Author: Carys Evans

Looking for dormice on Allt Rhongyr

Dormice are elusive at the best of times, even in places where they are known to live. Our Dormice Volunteers will vouch for that! Our Brecknock team wanted to prove that there was a population on a reserve where they were not previously known to live.

In 2018 a single dormouse nibbled nut was found on Allt Rhongyr. This gave the team hope that there were resident dormice but with little other evidence a survey was needed.  Early in 2019 about 50 dormouse tubes were put out in the lower wooded slopes of the reserve. These tubes are a useful tool to detect whether dormice are present or absent.  They are smaller, lighter and cheaper than the full sized nest box which means that more can be put up, covering a wider area. They were left undisturbed during the summer and autumn.

On a dismal day in October, Brecknock staff set out with five volunteers to collect the tubes and discover whether they had been used by dormice, or anything else.  The rain was falling steadily as the team walked down to the wood so it was decided that the brambles that encroached on a section of path would need to be cleared first. Splitting into two groups the team made their way around the locations where the tubes were placed.  One by one the wires were unwound and the contents inspected, being careful to keep the opening clear in case a wood mouse ran out.  Two contained leaves and one a stash of nuts.  Most contained just woodlice and slugs.  Lovely!

Dormice don’t hoard nuts, preferring to eat on the go. That stash was probably from a wood mouse or yellow-neck mouse.

The nests of dormice are usually constructed with hazel leaves that are picked when green.  These then dry to an olive colour.  The nests are quite tidy and have a definite structure.  Of the two tubes with leaves, one did contain hazel leaves that had an olive tint.  There were even two greener leaves that had been pulled in more recently but it lacked structure.  The other contained a jumbled mess of ash leaflets.  These have been confirmed by our mammal expert as possible dormice nests that have been disturbed, probably by wood mice.

It is intended that we repeat the survey in 2020.

If you would like to get involved, why not become a volunteer? 

More information can be found here

 

Fabulous Fungi in Brecknock

Our Brecknock team and supporters on 13th October embarked on a Fungus Walk at Buckland Hill, near Bwlch, Powys.

An incredible, over 40 species of fungi were found!

The area is predominantly conifer plantation with a few small clear felled areas on the north side. There are also a few large beech trees lining the track as well as pockets of birch and other deciduous trees. On the south side it is open common land with a stand of birch and gorse in the middle. This mixed habitat provides a myriad of opportunities for fungi to grow.

 

The group had barely got out of the car park before they started finding fungi. Chanterelle, Jelly Babies and bright yellow Stagshorn were scattered amongst the trees just above the track. Progressing slowly along the track and dipping into the woods on either side we found the white remains and young ‘eggs’ of Stinkhorns, yellow Sulphur Knights, black Dead Man’s Fingers and delicate, white Porcelain fungus. By a group of Beech trees there were troops of deep purple Amethyst Deceivers and white, strangely shaped Elfin Saddles.  Under another group of Beech we found a few Hedgehog fungi which have spike like structures instead of gills.

Emerging from the woods, on to the common, the short cropped grass along the paths revealed a Slippery Jack (a type of bolete with pores instead of gills) and several parasol mushrooms. This area is grazed by ponies although they weren’t seen on the day.  The group then started to find delicate waxcaps in hues of yellow, orange and red.  The highlight of the day for the group was seeing the Fly Agarics under the stand of Birch trees.  The red caps were bright and glistening after the rain shower.

Many thanks to David G, Alan S and  David E for their efforts in identifying the species as we found them.

More information about how you can join us at our next event can be found here

Saving Priors Meadow – Project Update

Our Saving Priors Meadow project team have been busy continuing the vital work to manage and improve Priors Meadow, Gower.

Paul Thornton, Senior Wildlife Trust Officer responsible for the delivery of the project is delighted to provide an update on the excellent work of his team of staff and volunteers.

It has been busy times since I last wrote about this project for the newsletter. Once we had all the dates agreed for the Great Crested Newt licence we had a good plan for hitting major milestones in the project delivery.

The first element was upgrading the access track, it might not sound like a conservation action but without good access future hay cuts and grazing would be in jeopardy. We employed a local contractor (who had built a very resilient track for us in Gelli Hir in 2017) who brought in 650t of aggregate and the machinery required to build 700m of track.

