Botanical advice, Carnedd Wen proposed wind farm, Powys (2012)

I’ve become involved in giving botanical advice on Carnedd Wen, a rather interesting forested site in mid-Wales which is proposed for a large wind farm.  Some years ago, the blanket bogs on site were mostly afforested, leaving pockets of excellent habitat sandwiched between, frankly, grim closed-canopy conifer plantation.  The proposal for the site involves large-scale habitat restoration, the details of which are yet to be worked out, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to have some input, which would be really exciting.  I’m hoping, though, that I won’t have to spend too much more time getting covered in spruce needles, algae and general crud whilst pushing through scratchy trees!  That was hard work even by my standards.

It’s one of those sites where something surprising will always turn up.  Previous bird surveys of the site had turned up no sightings of hen harrier despite it being a former breeding site for the species.  I went to site twice and what did I see both times ? – you guessed it !  But I must point out that both times I went to site were in winter, so my sightings aren’t as interesting as you might think – hen harriers spread out quite widely during winter to make the most of the available foraging opportunities.

The proposal is currently being examined at Public Inquiry – visit the developers’ website to find out more.


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