What's New in Wild Wales
Wildlife, ecology and conservation news and forthcoming events
Opening dates for RSPB Glaslyn Osprey Project for 2013:
Once the Ospreys return, the Glaslyn Osprey Project will be open 5 days per week (closed on Mondays and Fridays) except for Bank Holiday Mondays when it will be open. During the school holidays the project will be open 7 days a week.
6th March 2013 - Official Opening of Gregynog National Nature Reserve
Gregynog National Nature Reserve was officially declared open today in a ceremony held at Gregynog Hall. The event is important for two reasons, firstly because it marks the end of a long history of efforts by conservationists to preserve and protect the special wildlife in Gregynog's parkland, and also because it is the final NNR declaration to be made by the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) before the establishment of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) on the 1st April 2013.
Right - from the left, Karen Armstrong - Director Gregynog, Alastair Hotchkiss - Conservation Officer CCW, Pat O'Reilly MBE - Council Member CCW, Ray Woods - British Lichen Society, Morgan Parry - Chairman CCW and Dr Liz Siberry - Chair Gregynog Sub-Committee University of Wales, at the opening of Gregynog National Nature Reserve.
Of the many fascinating wildlife species to be found in Gregynog's parkland two of the most important are the ancient trees found throughout the park, but particularly in the area known as the Great Wood, and the numerous species of lichen which can only survive on very old trees. Some of the trees in the Great Wood are over 350 years old. More information...
February 2013 - New Fungus Record for Wales
Spotted on a tree at one of Wales's newly designated NNRs, Aberbargoed Grasslands, was Spongy Mazegill - Spongipellis delecans, an extremely rare Red Data List species of fungi. According to records this species has only been found, very occasionally, in a few sites in southern England.
Spongy Mazegill grows on the rotting wood of broad-leaved trees, either on damaged standing trunks, or on large fallen branches.
It grows in hoof-shaped brackets which are smooth on top and porous underneath.
January 2013 - New Moss Found in Wales!
A new moss - Welsh Bristle-moss (Orthotricum cambrense) has been discovered near Dryslwyn Castle in the Tywi Valley, Carmarthenshire. The moss was discovered when a Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) surveyor undertook a survey of mosses on the species-rich Dryslwyn Castle mound. This unfamiliar moss was spotted on some Maple trees in the nearby car park. Welsh Bristle-moss has a unique combination of distinctive traits; it differs from related mosses in its round-tipped leaf tips and flat leaf edges, as well as more subtle features of its spore capsule. CCW moss expert Sam Bosanquet, who made the new find said: “Welsh Bristle-moss highlights the need to be ever vigilant and open-minded, even when looking at plants in mundane places like car parks.
Picture: Barry Stewart
This is a high-point in our regular work of recording mosses which grow on trees in south Wales. Over the last decade, we have also discovered three mosses that had not previously been found in Wales and which are more typical of continental Europe.” There are a few reasons why it is thought that the species wasn’t discovered earlier. The most likely reason is that it has recently evolved from the related Orthotrichum tenellum, which is genetically very similar. Another possibility is that even though no similar species have been discovered elsewhere in Europe it is an undiscovered species that was imported from continental Europe on the young Maples that were used to landscape the car park in the 1990’s. A third possibility is that this new find is restricted to sections of the Tywi floodplain which have never been surveyed before by moss specialists. Sam added: “Now that the species has been recorded, I hope that more research will determine whether the moss is extending its range to other areas of the county and beyond.” The official description of the moss was published jointly by Sam Bosanquet of CCW and Dr Francisco Lara of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
For more information contact CCW Press Officers Brân Devey on 02920 77 2403 / 07747767443 or Helen Evans on 01248 387377 or 07717225589.
October 2012 Cemlyn film – A taste of Cemlyn Nature Reserve!
Following one of the most successful seasons ever at Cemlyn Nature Reserve’s seabird colony on Anglesey, a new short film ‘Cemlyn’,has been produced.
