6 Sept 2015

Two and a half years

Colin Miles

Feb 26th 2013 – Sept 4th 2015. When we first started out over two and a half years ago we didn’t know how our walks would work out or indeed how often we would be able to do them. Fortunately John had chosen the best morning of the week and ‘Tuesday morning weather’ has become a byword for dry weather, even if it is sometimes rather cold and windy.

The first idea was to simply go out and see what we could find in the Garden and Waun Las. Since then we have got to ‘know’ the Garden and Waun Las and build up a ‘picture’ of what is going on and where, in the broadest senses of those words. And we have, in general, managed to capture these walks, with notes and photos and via this blog. But now it is time to move on and try to learn how to make more detailed records ready for next year – and to plan ahead over the winter months.

During July and August we have had a little foretaste of all of this. Lake Dipping with Richard Pryce as part of the biodiversity survey required by the Regency restoration project, a Woodland Walk around Pont Felin with Mat Ridley giving us insights into how the woods have been managed over the years, and a Bee Walk with Claire Flynn who has also given me invaluable help on the Bee Pollinator day! The latter event which has taken place on the last Tuesday each month, has started to teach all of us the Latin names of plants. If only the Garden plants were better signed! And we mustn’t forget the Rebecca’s Dragonfly day – not a Tuesday but still very informative – and of course Marigold’s fortnightly Moths.

Below are some of the photos taken on these days which have also included Nut hunts – no evidence of Dormice – the start of the Fungi season and examination of our Refugia – no Snakes and little more than a Bank Vole, Slugs and evidence of Mice and other Vole activity.

And last Tuesday, 4th September, we did a survey of the meadow below the Ice House in view of Huw’s idea to turn it into a Pig farm. Not much for the Pig’s to trash but maybe too wet? And whilst looking at some of the Refugia we found a few Himalayan Balsam plants by the edge of the stream behind Plant Sales. If anyone else spots any more of these then please let someone at the Garden know as soon as possible.

And finally let me say a big thank you to all who have made this venture such a success, in no particular order: Jan and Keith, John, Michael, Howard, Marigold, Sue, Peter, Chris, Hazel, Anne, Marie, Colin and Julien, Maud, Barry and Joan, Terry Wells for birdy things, the guys from the College especially Chris and not forgetting Jenny who has yet to actually join us on a walk, Huw for his help with the boat and other matters, Jane Down for her support and help and anyone else I have forgotten! And of course Bruce without whom it would never happen.