Spring in the Gower – 2011

As I write this in early March it appears spring has sprung, in the woods there are the first of the spring flowers, signs of bluebells and ramsomes pushing through the soil and leaf litter, possibly some birds checking out the recently sited nest boxes and definitely the start of a dawn chorus.

Steve Up a Tree - by P Thornton

Steve Up a Tree - by P Thornton

All this means the end of the very busy winter work programme which focused on woodland management on several of our Gower reserves and that meant we were all working flat out in February!

The team on Gower continued with the thinning through areas in Gelli hir bringing more light into the woodland floor to encourage a more vigorous field and shrub layer. The team also coppiced three coupes in Hambury woods bringing these back into a management rotation. Meanwhile the volunteers team were kept busy thinning ash and coppicing hazel in Cwm Ivy Woods and maintaining footpaths at Kilvrough Woods. Thanks go to all those who helped out.

Anyone using the Clyne Valley cycle path past our Killay Marsh reserve may notice a strange looking installation in one of the bigger oak tree on site. As mentioned in January we had put out over 50 bird nest boxes and 60 dormouse boxes elsewhere on our Gower reserves, here at Killay Marsh we have put up 3 artificial roosts for bats. They are all in the same tree facing different directions, bats will move from roost to roost depending on season, prevailing weather etc.

Thanks go to Steve Lucocq for volunteering his time and specialist tree climbing skills to enable us to do this. Steve has been involved previously with some of our projects, he has also given talks to the local group about his work in Nepal with vultures and will be giving a talk later in the year about his work on Gough Island. http://arbts.co.uk/conservation

This month several members got in touch to ask about the work we were doing. If you have any queries about our work in Swansea & Neath-Port Talbot please get in touch. p.thornton@welshwildlife.org