It’s always a balance between leaving the meadow long enough for most of the flowers to have set seed and benefit pollinators and getting the hay cut while the weathers good. This year we had another reason to leave the crop uncut even if the weather was good, local ecologist Deborah Sazer was designing a monitoring programme especially for our meadow. She then ran a number of “hay meadow monitoring” workshops on Priors Meadow, including one especially for our volunteers and others from the community who are interested in helping us monitor changes in flora across the meadow and now have the skills needed.

The weather appeared to be breaking but we managed to get the hay cut in a brief spell of dry weather early August.

With the hay cut we were into preparing the site for the fencing contractors to do their thing. There were many volunteer days clearing the fence line of vegetation and stripping staples out of posts & rolling up old wire for removal. As we moved from bird nesting season some of the heavier habitat management work could be carried out. An over-stood hedge was coppiced as part of its restoration and woody scrub was cleared from the meadow. Contractors then re-fenced the meadow and cut and collected the bramble and scrub from the, rather too large, headlands in a hope we can restore some of these areas back to species rich grassland.

We are now focussing our attentions on other reserves until December when we plan to plant a mix of young trees into the coppiced hedgerow and continue the hedge-laying we began last winter. In January we will have the exciting addition of two new ponds to the meadow.

Keep an eye on our e-newsletters for further updates.

You can read more about Priors Wood here, or contact Paul on p.thornton@welshwildlife.org

Arson Attack Destroys Bird Hide at Welsh Wildlife Centre!

We are devastated to announce that our popular Kingfisher hide, located on the Wetlands Trail of the Welsh Wildlife Centre and Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve was burnt to the ground at approx. 9pm on Tuesday (24th September) evening in what looks like yet another malicious arson attack.

Gina Gavigan, Marketing and Development Manager for The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales said:

“As a wildlife conservation charity money is a very limited resource for us. When deliberate acts of arson are carried out on reserve buildings, both time and money that could be spent on crucial conservation work to protect endangered species and protect important habitats often has to be spent on replacing these.  It really is soul destroying for The Wildlife Trust team, volunteers and visitors. We believe that it would cost in the region of £20,000 to replace Kingfisher hide with something of a similar size but with a fire resistant structure. What happened at the Kingfisher hide really does threaten the future of the reserve, both as an important wildlife haven and as a place for people to enjoy engaging with our Welsh wildlife.”

The Wildlife Trust believes that it is vital for everyone to experience our amazing wildlife and explore our wild places, even the people who have destroyed the Kingfisher hide. The team at the Welsh Wildlife Centre would like to meet the people responsible for the recent attack to show them the effect this has on the local community, visitors and the charity. If we can inspire the people responsible to experience the incredible wildlife on the reserve then we are sure that they would love it too and hopefully act in a protective and respectful manner.

“We are working with our insurers to assess the damage and hopefully implement fire preventive action to avoid this happening again.”

We are appealing to the local community in Cilgerran and Cardigan to help us by being our eyes and ears as the police conduct their investigation.

Anyone with information relating to this incident is asked to contact Dyfed Powys Police on 101 quoting reference DP 2019925085

In response to this devastating event, we have set up an emergency appeal to support the replacement of the hide and to review security options.

You can support our appeal by visiting here

 

 

Have you booked your Christmas party?

Christmas Table

Now you may be thinking that it’s a touch to early to be thinking about Christmas already!

But we’ve got an ongoing event that you’re not going to want to miss out on…

From Saturday 24th November & Thursday 19th December  we’re offering Christmas lunches at the Welsh Wildlife Centre!

Join us in our award winning Glasshouse Cafe with great views out over the Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve.

Booking is essential. All the food is prepared fresh in our own kitchen and menu choices are required two weeks in advance. We can cater for party sizes up to 50 and the cafe is fully licensed. We stock a range of wines, bottled beers and ciders.

We’re happy to discuss any special requirements you may have and we’ll try our best to tailor the menu to meet your party needs. Many of our dishes are naturally gluten-free, but please enquire at the time of booking about any dietry needs.

The Menu

Starters

Chicken breast & chorizo terrine with spiced plum chutney & fresh leaves.

Carrot, walnut & toasted sunflower seed nuggets with a sweet chilli dip (vegan)

Salmon & prawn salad Nicoise

Main Courses

Traditional Pembrokeshire roast turkey with all the trimmings.

Roasted aubergine filled with Middle Eastern spiced vegetables served with a butternut squash & red pepper veloute (vegan)

Slow cooked Welsh beef daube in a classic Bourguignon sauce

Roasted pheasant breast served with the confit of its leg & a wild mushroom sauce

All served with the Chef’s selection of seasonal vegetables & roast potatoes.

