Author: Rebecca Vincent

Skomer Island Migrants November

Thirteen White-fronted Geese flew over on the 2nd. Numbers of other wildfowl remained low with peak counts of 17 teal (12th and 23rd), twelve Mallard (23rd), four Shoveler (1st) and 25 Common Scoter (8th). Great Northern Divers were recorded on four dates with two on the 3rd. Manx Shearwaters were heard at night over the island right up to the Wardens departure on the 24th. A Little Egret flew over on the 6th. A Little Grebe was present for a single day on the 19th.

Up to two Hen Harriers were present throughout. A Sparrowhawk was recorded on the 8th. Up to three Kestrels and two Merlins were present throughout.

Up to twelve Water Rails were present. Maximum counts of waders include 29 Oystercatchers (14th), 60 Lapwing (23rd), 32 Curlew (4th), 18 Turnstone (23rd), Single Purple Sandpipers (12th and 23rd) and one Redshank in North Haven (14th). The first Woodcock (predated) turned up on the 6th and there were up to two recorded thereafter until the 19th. Up to twelve Snipe were recorded (15th).

Gull numbers peaked at 94 Kittiwakes (23rd), 318 Black-headed Gull (15th), 21 Mediterranean Gulls (3rd), 25 Common Gull (3rd), 15 Lesser Black-backed Gull (12th), 200 Herring Gull (12th) and 79 Great Black-backed Gulls (3rd). At least 2,000 Wood Pigeons passed over on the 6th. A Barn Owl was recorded on four dates and a Little Owl on three dates. Eleven Short-eared Owls were recorded on the 15th and there were ten on the 19th. Great Spotted Woodpeckers were recorded on six dates. A maximum of 17 Chough were recorded (12th).

There were three Goldcrest on the 2nd and 3rd and two Firecrest on the 3rd. Chiffchaffs were recorded throughout with a maximum of five on the 1st. Two Siberian Chiffchaffs were present on the 17th and singles were recorded on the 18th and 19th. There was a Yellow-browed Warbler on the14th and 15th. The last Blackcaps were recorded on the 1st (one) and 3rd (two).

Peak tit counts include four Blue Tit (21st), two Great Tit (3rd) and 38 Long-tailed Tit (2nd).

Skylark passage peaked at 97 on the 15th. Starlings peaked at 4,100 on the 15th. Thrush numbers peaked at 42 Blackbird (2nd), twelve Fieldfare (2nd), 49 Song Thrush (13th), 27 Redwing (2nd) and four Mistle Thrush (3rd). Also on the 2nd, there were 44 Robin, 16 Stonechat and a Siberian Stonechat.

Single Grey Wagtails were recorded on the 1st and 13th. Rock Pipit numbers peaked at 64 on the 23rd.

Finch counts include: 15 Brambling (2nd), 216 Chaffinch (3rd), three Bullfinch (3rd), three Greenfinch (15th), 22 Linnet (13th), single Lesser Redpoll (2nd and 4th), two flyover redpolls (2nd), 20 Goldfinch (2nd) and eight Siskin (14th). There was a Snow Bunting on the 3rd, a Lapland Bunting on the 6th and a maximum of seven Reed Buntings.

Vine House Farm Images

Kingfisher on a snowy branch

Nicholas Watts MBE, the owner of conservation award-winning Vine House Farm in the Lincolnshire Fens, is making his entire wildlife photography library freely available online with all images totally royalty-free. The collection, which totals over 10,000 images, will be released in batches with the first release having already taken place ahead of Christmas. Then throughout 2018 the rest of the collection will be published, with a release scheduled for every month.

The majority of the collection is of birds, with many of the shots taken at Vine House Farm where Nicholas has worked tirelessly for many decades to reverse the trend of farmland bird decline. This work has involved a very wide range of measures, which include hedgerow planting, the creation of numerous ponds, wildflower meadows, sympathetic management of drainage dykes, generous field margins to allow seed-rich weeds to grow, and old farm buildings restored for barn owls to nest in. And despite all of this work and the running of the 2000 plus acre farm and involvement in the bird food business, Nicholas has still been able to pursue a passion for photographing the birds and other wildlife on his farm and beyond.