The film gives a flavour of the wildlife at the site, and explores the conservation and education work done by the North Wales Wildlife Trust (NWWT). Greengage Films, who specialise in wildlife and environmental film-making, spent time at the reserve this June, documenting the Cemlyn Bioblitz event and following the daily activities of the two NWWT’s summer wardens.
You can view this evocative film on the NWWT website, or at: http://vimeo.com/48264093
10th September 2012 - Official declaration by CCW of Wales's latest National Nature Reserve - Gregynog National Nature Reserve.
June 29th 2012 - Official opening of the new Visitor Centre and Cafe at the Dol Idris entrance to Cadair Idris NNR. All are welcome to come and see the new interactive exhibition about Cadair Idris NNR and its wildlife, and to enjoy some home-baked treats on offer from the new cafe. More information...
June 14th - Official launch and Declaration of the Aberbargoed Grasslands National Nature Reserve in Caerphilly County Borough. The new NNR is of particular conservation value because of its species rich grasslands and the presence of the rare Marsh Fritillary butterfly.
May 2012 - Cors Dyfi's pair of Ospreys have returned and are rearing two chicks. The newly extended Visitor Centre has new live video feed cameras observing the nest. The nature reserve now benefits from having a kiosk where you can buy food and drinks.
May 2012 - The RSPB Glaslyn Ospreys have returned and are rearing three chicks.
November 2011 - as reported here in March, the Members of the Countryside Council for Wales agreed the proposal to extend the boundary of Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to include southern parts of the Clwydian Range, The Vale of Llangollen and the Dee Valley. The decision was forwarded to the Welsh Government for consideration and was confirmed by them on 22nd November.
Summer 2011 - New Orchid Hybrid confirmed in Wales - A rare orchid hybrid has been discovered at Kenfig National Nature Reserve, a site already well known for its orchid populations, and for the presence of the largest number of Fen Orchid (Liparis loeselii) plants to be found in the UK. The new orchid hybrid is a cross between the Southern Marsh-orchid (Dactylorhiza praetermissa) and the Marsh Fragrant-orchid (Gymnadenia densiflora). Three plants were discovered by Michael Clark in 2009, and their identity was confirmed and reported in the Botanical Society of the British Isles's journal in June 2011. The name of the orchid is Dactylodenia ettlingeriana and recognises the work on British Orchids by Derek M Turner Ettlinger.
31st May - new nature reserves and information added to Waleswildlife.com - Glaslyn RSPB Osprey Project, Abercorris North Wales Widlife Trust Nature Reserve, Cors Goch Llanllwch National Nature Reserve, Teifi Marshes Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales Nature Reserve.
31st May 2011 - Cors Dyfi Ospreys. The Osprey that has been arriving at the nest at Cors Dyfi Mongomeryshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve since 2008 has found a mate and they have laid three eggs the first of which is due to hatch any day now. More information....
May 2011 - Three mobility scooters have been purchased and are now available at Newport Wetlands NNR which will enable disabled visitors to access parts of the reserve they have not been able to visit before. More information...
May 25th 2011 - a new bird hide has been constructed at Oxwich NNR. It overlooks a wetland just behind the the reserve's main sand dune system, and is the result of of a partnership project between the Countryside Council for Wales and Environment Agency Wales. It was built with the help of volunteers who cleared the site for the bird hide and assisted with the construction of the building. More information about Oxwich NNR...
29th March 2011 - Yesterday (28th March) Members of the Countryside Council for Wales agreed the proposal to extend the boundary of Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to include southern parts of the Clwydian Range, The Vale of Llangollen and the Dee Valley. The proposal will now be forwarded to the Welsh Assembly Government for their approval.
28th March 2011 - new nature reserve added to the Waleswildlife.com website is Dyffi NNR. Details...
24th March 2011 - we have just added Cae Blaen Dyffryn to our Nature Reserves section. Details...
24th March 2011 - just published - North Wales Wildlife Trust Special Events 2011. More information...