Chris Packham and Iolo Williams in Ystradgynlais

WTSWW's Brecknockshire team at the Chris Packham Bioblitz

WTSWW's Brecknockshire team at the Chris Packham Bioblitz

This summer Chris Packham and Iolo Williams dropped by to visit two of The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales' nature reserves. One was Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre in New Quay and the other was Cae Lynden Reserve in Brecknockshire.

Here's what happened with they visited Cae Lynden Reserve...

The trust’s ‘Wild Communities Project’ was honoured to have been chosen as one of Chris Packham’s 50 stops on the Bioblitz. Each Bioblitz aims to record as many species as possible on one site, and Cae Lynden in Ystradgynlais, an urban football pitch turned rare butterfly refuge gained a whopping 260 plus records in just a few short hours.

This was only possible because of everyone from local kids to county recorders giving their time and knowledge for free.

Hedgehog populations have plummeted by a 97% fall since 1950, and in an inspiring speech as he left, Mr Packham said that we cannot wait until that becomes 98%, 99% or they disappear completely. He also spoke of the similar critical decline among British species, from butterflies to birds and why getting young people involved with wildlife is crucial.

Bioblitzers were also treated to the unexpected arrival of Powys born Iolo Williams, supporting the Bioblitz in Wales and boosting the profile of Welsh language speaking during the event.

Iolo chatted in Welsh with Wild Communities Project manager Chris Jones about the reserve’s important Marsh Fritillary Butterfly population and as a further bonus, Darren Rees, a much respected wildlife artist , got the kids involved in making a paper butterfly meadow to highlight the importance of meadows for pollinators.

The Cae Lynden Bioblitz was a triumph of community action for wildlife. The Wild Communities Project could not have gotten as detailed a picture as we did of the variety of wildlife this one tiny reserve supports, without every single person who gave their time.

By Sarah Ogilvie, Publicity Assistant, ‘Wild Communities Project’