Desserts

Traditional homemade Christmas pudding with brandy sauce (can be vegan, please ask at time of booking)

Mango & passion fruit delice

Chocolate & mint cheesecake

A copy of the menu in Welsh is available here: Bwydlen Nadolig 2019 – Cymraeg

For more information, click here

Booking

To book your Christmas party please call 01239 621 600 or e-mail m.hodgson@welshwildlife.org

Top Tips for a Plastic Free Halloween

Halloween is often a great time for spooky family fun, but unfortunately it is often full of plastic.

If Halloween costumes and masks to copious amounts of plastic wrapped treats is enough to scare you, check out our top tips for a plastic free Halloween!

Bring costumes back from the dead
It can be great fun dressing up as your favourite spooky character, but a recent survey found that Halloween costumes are often made up of 90% plastic. An incredible 7 million Halloween costumes are thrown away each year in the UK.
Why not get crafty and make your own costume from old clothes? This reduces fast fashion and waste as well as giving you and the family the perfect opportunity to get together for some crafty fun! Alternatively, why not encourage costume swaps with friends and family?

Paint on a Scary Face
If you are looking for a waste free costume, face paint is the perfect option!
Choose a natural, non-toxic face paint which washes off at the end of the night. Transform into a ghastly ghost or a skeleton without the plastic waste.

Don’t waste your pumpkin
Carving a pumpkin is a family friendly activity which screams Halloween. But what do you do with the left overs? Sadly, a horrifying 8 million pumpkins will be thrown out after Halloween in the UK alone. How about using the left overs to make a pumpkin pie or soup? Alternatively, roasted pumpkin seeds make a quick and easy snack!

The trick to ‘Trick or Treating’
Instead of going from house to house collecting sweets in a plastic tub, why not use a canvas tote bag hand decorated in a spooky design? This is a family fun activity which will last for many years to come!

Home Baked Treats

Instead of giving out individual plastic wrapped sweets, why not bake your own spooky cookies? Children will love decorating spiders and ghosts with their friends.

Throw a fang-tastic party
You can throw a frightfully good party, without harming the planet by reducing your waste using these easy tips!

  • Send e-invites
  • Get creative and make decorations that are recyclable, like paper ghosts, bats and garlands!
  • Make Autumn leaf lanterns using old jam jars and leaves found in the garden
  • Plastic straws, plates, cups and cutlery are some of the biggest contributors to plastic ocean pollution. Save our seas by using reusable crockery and cutlery.
  • Play plastic free games, like bobbing for apples – this plastic free activity is as easy as it sounds and offers fun for all the family!

Our Wilder Future – what does it mean and how can we get there?

A blog by Sarah Kessell, CEO of The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales

Finally, the issue of climate breakdown has reached the mainstream press.

‘Phew, what a scorcher of a summer!’ headlines finally being replaced with alarm about melting ice caps, and disastrous fires in the Amazon rainforest.  Stories about species collapse (other than relating to bees) don’t grab as many headlines (or show up as many internet search results), but these two issues are absolutely interwoven, and have a dramatic impact on our planet and us:

“The overwhelming evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an ominous picture,” said IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”

A prime example is the current Amazon rainforest fires.  More fires are being lit by farmers and developers wanting to clear swathes of the rainforest , especially in Brazil, and those fires spread more easily in this hotter, drier climate.   In the last 50 years about a fifth of Brazil’s rainforest has been destroyed by humans.   The rate of destruction is speeding up, releasing more carbon, and if the same area is lost again, it could trigger the feedback loop knows as dieback, where the forest dries out and the ecosystem starts to collapse.   The Amazon rainforest plays a crucial role not only in the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen, but also in global water cycles and weather patterns.  It is also home to 1 in 10 species on Earth and many indigenous communities.  The destruction of the rainforest impacts the climate, our Planet’s wildlife and our lives.

Solutions to combat climate breakdown generally complement solutions for species and habitat loss.  Tackling  both issues simultaneously should be achievable.  However, the reductionist approach often used in the media to simplify messages, combined with attention-grabbing headlines don’t help, especially in a world where people have limited free time and short attention spans.  Groups and individuals with very specific and focussed agendas or who simply have very confident opinions are also proposing seemingly simple solutions based on incomplete knowledge of all the facts.  In reality, the situation is extremely complex and requires deeper consideration and thought from those of us who care enough to want to change the status quo.

