Access, boundaries and surveys in Ceredigion

With public access and so many paths on our reserves we have to spend quite a lot of time maintaining them and this is a good time of year to do some (we can’t cut trees down or scrub and the vegetation is growing again). This year there has been the routine and the one offs. After several of our waymarkers went missing at Coed Maidie B Goddard we spent several days reinforcing the remaining ones. One of the old bridges had become unsafe so we have replaced it with a new one too.

The top path at Coed Simdde Lwyd has to be cleared of bracken annually. We also bash a small patch in a glade and around any young trees or heather that are struggling through. The bracken was still very young and the bluebells still flowering, the view, as always, was stunning.

At Caeau Llety Cybi we cut a path along the green lane, doing our best to leave as many flowers as possible, and cleared some scrub from the meadows. At Rhos Fullbrook a section of boardwalk needed replacing and a few others mending, trees and vegetation was cut back. We also repaired some of the steps at Old Warren Hill.

We’ve also done a lot of work on our boundaries over the last couple of months: A long stretch of very steep fence at Pant Da needed new posts (thank you to North Ceredigion Local Group who purchased the posts) and there were a few bits needed mending at Old Warren Hill and Rhos Fullbrook.

Cardigan Island gull survey - Em Foot

Cardigan Island gull survey – Em Foot

Survey work: At the end of May we undertook our biannual Cardigan Island gull count. 11 of us went over to the island and carried out the count which involves walking back and forth across the island in a line counting lesser black backed gull nests, being careful not to stand on any eggs or chicks that may be hiding in the vegetation. Unfortunately it seems numbers are still dropping. While on the island we also made a note of other species seen and goose nests. It wasn’t just birds- we saw grey seals and dolphins too. The bluebells were still in bloom and looked fabulous.

Cwm Clettr dormouse - Em Foot

Cwm Clettr dormouse – Em Foot

Over the winter we added 30 new dormouse boxes to the 50 already at Cwm Clettwr. Our dormice checks have now started again and we’ve found dormice on both visits (earlier than previous years). Although mostly used by bluetits so far, one of the new dormouse boxes did have a torpid male in it. Hopefully we’ll find more over the summer.

This is also the time of year for invasive species removal. So far we have pulled Himalayan balsam at Rhos Glyn Yr Helyg, had a joint work party doing the same at Castle Woods and we will be pulling ragwort at several reserves in the next few weeks.

Thank you very much to everyone who has helped this month. If you would like to volunteer with us in Ceredigion there are work parties on a Wednesday and Thursday out on the reserves, year round, contact Em on 07980932332 or e.foot@welshwildlife.org or to find out more about Ceredigion reserves visit: https://welshwildlife.org/where-i-live/ceredigion/information-on-ceredigion-nature-reserves/