Snowdrops and Elf Cups

What a month weather wise but the Ceredigion volunteers are a hardy lot and work continued despite it! (We did manage a few sunny days!) Thank you all.

Tree clearance by Em Foot

Tree clearance by Em Foot

After all the rain it was apparent that the ditch we dug last month at Rhos Pil Bach needed extending a few metres. The lower section had worked very well but the top was still very wet. Even by the end of the day it seemed to have made a difference. We also felled some alder trees around a pond to allow more light in. We found some frogspawn too.

We did a variety of tasks at Cwm Clettwr- cleared paths of fallen trees, brambles and branches, finished putting in the welcome signs, continued halo thinning around young oak trees, removed some Western Hemlock regrowth, installed a dipper nest box and added a new piece of boardwalk and dug a small ditch near the bridge where the path had got very muddy. A contractor had to be called in to clear away some of the storm damage- a group of pines exposed by the hemlock removal last year fell over the path and another tree had fallen over, complete with root plate and was hung up over the southern path.

We had to spend a day clearing up the storm damage at Old Warren Hill and Coed Penglanowen, which I think suffered the worst of all the reserves in the county. Quite a few trees had fallen on the paths, some uprooted, some hung up, lots of branches down, a power cable snapped… We had to close parts of the reserves for a few days and get a contractor in for some of the bigger trees but the volunteers worked hard to clear and mend what we could. On a positive note there are now some open areas allowing light down to the woodland floor where new saplings and other ground flora can grow.

Sarcoscypha coccinea Scarlet Elf Cup

Sarcoscypha coccinea Scarlet Elf Cup

A new fingerpost sign has been put in at Coed Simdde Lwyd pointing to the viewpoint where spectacular views are often missed by people not venturing that far. While we were up there (it is a long way up) we did a bit of work to the ditch. Two more days were spent thinning the birch in Pant Da. The brash and log piles spread throughout the woodland are evidence of the great work that has been done this winter, as is the longer walk up the hill! We cleared scrub at Coed Maidie B Goddard and Caeau Llety Cybi on other days too.

There was a fabulous display of snowdrops and elf cups at Coed Penglanowen at the beginning of the month. The snowdrops have now been replaced by yellow celandine. Luckily most survived the storm, the next display will be of the bluebells in a few months time- they are already poking their heads through.

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 e.foot@welshwildlife.org or to find out more about Ceredigion reserves visit: https://welshwildlife.org/locations/ceredigion/