Nicholas takes up the story and also explains the reason he decided to share his vast library of photographs: “I’ve always taken a very hands-on approach to running my farm and aiming to make a positive difference to the wildlife that we share the land with. This means that much of my time is out in the fields rather than in an office, so taking a camera with me has always seemed the obvious thing to do.  The main reason I wanted my collection of photographs to be freely available to anyone, is that it’s a further practical way I can raise awareness of the importance of farming with wildlife and the environment in mind, plus more specifically the need for action to reverse the trend of declining songbird numbers.  I also hope my work will inspire more people – especially the younger generation – to take up nature photography.”

The first batch of images from Nicholas’ photo collection is available now from The Vine House Farm website.

The Wildlife Trust’s Top 10 Wildlife Experiences

Painted Lady butterfly st fagans event

Are you potty about Puffins? Do you know your Red Squirrel from your Grey Squirrel? Ever seen a murmuration at the Welsh Wildlife Centre?  To celebrate the New Year and Visit Wales’ 2019 year of discovery, The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales have listed our top 10 wildlife experiences for you to discover this year.

1. A Wild Night

Book an over-night stay on Skomer and/or Skokholm Island for an unforgettable experience. Witness half of the world’s population of Manx Shearwaters as they swoop into their burrows under the cover of darkness, avoiding predators. August and September is prime seal pupping season on Skomer and their haunting calls can be heard around the island. Seals can be seen all around Pembrokeshire’s rocky and twisted coastline. But only on Skomer Island will you hear them sing. Their melancholic siren songs travel far and wide. Up to two hundred seals gather to moult at North Haven, entertaining visitors with their squabbles during the day, and haunting their night time walks.

2. Tree Top Hide

Take a deep breath and scale the heights of the beautiful ancient green Oak tree that guards The Welsh Wildlife Centre.  Relive your childhood, and venture into the canopy to discover the elusive purple hairstreak butterfly. With multiple hides, explorer backpack hire and amazing events help at the centre there’s plenty for everyone to do. There are a number of wild trails around the reserve and a lovely cafe and shop inside the centre where you can unwind after a day of wildness.

3. Reptile Ramble

Over the summer months, join Wildlife Trust staff at Parc Slip Nature Reserve in Bridgend on a reptile ramble through the wildflower meadows. Experience the wonderful sight of a Grass snake or a Common lizard in its natural habitat.

Join us for the survey of the reptiles and amphibians where we will be going out to survey the reptile refugia and other likely reptile habitats. You will be able to enter study areas of the reserve that are usually closed to the public. Everyone is welcome and no prior knowledge is needed- just an interest in wildlife! As we hope to get up close to these amazing animals in their natural habitat, a camera is recommended. Keep an eye on our events page for reptile ramble events near you.

4. Flutter away

In the mid-summer sun the paths at Parc Slip and Teifi Marshes are alive with colour and the air is full of beautiful butterflies, buzzing bees, hawking dragonflies and fairylike damselflies. Wander along the paths through the wildflowers and see if you can spot the tiny Small blue on the Kidney vetch, or the impressive Brimstone, with its leaf-like appearance.

5. Age, Weight and Height Please!

In August, accompany the Wardens on Skokholm Island as they measure and weigh the rarely seen (and incredibly cute) Storm Petrel and Manx Shearwater chicks. Learn about their amazing instinct, predators and incredible journey once they leave the safety of the burrow.

Lying in the Celtic Sea two miles off the south west Pembrokeshire coast, Skokholm has its own charm and sense of remoteness with tall, sandstone cliffs and a wild landscape.