An example is the recent call for billions of trees to be planted.  There is no doubt about the importance of trees in sequestering carbon and the call to action is simple and therefore popular, but unmanaged tree planting could cause as many problems as it solves.  Natural tree regeneration is more effective than planting new trees, which usually have to be protected (often by plastic tubes), watered and cared for until well established.  The imports of tree seeds and whips needs better control – we are losing much of our Ash in Wales now because of an imported disease.  Where we plant trees is critical – I have known trees to be planted on chalk grassland which is a rare and precious habitat in its own right.  Also important is the type of tree – in general, conifer woodland has limited benefit for wildlife when planted outside its natural range, whereas native, broadleaved woodland is beneficial to a wide range of species.

Equally complex is the consideration of diet.  Not everyone will be willing to embrace a vegan diet but a reduction in meat consumption amongst omnivores will still have a beneficial impact on the planet and our health, since most meat eaters consume far more protein than they need.  Cattle have been the focus of recent attention because of methane emissions, but they are very useful management tools for wildflower-rich grasslands and meadows.  Instead of cropping the grass close to the ground as in the case of sheep and particularly horses, cattle wrap their tongues around the plants and rip them up, creating a more varied sward.  Their heavy hooves create patches of bare soil and at the right density, cattle grazing can achieve a diverse mix of micro-habitats to benefit a huge range of species.  Research suggests that cattle brought up on herb-rich swards also produce healthier meat:

“The available evidence suggests that beneficial long-chain fatty acids are present in higher quantities in meat and milk from animals grazed on species-rich grasslands.”

The issue of fish is particularly complex because climate breakdown and overfishing have caused populations of so many fish to fall to unsustainable levels, affecting seabirds, marine mammals and other wildlife in the marine food web.   When combined with growing concerns about the presence of micro-plastics in the marine environment, those who eat fish should really only do so for special occasions and not as a regular component of their diet.

All consumers need to think about the sustainability and sources of our food.  For example, almond milk is a popular alternative to dairy milk, but almonds need a lot of water, fertilisers and pesticides to grow.   The demand for avocados has grown exponentially in the last few years, but these are imported and so the associated food miles and therefore carbon footprint is high.  We could all make a positive impact by trying to eat seasonal produce and sourcing more of our food locally.  In England, a few farmers have started to respond to growing  consumer demand for pulses and grains as meat consumption declines, and hopefully more farmers will follow the example of these pioneers.  Of course, there are other ways to reduce the impact of your diet on the environment, including reducing food waste, avoiding unnecessary packaging, favouring natural rather than processed food and avoiding palm oil and harmful chemicals.

It is hard for us as consumers to find and balance all the necessary information in order to make sustainable life choices.   In some cases simple messages have produced perverse results.  For example, a growing  interest in gardening (good for wildlife)  has driven up consumption of peat-based composts and gardening experts and advisors are often more interested in the beneficial properties of the peat for garden plants than they are in the devastating impacts of peat extraction.  Peatlands are particularly precious in the UK for carbon storage.

There is growing despair and anxiety about the state of our Planet now. 

Perhaps I am overly optimistic, but I see promising signs of change and hope that we are close to a tipping point.  For example;

  • It is getting easier to avoid plastic and packaging because businesses are responding to a growth in demand.
  • The Welsh Government rejected the M4 bypass, citing environmental concerns.
  • The UK Government is investing heavily in low carbon vehicle technologies
  • The surge in youth-led initiatives and action
  • Many Councils are declaring climate emergencies.
  • Many wealthy and powerful organisations are divesting from fossil fuels.
  • Key funders such as the Heritage Lottery Fund are demanding green infrastructure on new buildings as standard, not as an add-on
  • Some businesses such as Iceland Foods are leading by example in the avoidance of palm oil and the reduction in plastics and packaging.
  • YouGov recent polls show that environmental concerns are rising up the agenda, particularly for the younger generations, and politicians listen to voters

As individuals, we all have power.  Businesses respond to customers because they want us to buy their goods, which is why there is a growth in sustainable products.  Politicians listen to voters, because they need your vote in order to stay in power.   We need to hold those in power to account and as individuals we need to speak out.  There are others who want to maintain the status quo because of the potential impact on their own wealth or lifestyle and we must not let those voices drown out ours.  We also need to be discerning because there are those in power, or in business who merely want to green-wash their current activities in order to drive up demand while keeping costs low and avoiding the difficulties of change management.  Terms such as ‘biodiversity offsetting’, ‘carbon offsetting’ or ‘biodiversity net gain’ ring alarm bells with me because it suggests that nature is being used as a bargaining chip.

