What a pleasure to be working with Enfys Ecology and the Woodland Trust on a conservation project – makes a change from the usual development schemes! This was part 2 of a survey which my colleague Lucia Ruffino and I started last year. The first part was mostly grassland with some interesting boggy bits, the highlight for me being finding white beak-sedge which I hadn’t seen in forever. This year’s part was much bigger, 11 days survey for both of us, and covered a swathe of land from Trawsfynydd Lake up the hills behind to an altitude of about 300m.
If you’ve been following this blog for a long time you might remember I did an NVC survey at this site a while back. Well, it turns out that when the client sent me the survey boundary, they missed a bit, and so back I went in June this year to finish the job.
This part of the site was no less complex, with lots of little hillocks and ridges all over the place creating vegetation as well as topographic diversity. Everything from improved grassland to blanket bog! The adjacent wind farm is now under construction, but fortunately I was working in a different set of fields, so I didn’t have to contend with construction wagons and diggers.A
The vegetation was quite similar to previous, but I did find a couple of interesting species:
Adder’s-tongue in the very first quadrat !
Moonwort in a disused quarry adjacent to the site
What a treat to visit some traditionally managed land which retains much of its ecological character and interest. And I got paid! This really can be the best job in the world sometimes 🙂
Ever assessed the condition of a calcareous grassland in January? Me neither, before last month. At least it wasn’t snowing (!) Continue reading
Fancy a tour of SSSIs? Want to get paid for it? Yes please!
Following on from the species-rich grassland survey, a friend and I were asked to survey nine wetland sites as part of a similar project on fens. This time, there was no previous survey data and our mission was to map vegetation and establish new locations for quadrats which, we hope, someone will come back to in a few years’ time to find out what has been happening to the vegetation.
I know. Another wind farm. I love ’em. The UK is amongst the windiest countries in Europe, so we might as well take advantage and get something out of it. In the right place, wind turbines can be a brilliant source of cheap renewable energy with very little impact on wildlife. In the wrong place, they can be a disaster, and that’s why it’s always nice to be asked to get involved. The data I provide on vegetation is usually used to refine the scheme layout and avoid sensitive areas, and this site is no exception.