6. The Cardigan Bay Big 3!

Get up close to the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre’s Big 3; Harbour Porpoise, Bottlenose Dolphins and Atlantic Grey Seals, for an adventure you’ll never forget. Go on a journey with Dolphin Survey Boat Trips to see the amazing Welsh coastline and wonderful wildlife in action.  Witness Dolphins, Porpoises and Seals in their natural environment. Contribute towards our vital conservation work or just sit back and soak it all in.

7. Murmurations

In late autumn, starlings flock together in massive numbers and can be seen swooping and swirling in their thousands before going down to roost in the reed bed at the Teifi Marshes. It is a sight not to be missed!

8. Red Squirrels

Until the early 1960s, the red squirrel was a common sight across the country; an integral part of the Welsh landscape. Sadly, since the grey squirrel colonised these lands, a misconceived introduction of the Victorian era, red squirrels have largely vanished from Wales. We now have only a little over a thousand red squirrels hanging on in Wales, in Anglesey, in the north east of the country, and here in mid Wales.

The red squirrels in mid Wales are one of only three significant populations in the whole of Wales.  Genetic research seems to support the theory that the mid Wales red squirrel population is the remnant of a greater Welsh population.

So why not take a walk around the area centred round Llyn Brianne reservoir, bordered by Pontrhydfendigaid, Tregaron, Lampeter, Llandovery and Llanwrtyd Wells which was approved as our focal sight for conservation, and if you see any Red Squirrels report your sightings through the MWRSP website or directly to Becky on 07972 201202.

9. Waterfall Wonders

Melincwrt Waterfall is nestled amongst a mature upland Oak woodland which ascends steeply from the narrow gorge of the Melincourt Brook. Sessile Oak is interspersed with gnarled Silver Birch, Small-leaved Lime, Wild Cherry, Rowan and Crab Apple, whilst Alder dominates the stream bank.

The woodland floor is carpeted with Bluebell, with Enchanter’s Nightshade taking over later in the year. Alternate-leaved Golden Saxifrage and Tutsan are confined to the wet flushes.

The spectacular eighty feet high waterfall on a tributary of the Neath River was sketched by Turner in 1794.

Due to the local humid atmosphere in this narrow valley, twenty species of ferns have been recorded from the reserve including Green Spleenwort, Brittle Bladder-fern, Hay-scented Buckler-fern, and Wilson’s Filmy Fern, and bryophytes are well represented.

The breeding bird assemblage, typical of this habitat, includes Redstart, Wood Warbler, and Pied Flycatcher, with Dipper and Grey Wagtail regularly seen along the stream at all times of the year.

It is a beautiful place for a wild walk any time of year!

10. Dippers in Taf Fechan

The Taf Fechan Nature Reserve comprises about 2.5 km of river with steep valley sides of Carboniferous limestone. The river has eroded the limestone into a narrow gorge in the centre of the site. A mosaic of deciduous woodland on the slopes with a canopy of Beech, Birch and Ash, gives way to Alder and Grey Willow closer to the river, together with Hawthorn scrub, calcareous grassland, heathland, wet flushes, and tufa formations. The valley is one of the best recorded sites for bryophytes in Glamorgan.

The area of grazed grassland to the south on the east bank of the river is particularly rich in flowers such as Wild Thyme, Common Spotted Orchid, Rough Hawkbit and Mouse-ear Hawkweed. On the western bank, the limestone is overlain by acidic soils where heathland and Birch woodland is developing, and Bracken, Heather and Small Scabious occur.

The woodland attracts a variety of birds such as Tawny Owl, Buzzard, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Nuthatch, and Treecreeper, while Dipper and Grey Wagtail are frequently seen, and breed, on the river Taff Fechan. Dippers can be seen swooping through the gorge along the river. Keep your eyes peeled for flashes of their white chests.


Share your experiences with us on social media so we can see what wild things you get up to in 2019!

