With all this glorious weather the bracken and brambles have been growing tremendously so we’ve spend quite a few days clearing paths on several reserves: the very top path at Coed Simdde Lwyd took a couple of days; the top paths at Cwm Clettwr also took a couple of days and on our way to the top of Old Warren Hill to remove some of the sycamore regrowth we also cut back quite a lot. The sycamore we cut back over the winter has coppiced well so we removed the regrowth in an attempt to weaken it and stop it shading out other species. We tackled the bracken in the clearing too. The woodland paths at Coed Maidie B Goddard were quickly being taken over by brambles too so we spent a day cutting them back.
Expecting a lot of ragwort at Rhos Marion (as in previous years) I’d programmed several days to pull it all as the reserve is grazed by ponies. Strangely there was hardly any so we spent the afternoon cutting back brambles that were encroaching on the meadows. We returned to Caeau Llety Cybi to double check for ragwort there too but again finding very little spent most of the day bruising the bracken and cutting brambles from the meadow edges- a never ending job! They seem to grow even as you turn around!
We revisited Allt Crug Garn to remove the regrowth on the birch trees we cut down earlier in the year which were again shading out the heather. It was pleasing to see so much heather especially new growth. Hopefully with the increased light levels it will spread and thrive.
We had a joint work party this month down in Pembrokeshire at West Williamston where we were cutting back a patch of blackthorn as part of the habitat management for the brown hairstreak butterflies that lay their eggs on the blackthorn but only on younger trees.
The highlight of the month was finding a very lively dormouse in a dormouse box at Cwm Clettwr when we checked them this month, a young male. Checks will continue through to the autumn.
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 twice a week out on the reserves, year round, contact Em on 07980932332 or firstname.lastname@example.org or to find out more about Ceredigion reserves visit: https://welshwildlife.org/locations/ceredigion/