Every year, the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales joins forces with the National Museum of Wales to run the ‘Unknown Wales’ Conference, a day designed to celebrate the unknown and under appreciated wildlife of Wales.
This year, over 200 delegates enjoyed a series of interesting talks including Fascinating Fungi (Dr Gareth Griffith, Aberystwyth University), Red Squirrels of the Tywi Forest (Dr Lizzie Wilberforce, WTSWW), the Spider Recording Scheme and Welsh Spiders (Lawrence Bee), a History of Bird Research (Professor Tim Birkhead, Fellow of the Royal Society), Our Wonderful Moths (David Slade, SEWBReC) and Sensational Welsh Seaweeds (Anne and Francis Bunker). The afternoon was rounded off with a talk from TV presenter Dr Rhys Jones.
Alongside the conference this year, a photography competition was run entitled ‘Conservation in Action’, which invited all conservationists in Wales to enter their photographs that demonstrate the wide variety of conservation work that takes place in Wales, from litter picking to pond creation.
The winner this year was Richard Pond, a volunteer for the Wildlife Trust and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation with his entry ‘Netting in the Rain’. Here is the accompanying text:
"This photograph demonstrates how volunteers work in all weathers for the benefit of their local wildlife. Staff and volunteers from the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation trust are surveying a four year old pond in the Vale of Glamorgan for amphibians. Despite the weather, the survey was a success; common frog, common toad and all three British newt species were found at the site including a strong colony of great crested newts, not previously recorded."
A huge thank you to all our speakers and delegates for this year’s Unknown Wales conference. It was a huge success and planning has already started for next years conference- we look forward to seeing you there!