A public moth trapping event was held at WTSWW’s Coed y Bedw nature reserve on July 19th.
Located only 3km North of Cardiff, Coed y Bedw is an ancient broadleaved woodland of over 16 hectares, spread across both acidic and calcareous soils. It consists of various woodland types ranging from dry beech woodland in the north and west to wet alder carr along the valley bottom where the acidic Nant Cwmllwydrew winds its way through the trees. Beneath the canopy, there is a diverse assemblage of shrubs and flowers, many of which are ancient woodland indicators such as spindle, ramsons (or wild garlic) and bluebells.
Woodland is the richest habitat for moths, many of which rely on deciduous trees for their caterpillars to feed on. The moth night was originally scheduled for the 4th of July to coincide with National Moth Night but poor weather meant it had to be postponed until the 19th. A number of ‘moth-ers’ were keen to join in with George Tordoff from Butterfly Conservation, Paul Parsons from the Glamorgan Moth Recording Group, Dr. Marc Botham from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology along with WTSWW staff all supplying traps which were spread through the woodland. In total, 8 (non-lethal) light traps were set up and the mild, still conditions meant that almost immediately a range of moth species were attracted in for fascinated members of the public to appreciate.
In total over 130 moth species were recorded between 22:00 and 02:00 when the hardiest moth-ers finally packed up, of which 66 species had never previously been recorded from the site and 3 tiny moths had never been recorded from the 10km square before.
Some of the highlights were woodland specialists such as Blomer’s Rivulet and Clouded Magpie as well as species associated with limestone like Clay Triple-lines and Pretty Chalk Carpet. Keep an eye out for moth events in your area on our events pages. Many thanks to George, Paul and Marc for bringing their traps and expertise.