Our team in Ceredigion have been working hard this autumn. Emily Foot, Wildlife Trust Officer has been sharing what her and committed volunteers have been getting up to:
We’ve done marsh fritillary larval web surveys at 3 of our Rhos pasture reserves- this is an annual survey where we look for the webs created by the caterpillars of the marsh fritillary butterfly whose food plant is devil’s bit scabious. It has reportedly been a bad year for them at lots of sites, even those with good numbers usually. Unfortunately we didn’t find any webs at Rhos Fullbrook or Rhos Pil Bach but we were much more successful at Rhos Glyn yr Helyg where we found 313 webs. This is down on last year’s amazing results but still a very good number and much better than previous years.
We had a joint work party, with staff and volunteers from all across our patch, at Ynys Dawela in Carmarthenshire this month, a council owned site that we help to manage. The site has both dormice and marsh fritillary butterflies. We cut and raked the meadows and brushcut some areas of bramble to improve the habitat.
Though most of our grassland is grazed there are some bits that we have to cut. Annually, at the end of summer, we cut the glade at Coed Penglanowen and half of one of the meadows at Coed Maidie B Goddard (we cut the other half the next year and alternate). This helps keep the scrub down and reduces the fertility (as we remove the cuttings) which should benefit the wildflowers.
We found mostly juvenile dormice in Cwm Clettwr during a soggy nest box check this month, as well as a couple of woodmice. Some were using boxes that haven’t been used before. Please remember that dormice are a protected species and you need a licence to disturb them, including checking nest boxes. All our checks are done as part of, and reported to, the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme with at least one licence holder present. This time of year is crucial for the dormouse to put on enough weight to survive their winter hibernation.
If you’d like to join our work parties, get fit and meet new people, contact Em: email@example.com