Skomer’s Migrant Sightings for Nov 2017

two Oystercatchers foraging on Skomer

During November on Skomer Island, a variety of migrant birds were seen and recorded by the island wardens before they left for the winter. Have a look below to see what passed over the island…

Thirteen White-fronted Geese flew over on the 2nd. Numbers of other wildfowl remained low with peak counts of: 17 teal (12th and 23rd), twelve Mallard (23rd), four Shoveler (1st) and 25 Common Scoter (8th). Great Northern Divers were recorded on four dates with two on the 3rd. Manx Shearwaters were heard at night over the island right up to the Wardens departure on the 24th. A Little Egret flew over on the 6th. A Little Grebe was present for a single day on the 19th.

Up to two Hen Harriers were present throughout. A Sparrowhawk was recorded on the 8th. Up to three Kestrels and two Merlins were present throughout.

Up to twelve Water Rails were present. Maximum counts of waders include: 29 Oystercatchers (14th), 60 Lapwing (23rd), 32 Curlew (4th), 18 Turnstone (23rd), Single Purple Sandpipers (12th and 23rd) and one Redshank in North Haven (14th). The first Woodcock (predated) turned up on the 6th and there were up to two recorded thereafter until the 19th. Up to twelve Snipe were recorded (15th).

Gull numbers peaked at: 94 Kittiwakes (23rd), 318 Black-headed Gull (15th), 21 Mediterranean Gulls (3rd), 25 Common Gull (3rd), 15 Lesser Black-backed Gull (12th), 200 Herring Gull (12th) and 79 Great Black-backed Gulls (3rd). At least 2,000 Wood Pigeons passed over on the 6th. A Barn Owl was recorded on four dates and a Little Owl on three dates. Eleven Short-eared Owls were recorded on the 15th and there were ten on the 19th. Great Spotted Woodpeckers were recorded on six dates. A maximum of 17 Chough were recorded (12th).

There were three Goldcrest on the 2nd and 3rd and two Firecrest on the 3rd. Chiffchaffs were recorded throughout with a maximum of five on the 1st. Two Siberian Chiffchaffs were present on the 17th and singles were recorded on the 18th and 19th. There was a Yellow-browed Warbler on the14th and 15th. The last Blackcaps were recorded on the 1st (one) and 3rd (two).

Peak tit counts include: four Blue Tit (21st), two Great Tit (3rd) and 38 Long-tailed Tit (2nd).

Skylark passage peaked at 97 on the 15th. Starlings peaked at 4,100 on the 15th. Thrush numbers peaked at: 42 Blackbird (2nd), twelve Fieldfare (2nd), 49 Song Thrush (13th), 27 Redwing (2nd) and four Mistle Thrush (3rd). Also on the 2nd there were 44 Robin, 16 Stonechat and a Siberian Stonechat.

Single Grey Wagtails were recorded on the 1st and 13th. Rock Pipit numbers peaked at 64 on the 23rd.

Finch counts include: 15 Brambling (2nd), 216 Chaffinch (3rd), three Bullfinch (3rd), three Greenfinch (15th), 22 Linnet (13th), single Lesser Redpoll (2nd and 4th), two flyover redpolls (2nd), 20 Goldfinch (2nd) and eight Siskin (14th). There was a Snow Bunting on the 3rd, a Lapland Bunting on the 6th and a maximum of seven Reed Buntings.

Members of The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales receive free landing on Skomer Island!

Wonderful Winter Walks on Gower

a dirt path running through gelli hir woodland during summer

Chances are, if you live on Gower, you’ll know all about the amazing wild places the peninsula has to offer, from wild coastal beaches to ancient bluebell woodlands. But did you know that lots of these wildlife havens are managed by The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales?

We manage over 30 nature reserves in the Swansea area, a number of which can be found on Gower and we want to use this opportunity to tell you about some of them that you can enjoy this winter!