Not everyone will act.  Some don’t feel connected to these problems, perhaps some are too tied to the trappings of material consumption and wealth and many simply don’t feel empowered to act.  Nevertheless, societal change can be triggered by those who do care, and can act.   It doesn’t need action by everyone in order to reach a tipping point, but thereafter, choices open up and the ‘new’ and ‘different’ become the norm.  Single-use plastic bags are a good example – campaigns from a relatively small section of society bringing about positive change for the environment.  Many in society are disenfranchised, with limited choices created by very low incomes.  So the onus is on those of us who do have the ability to make a difference and to drive that change so that the benefits spread throughout all levels of society.

What can each of us do?

Exercise our personal choice as consumers:

  • Diet choices – minimising food waste,  eating less meat, fish and  dairy produce, thinking about how our food is produced and where it comes from and sourcing more local, seasonal, organic or home-grown food.
  • General shopping  –shop less by making do, mending and sharing.  Avoid  unnecessary packaging, avoid plastics, take 10 minutes out to drink a coffee in an independent café instead of drinking on the move.
  • Gardening – avoid all peat-based compost.  Use local, native flowers to benefit our insects, make space for wildlife in your garden and share plant cuttings with neighbours and friends.
  • Make your views known to businesses and politicians who need your support to stay in business/ stay in power.
  • Read widely and research the issues that matter to you.  Don’t be enticed by pithy headlines.

Support your local Wildlife Trust

We rely on voluntary and earned income to fund our core work, so by becoming a member, donating, leaving a gift in your will or eating in our cafes (Parc Slip or Welsh Wildlife Centre), you help us to:

Take positive, practical action:

  • Fight the ecological crisis by restoring habitats and species on our own land and in partnership with others – habitat restoration is also a key way to sequester and lock up carbon.
  • Work to reintroduce lost, keystone species such as Beaver, which restore habitats that are essential in managing floodwater, improving ecological diversity and improving water quality.
  • Work with volunteers, students and academic institutions to build our own body of evidence through research and monitoring.
  • Advise on Codes of Conduct eg for watching wildlife – and set examples.
  • Raise awareness of problems and solutions via our own communication channels, in the press and with those in authority and with the general public through events and activities.
  • Help people of all ages to connect with nature and foster the desire to care for and protect wildlife.

Work with government and decision-makers:

  • Support the progressive legislation we have in Wales; the Environment Act and the Wellbeing and Future Generations Act, to work with the Welsh Government to ensure the ethos of these Acts are delivered and to hold those in power to account when they fail to take adequate action.
  • Advise on changes in farming subsidies to incentivise wildlife-friendly farming .
  • Advise ministers, ministerial advisors and senior civil servants on action needed to restore wildlife.
  • Respond to government consultations to ensure the needs of wildlife are taken into account, eg  push for the recognition of the needs of seabirds and cetaceans when setting fishing quotas.
  • Take part in advisory panels, round-table discussions, provide oral and written evidence for enquiries and publish our own research.
  • Talk about new economic models that are more sustainable and not based on continuous growth.

Stand up for wildlife:

  • Fight developments that damage wildlife, and break through the ‘greenwash’ that some developers have used to try to generate support for damaging developments.
  • Highlight the harm to wildlife caused by popular but thoughtless activities such as the release of helium balloons.
    Lobby for green infrastructure as standard.

To advocate and campaign for:

  • A ban on peat-based compost (and provide examples of wildlife gardening that is also sustainable).
  • Tougher control on pollution, such as slurry spills.
  • More controlled, regulated use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides and a ban on neonicotinoids.
  • Better protection for species and important habitats, especially post-Brexit.
  • Badger vaccination instead of culls (and taking part in vaccination programmes)
  • More government funding for restoring wildlife and tackling climate breakdown

… and we wish we could do more.

 

 

Will you make a pledge for nature?

Join our #WilderFuture campaign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween is coming to Parc Slip!

Parc Slip is about to get spooky for Halloween! 

Drop in anytime between 11am-3pm from 26th October to 1st November for a spooktacular pumpkin quiz trail around the reserve!

There will be a frightfully brilliant prize for each completed trail!

You can find more information here

For more information, contact Tom by email or call 01656 726987.

If you want to go further afield, between Tuesday 29th – Thursday 31 October we are partnering with the Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff to host free lantern making workshops between 12-4pm using leaves and recycled jam jars. Little ones can also learn all about leaf identification and decorate their lanterns with spooky bat silhouettes.

More info here

Whatever you do this Halloween, make it plastic free! Take a look at our top tips to a plastic free Halloween.

