Brambles, blackthorn and birch, oh and dormice!

We had an even better day than last month’s “very successful day” when we checked the dormouse boxes and tubes (and bird boxes) at Cwm Clettwr this month. We found 21 very lively dormice and 9 wood mice (including some females)! Most were a good weight for their winter hibernation and some were in boxes that we hadn’t found them in before, still in the higher sections of the reserve though.

Scrub clearance has been in full swing on our grasslands this month:

View from Caeau Llety Cybi by Em Foot

View from Caeau Llety Cybi by Em Foot

At Coed Maidie B Goddard we cleared brambles and blackthorn around a gateway and then out in to the meadow; bramble and blackthorn patches were removedat Rhos Glyn yr Helyg; at Caeau Llety Cybi large patches of scrub were removed from 3 of the meadows; brambles encroaching on one of the paths in Rhos Marion were cleared and low hanging willow branches were removed along a meadow edge to prevent them rooting and encouraging bramble growth; at Coed Penglanowen we cleared a large bramble patch that had grown up around the large stump of a tree we felled a few years ago, encroaching on the path and preventing the new saplings from growing properly. When we exposed the beech tree stump we found some amazing ganoderma bracket fungi on it, coated in its cocoa like spores, and on closer inspection lots of other interesting things too!

Caeau Llety Cybi Waxcaps by Em Foot.

Caeau Llety Cybi Waxcaps by Em Foot.

At Caeau Llety Cybi we also put in a new welcome sign. Whilst walking through the meadows we saw lots of waxcaps (a feature of the SSSI) and there were lovely autumnal views out across the valley.

We’ve also cut a few trees down this month. At Allt Crug Garn we did some more of the birch removal we started last year to encourage the heathland. It’s looking a lot more open now. We also made good progress thinning some more of the birch in Pant Da woodland where some volunteers from Coventry joined us for a beautiful autumnal day.

We’ll be continuing with scrub clearance and woodland thinning for the next few months.

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 to find out more about Ceredigion reserves.