The focus has been on maintenance work on the Brecknock Nature Reserves this month.
Apart from managing habitats by controlling brambles and scrub that encroach in to open meadows, this is the time when we get a chance to check, repair and replace fences and other infrastructure. This work takes many man hours so winter is when we really appreciate the effort that many of our volunteers put in to help us maintain our reserves. They are willing to turn up and do quite physical work, often getting wet, cold and muddy in the process. We have a great bunch working with us, some for a decade or more!
Cae Bryntywarch is a small reserve consisting of a traditionally managed meadow with an area of wet woodland. To maintain the meadow it is grazed by a couple of highland cattle. Unfortunately the fence was deteriorating and many of the fence posts needed replacing along the long western boundary. After a couple of aborted dates we finally had two good sessions here and got the majority of the work done. New volunteers Simon and Andy showed us how useful they could be, especially at wielding the mell to knock the posts in.
Pwll y Wrach is a woodland SSSI reserve and is one of our most visited. Again the fence needed maintenance, this time to keep neighbouring cattle out. Many volunteers, along with Steph, have put in extra hours removing the old fence posts and wires on very difficult terrain to get ready for a contractor to install a new stock proof fence. This included coppicing several trees.
Ystradfawr is a large reserve near Ystradgynlais which used to be a coal mine. It consists of several meadows linked by woodland. Work has begun to control the brambles and scrub encroaching on the area above the cycle track. The meadow is beginning to look like a meadow again! However we had to say goodbye to Rosemary and Rum for the winter. These Exmoor ponies have been grazing this area to help keep it open. Also Steph has continued her tree felling to open up the access track and we completed the temperature monitor checks on part of the old mine.
Thanks guys, we couldn't do it with out you!
If you would like to volunteer in the Brecknock area, please contact Pauline on 07957 292235 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.