: a truly Living Landscape ● Liz Lewis-Reddy
Restoring wildlife, sustainable agriculture  and vibrant communities back to the Cambrian Mountains

When to intervene ● Rob Parry
A thought-provoking plea to do more for wildlife before it's too late

Discoveries in science ● Annette Townsend, Caroline Buttler & Cindy Howells
Moulding and casting a fossilised coral

Buglife ● Michelle Bales - Urban Buzz – creating wildlife areas for invertebrates

Green Bookshelf ● David Saunders, Andy Mackie

Dispatches from the hills ● David Elias
Rewilding the Ranges

Islands round up ● Geoff Gibbs
News from the Skerries, and overwintering on the offshore islands of Wales

Nature at large ● Audrey Watson
BASC programme of mink control to protect water voles

Woods and forests ● Rory Francis
How green is my city? The importance of urban trees

Life lines ● Russell De'Ath
Building a resilience: the principles of Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Enquiries: 0300 065 4867

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Films about conservation in Wales

Over the past year I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of interesting people at National Trust properties across Wales to make short films about their conservation work.

At Cwm Idwal we filmed early when the arctic alpines were blooming and later in the summer when everywhere was purple with heather. Amazing geology and incredible what a difference sheep grazing or the lack of it can make. Here is a link to the English and to the Welsh

Cwm Ivy is another magical place down on the Gower where a medieval seawall has been breached and a brand new salt marsh has been created. The transition from pasture to salt marsh was incredibly quick, new species quickly filled the gap. Here is 
a link to the film.

To give people an idea of the sort of work that goes into managing a National Trust woodland we filmed in each season to show the activities at different times of year. This film condenses a year in the life of Rhodri Wigley and the Dolmelynllyn Woodland into 15 minutes. Here is a link to 
the English and to the Welsh

In Ceredigion there are 9 sites which are part of the Save Our Magnificent Meadows project. This particular site was just north of Aberporth and a group of volunteers was being trained to identify plants and thus be able to monitor the progress of the meadows. Here is a link to 
the film

The Cregennan Lakes between Cadair Idris and the Mawddach are the best in Wales, the benchmark against which all other lakes are measured. 
This film incorporates dive footage which shows the plantlife growing at almost twice the depth of other lakes. 

The waxcaps at Llanerchaeron are beautiful and so is the soil analysis and DNA science which helps you detect which species are present without the need to see the fruiting bodies. Here is 
a link to the film

I always look forward to my visits to Pembrokeshire but as I drove down through the storms I thought it was going to be a wasted journey. Fortunately the Gods were on our side and we had 5 hours of filming before the heavens opened again. This is what they are doing on the Castlemartin Peninsula

At Hafod y Llan a second shepherd was appointed to control the sheep which were grazing the wrong parts of the mountain as soon as the first shepherd clocked off at the end of his shift. Here is a link to the English and to the Welsh

The geography of the Migneint is so impressive and vast but it still needs managing. This is what is being done to improve the conditions for species such as the Red Grouse. Here is a link to the film

I also had the opportunity to make some films about the Llyn Peninsula which were not commissioned by the National Trust but included a lot of their input. Here is a link to one of those films.