Gelli Hır Woods

a dirt path running through gelli hir woodland during summer

Gelli Hır Nature Reserve

If you are looking for a family-friendly place, then the beautiful Gelli Hir Wood, near Three Crosses, is a must. A large ancient woodland; with a pond as an added bonus, it has large safe paths for walking, muddy ‘off-road’ routes to test out your wellies and lots of logs and ditches for children to play on, over and under! As a reserve that’s so important for woodland birds, dragonflies and butterflies, it’s definitely worth taking your binoculars and seeing what wildlife you can spot!

Port Eynon

Another Wildlife Trust recommended place to go for a wild windy walk is the South Gower Coast Nature Reserves. From Port Eynon you can walk up and over the point and along the cliff paths. Keep an eye out for Peregrine Falcons, Chough, Seals in the ocean and there are caves a-plenty! Home to exceedingly rare coastal plants such as Yellow Whitlow-Grass and Goldilocks Aster, these are very important nature reserves. This winter The Wildlife Trust will be introducing some grazing animals to Overton Mere to help manage the grassland for these rare plants. Keep an eye out for our friendly cattle and ponies.
For a walk with a café nearby, head to Cwm Ivy Woods near Llanmadoc. Another lovely woodland reserve with beautiful views over Cwm Ivy Marsh, the gate can be seen from the lane down to Cwm Ivy.

Elizabeth and Rowe Harding Nature Reserve

Another very interesting nature reserve is the Elizabeth and Rowe Harding Nature Reserve, otherwise known as Ilston Quarry, which is protected for the importance of its geological features. A lovely hazel wood surrounds the quarry and plenty of evidence can be found of the old quarry workings.

Broad Pool

Lastly, did you know the iconic Broad Pool is also a Wildlife Trust nature reserve? This site is important for amphibians, dragonflies and Otters, which feed in the pool.
Lots more information about all these nature reserves, plus Wildlife Trust events that take place on Gower, can be found on our website www.welshwildlife.org.

Get involved

If you would like to support the trust and our work managing the beautiful wild places of Gower you can do so by becoming a member via our website or by ringing 01656 724100.

Our Big THANK YOU to National Lottery Players!

Couple in cafe

2-4-1 Deal at The Wildlife Trusts Welsh Wildlife Centre and Parc Slip Visitor Centre

To say a big thank you to National Lottery players, our Welsh Wildlife Centre Glasshouse Café and Parc Slip Visitor Centre Café have decided to offer 2-4-1 on hot beverages to customers on Tuesday 12th December 2017.

To claim the 2-4-1 hot beverages offer customers to either cafe must show their National Lottery ticket or scratchcard – either a paper ticket, or a digital version on their smart phone.

Cappuccino

Terms and Conditions

  • Offer valid for one day only, Tuesday 12th December 2017.
  • One National Lottery ticket per customer to presented to staff at the Glasshouse
  • Café and Parc Slip Visitor Centre Café on Tuesday 12th December 2017 from 10am – 4pm only.
  • All National Lottery games qualify for offer, including tickets from any National
  • Lottery draw based game or National Lottery Scratchcard. Proof of ticket can be paper or digital.
  • The 2-4-1 offer is for hot beverages (drinks only).
  • The 2-4-1 offer will be given at the till in when customer presents a National Lottery ticket.

Island’s Storm Appeal

Waves crashing onto Skokholm in stormy weather

Thank you!

After recent storms affected Skomer and Skokholm Islands, The Wildlife Trust launched an appeal and the response was overwhelming! The appeal was launched to help raise funds to address the impacts of Storm Ophelia and Brian; to help ensure that the essential seal monitoring work is maintained in the long term, to safeguard the island for the future, to repair buildings and replace key equipment. 

We are ecstatic to say that, from our £25,000 appeal target, you helped raise over £40,000! – Thank you so much. The funds raised will help the charity to continue its vital conservation work. 