3401 pieces of rubbish collected on Gower beach!

The aspect of the beach and rocky shore at Overton Mere means it accumulates a vast amount of marine debris in a short period of time.

Beach cleaning here is an ongoing, almost continual operation with effort from locals, visitors and Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) staff and volunteers. The local team try to organise three or four big clean ups each year.

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales’ Living Seas Wales project is ongoing but the beach clean on the 1st October was coordinated to coincide with the Marine Clean Cymru campaign being run by Keep Wales Tidy and happened to take place shortly after some of the highest tides of the year which deposited material far higher up the beach than usual.

A local team of 8 staff from Dwr Cymru volunteered their time along with the usual WTSWW volunteers and staff.

A big thanks to all, they brought an unprecedented level of enthusiasm to the clean up.

In 2 ½ hours 3401 individual pieces of debris were collected including 2063 pieces of plastic large and small, 918 pieces of polystyrene or foam and over 100 straws from cotton buds.

Marine Clean Cymru is a beach clean campaign being run by Keep Wales Tidy during the four weeks between 20th Sept & 20th October, they are coordinating events all along our coast and we are supporting them on another beach clean at Overton Mere on Sunday 19th October.

The next big beach clean at Overton Mere is planned for Thursday 12th December, join us!

Contact Paul Thornton for more information

Highs and Lows of Marsh Fritillary Larval Web Counts

Marsh Fritillary - Amy Lewis

It was a dismal drizzly morning when Pauline met volunteers as well as representatives from Butterfly Conservation and Buglife at Cae Lynden to look for the caterpillars (larvae) of the Marsh Fritillary butterflies.
The caterpillars make it easier for us to spot them by spinning a web between the leaves and stalks of Devil’s-Bit Scabious, their food plant.

A web count is completed each year and gives us a better picture of the breeding success of Marsh Fritillary year on year. The counts of adults on the wing in May only reflect the success of the previous year’s breeding and survival through the winter.

Like all species there are years when they do well and others when numbers are low. These peaks and troughs can reflect a number of factors. Condition of the site, weather and parasites all play their part. Last year record numbers of the larval webs were counted on Cae Lynden, 65 webs were spotted.
The team spread out on one side of the path and walked forward, heads down, peering through the Molinia grass to find the base of the Devil’s-Bit Scabious. Eventually a shout ‘FOUND ONE!’ was heard. It was relatively small web and quite soggy but the caterpillars could clearly be seen and were moving around.

Apart from the odd shower the weather stayed dry as the team moved up and down the field, trying not to miss an area. In total 9 webs were found. A disappointing number but Russel Hobson from Butterfly Conservation explained that a number of parasites had been spotted last year so may be the high number of webs last year meant that a high number of parasites were about now. The larvae of the parasitic wasps and flies feed inside those of Marsh Fritillaries! Also it wasn’t ideal weather for them to be out feeding. They do like a bit of sun and warmth….don’t we all!

The team moved on to Ystradfawr. In spite of better weather and a good show of Devil’s-Bit Scabious in the field at Weavers Road no larval webs were found. However when we moved to Nant Gylais (Area 8 for those familiar with the site) 16 were found dotted throughout the field. This is the highest number ever found on this site.

It was a good note to finish on, and the sun was shining!

Well Pharmacy – Caring for Communities and Nature 

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales have very gratefully received an incredible donation of £2,966.45 from Well Pharmacy.

Well have been offering pharmacy services for over 70 years to communities across the UK. Not only do Well care for the health of our communities, they are also committed to making a difference to the environment in the UK, for everyone. In 2018 alone, Well raised an incredible £17,678 for conservation and environment charities.

Through their carrier bag levy, Well have raised almost £3,000 for The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales between July and December 2018, with £1,119.86 also going to the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Kevin Ferneyhough, Corporate Communications Lead at Well Pharmacy said:

Our teams at Well are delighted to be able to help great causes such as the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales. We’re a community pharmacy and it’s our teams who decide which causes the carrier bag levy goes to – reflecting what matters to the people in the communities we serve. We understand how being able to get out in our wonderful natural environment can benefit people’s health and wellbeing, so supporting causes that can help with personal wellness is a great fit for us. We hope that this money will help you in your mission to stand up for wildlife and the environment.

Sarah Kessell, CEO of The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales said:

We are so grateful to Well Pharmacy and its customers for this generous donation. It will make a huge difference to our work, and will enable us to continue working to protect our wild places and wildlife in Wales.

For information on how you can support us, visit here