A Successful 5th Year at the Unknown Wales Conference

Over 200 delegates joined us for this years Unknown Wales Conference at the National Museum in Cardiff

Over 200 delegates joined us for this years Unknown Wales Conference at the National Museum in Cardiff

A conference to celebrate Wales' lesser known wildlife

A few of the speakers from the Unknown Wales Conference 2015

A few of the speakers from the Unknown Wales Conference 2015

This year's Unknown Wales Conference was another resounding success, with over 200 delegates joining us at the National Museum in Cardiff for a day of talks on Wales' weird and wonderful wildlife.

The Conference is organised jointly by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and the National Museum of Wales Cardiff, supported by a generous patron.

The Conference started early this year, with the speakers and organisers being interviewed on BBC Radio Wales 'Science Cafe'. Listen again here.

The first speaker of the day was Ben Evans, talking about the fascinating geology of the South Wales coalfield, which you can go and experience for yourself at a number of heritage sites in South Wales.

Next up was Dr Wendy Harris of Swansea University, showing us the detailed examinations which are required to determine the most appropriate sites for the potential re-introduction of the endangered Fen Orchid, which currently only exists in a few sites in Wales, such as Kenfig NNR. Watch this space for potential re-introductions at Whiteford Burrows on Gower!

After the break, Julian Carter of the Natural History Conservation Team at the museum showed us some of the amazing wildlife that can be found in Welsh cave systems. Definitely an unknown subject for most who prefer to keep their heads above the ground! The amount of life that can be found in seemingly inhospitable conditions is incredible.

Next up was Clive Faulkner, CEO of Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, key partners in bringing the osprey back to Wales. Clive talked about the process involved in making the Dyfi Osprey Project such a success.

After lunch and a wander round the Natural History section of the museum, Dr Dan Forman of Swansea University asked us to look out for 'Pole-flats', and to send them to him, as a lot of valuable information on the ecology of the polecat can be determined from dead specimens. Many people were left feeling sorry for Dan's postman!

Last but not least, the closing talk of the day was from Professor Dianne Edwards, eminent palaeobotanist from Cardiff University, presenting an amusing and interesting talk about the invasion of the land by early plants.

Thank you very much to all who came along to the Conference, we hope you enjoyed it.

To be kept up to date with next years conference plans, email Rose to add your name to the mailing list. Let us know if there is a particular talk or subject you would like us to explore!