The Storms

Anyone who has lived in Pembrokeshire will know what an autumn storm feels like; for coastal communities, strong winds and high seas are all part of the changing seasons that form the fabric of their lives. However, recent years have seen some of the most severe storm events in living memory, and this October, Pembrokeshire’s coast was battered by ex-hurricane Ophelia – and close on Ophelia’s heels came Storm Brian.

Ophelia’s force hit its peak during the afternoon of Monday 16th October, with the weather station at St Ann’s Head recording wave heights of 16 metres. This is the highest wave height the station can measure, so nobody knows the true height of the largest waves that were battering our coast that day.

For the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, its island nature reserves of Skomer and Skokholm are always the first concern. Located off the Marloes peninsula, they normally bear the brunt of any incoming storms. By autumn, both islands are minimally staffed with two or three wardens each, and buildings are being battened down for winter. The cacophonous melee of the summer breeding season is over, and almost all of the hundreds of thousands of seabirds have left. Skomer Island in autumn is normally a very quiet and peaceful place – dominated by the Grey Seals, for whom autumn is peak pupping season.

Sadly, Ophelia took a heavy toll on both the islands themselves, and on the seals. On Skokholm, a huge wave crashed into the corner of the lighthouse, which sits high on the southern coast of the island. The wave broke glass panes, forced in two doors, and blew an entire first floor window, including its frame, into the building. Seawater was forced into the building, damaging equipment and infrastructure as it flooded in and down the stairwell. On Skomer, sections of roof were peeled off both the farm buildings and the wardens’ house in North Haven. For the seals however, the storm was quite literally a matter of life and death.

For the Wildlife Trust, this was the most devastating impact. Skomer- normally such a safe place for Grey Seals- was hit hard. The Trust has worked for many years to learn more about Skomer’s Grey Seals. The first annual report to mention seals was for 1961, authored by David Saunders, who was warden at that time. In 1983, a systematic approach to seal monitoring was established by Rosanne Alexander and this study has been continued ever since. This wealth of information means that at least the true impact of storm events like Ophelia can gradually be revealed.

Current Seal Work on Skomer

The Wildlife Trust currently works with staff at Natural Resources Wales, together monitoring Grey Seals throughout Skomer Marine Conservation Zone, because of the importance of this local population. Every year in late summer the pregnant Grey Seal cows return to the island to give birth and the breeding season spans from August to January, with most pups being born in the last week of September and first week of October. Until Skomer is evacuated for the winter at the end of November, the wardens carefully monitor all the pups on the island. They follow the fate of each individual, to inform our understanding of how the total population fares each year.

The remoteness of Skomer makes it an ideal nursery for Grey Seals as these animals are highly sensitive to disturbance. In the caves and on the beaches on Skomer they can raise their pups unmolested.

The Grey Seal is one of the rarest seals species in the world, and the UK population of Grey Seals represents about 38% of the world population and 90% of the European population outside the Baltic. The UK is therefore very important for the survival of the Grey Seal.
Seal pup playing with its mother

Seal pup playing with its mother

Elsewhere in the UK

Grey Seals were killed systematically until 1978, because they were considered a competitor for fish. This affected the national population and in 1983 only 60 seal pups were recorded born on Skomer. However, after culling ceased the seal pup numbers on Skomer started to increased and 202 pups were born in 2016.

Total pups born on Skomer Island between 1983 and 2016

Graph of Seals on Skomer

 

Grey Seals at the Start of 2017

2017 started off as another very good season for the Grey Seal on Skomer, but then the storms hit. At the time of storm Ophelia there were 88 pups on the island’s beaches. The devastation was obvious the next day: where there had been busy beaches with lots of pups and mums, the noise of shuffling animals and seal pups crying to be fed, there was just silence and emptiness. The pups that had survived looked tired and beaten up, with bloody cuts and bruises. There were lots of dead or injured animals over the coming days but many had simply vanished. Only 33 pups were still to be found on Skomer’s beaches the day after Ophelia and then storm Brian came less than a week later.

Gull standing on dead seal pup

Dead seal pup feeding juvenile Great Black-backed Gull

Usually around 78% of seal pups born on Skomer survive the first three weeks of their life before becoming independent, however this year we are expecting a much reduced survival rate.

Long-term Impacts

The true long-term impact of these storms won’t be known for many years to come, as female Grey Seals only start breeding when they are around seven years of age. Grey Seals are very long lived and they only produce one offspring per year so continuous long-term monitoring is essential to investigate the effects of events like storms or oil spills. A healthy population will be able to cope with a bad breeding season, however an increase of severe storms due to climate change could deplete the population.

Wildlife Themed Christmas Gifts

The Wildlife Trusts Christmas Cards 2018 - Deer

We have a wide variety of wildlife themed gifts that will make any wildlife lover happy this Christmas. Not only will you be giving someone a unique and special gift, you’ll also be helping to aid our conservation work and protect local wildlife. Here are some of our top Christmas gifts this festive season…

Wildlife Adoptions

Give an adoption as an unusual gift to family, friends or loved ones. We have a whole load of animals to adopt this Christmas. Animals to adopt include:

  • Befriend a Badger
  • Protect-a-Puffin (seen on Skomer and Skokholm islands)
  • Save a Seal
  • Rescue a Red Squirrel
  • Help a Hedgehog

All new entrants to the scheme receive the following:

  1. introductory letter
  2. personalised adoption certificate
  3. fact sheet
  4. soft toy

Find our adoptions in our online shop.

Dolphin Survey Boat Trip

You could also treat a loved one to a wildlife watching experience with a Dolphin Survey Boat Trips voucher with prices from just £22.50. These trips will offer the voucher holder with a chance to spot some of Wales’ amazing marine life including bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoise, Atlantic grey seals and a range of marine birds including gannets, razorbills and guillemots.

Wildlife Trust Membership

Membership is our only stable source of income. By joining us today you, or the person you gift this membership to, will be helping to ensure that Wales’ wild places will be enjoyed for generations to come. It will make a difference!

You can join either by calling us at the office on 01656 724 100, and pay by credit card, and ask for Nic, Jane or Jon or online by clicking one of the options below or via Direct Debit.

Here’s what you’ll receive…
  • Access to all of our nature reserves including Freelanding fees at the fantastic
  • Skomer Island,Free access across National Trust land to access our Dinefwr Castle this is per member (you can access the castle and our woodlands for free from the road if you park in Llandeilo), and Free parking at the Welsh Wildlife Centre at Cilgerran.
  • Early booking for volunteer places and accommodation at Skomer Island.
  • Three issues of The Warbler, our own newsletter telling you all about local conservation news, inserted into this is also the Welsh Wildlife, our Wales wide magazine with the the latest news, features and photographs from the Wildlife Trusts in Wales.
  • Three issues of The Natural World, The UK wide magazine featuring articles detailing essential conservation work, campaigns and photographs from across the British Isles.
  • A welcome pack containing a guide to our reserves, an events guide, a local newsletter detailing progress on our recent work, magazines and a car sticker.
  • A free monthly e-newsletter.

Christmas Cards

We have a lovely selection of Christmas cards to choose from as well as aprons, calendars, tea towels and other festive themed gifts. Visit our online shop to see them all.

Adopt a Dolphin

You can Adopt a Cardigan Bay Dolphin here for just £30 a year! Choose from one of four Welsh dolphins, including newcomers Jacky and Dylan favourites of our Living Seas Volunteers. The adoption can be catered to adults or children (12 and under) and are filled with information about dolphins and other local marine life, a photo of your chosen dolphin, a cuddly toy (children) or tote bag (adult) and a £2.50 voucher off a Dolphin Survey Boat Trip.

 

Not only are these great gifts, your money and support will help us to continue our vital research as well as allowing us to raise awareness of the amazing wildlife found in Wales and the problems they face.

Please be sure to order gifts by Friday 15th December to ensure they arrive in time for Christmas Day!

Please direct enquires to info@cbmwc.org or call 01545 560224 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri) for marine themed gifts, or 01656 724100 for any other gift related queries.

 

Calling all Marine Enthusiasts

The Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre are looking for dedicated and enthusiastic individuals to join our Living Seas Volunteer Team for the 2018 field season. Volunteers will assist with our Living Seas research and community engagement work.

Volunteering for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales at CBMWC is a fantastic opportunity for you to make a positive contribution to marine conservation, meet new people who share your interests and experience Wales’ amazing marine life. You will learn about the species and habitats in Cardigan Bay, gain vital experience in field work, research methods, community engagement and much more.

Past volunteers have gone on to further education, work as Marine Mammal Observers and to work for other conservation or Government organisations.

The positions available for 2018 include –

The closing date for applications is 23:59pm on Sunday 14th January 2018 

If you live locally to New Quay and are interested in volunteering with us then please visit our local volunteer homepage.

If you have any questions please email volunteer@cbmwc.org or call 01545 560224.

Laura Evans, Living Seas Volunteer Coordinator

Marsh Fritillaries in Carmarthen

Marsh Fritillary by Amy Lewis

Our Wildlife Trust Officer for Carmarthen; Rebecca Killa, has been surveying Marsh Fritillary. Here’s her update…

Marsh fritillary’s have had a good year at Rhos Cefn Bryn Nature Reserve! Marsh Fritillary caterpillars weave conspicuous webs during late summer, and by looking for and recording these webs we can monitor the population within the site.   The best days to survey for them are bright and sunny days when you can observe the larvae out basking and enjoying the last of the summer’s sun. This was certainly the case when we went out earlier this month on Rhos Cefn Bryn. We found 21 webs, which is a good number of webs for the site in recent years and we were privileged to see lots of active and basking caterpillars.

Marsh fritillary’s are threatened across much of the UK and Europe, they have seen severely declining numbers in the last century.  Rhos Pasture, marsh fritillary’s preferred habitat, was once abundant in Carmarthenshire and loss of this habitat is having severe effects on this beautiful butterfly.

Marsh Fritillary Catapillars Marsh Fritillary Catapillars 2

Pictures taken at Rhos Cefn Bryn; September 2017

Skokholm Inspired Prints for Sale

Puffin Sketch

After the recent storms affected Skomer and Skokholm Islands and we launched our Islands Storm Appeal we have had an overwhelming response. We can’t thank everyone enough for their incredible support!

Among these is Celia Smith; a local artist, who has offered to donate a percentage of her takings from selling her beautiful Puffins prints to the Trust’s Storm Appeal.

Puffin Sketch Puffin Sketch

Celia said:

Each year myself and artist printmaker Julia Manning have the pleasure of spending a week on Skokholm making artworks about the island.  For me it’s a week of complete immersion into the lives of the breeding birds.  I describe myself as a sculptor and I make 3D wire drawings of the birds I can observe.  I often take a suitcase of recycled telephone and electrical wires to the island, much to amusement to the other guests and boatmen!  I use this wire to make sculptures directly in front of my subjects and I also make pencil sketches of the birds for future reference.

It’s such a privilege to be able to observe the seabirds so closely and to spend time on Skokholm with equally passionate people.  It was so sad to hear how badly the island’s had been affected by storm Ophelia and I wanted to try and do my bit to help.

In the run up to Christmas I am selling two Puffin prints on my website.  The drawings were made in June while sitting amongst Puffins in Crab Bay [on Skokholm Island].  Each print measures 18 x 24 cm and is signed and part of an edition of 25 and cost £30.00 each which includes postage.  I will donate £7.50 to the Welsh Wildlife Trust island appeal for every print sold.

Celia on Skokholm Island

 

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Bottlenose Dolphins by Sarah Perry

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