Life in the wildflower verge: Part I

After an absolutely dismal May which was quite literally a wash out, it’s nice to see the return of sunny skies here in Aberystwyth. Thanks in part to all that rain, and the absence so far of the council mowers the wild areas around the harbour have sprung into life providing a habitat for all…

If you go down to the woods today…

With sunny skies and a few hours to spare between shifts at work on Friday, it was the perfect opportunity to hunt for bluebells in the grounds of Nanteos Mansion. Nestled between two small nature reserves, Old Warren Hill & Coed Penglanowen their ancient woodlands provide the perfect unspoiled habitat for numerous species including these…

Strange & Beautiful

It was back in the warm and relatively carefree days of summer that I stumbled across a rather unusual find when out searching for insects among the wildflowers. In among a cluster of corn chamomile flowers growing beside the harbour wall, was this rather unusual looking bloom. This particular stem and in a conjoined or…

Scattered seeds

Whilst house sparrows have a highly varied diet from berries and insects to seeds and even table scraps, the majority of their diet consists of seeds and grain. They have a strong, stubby beak which enables them to break through the tough outer husks of seeds and reach the energy packed starch within. This female…

Beebombs

At the start of lockdown some months ago, finding myself with a lot more free time on my hands (how I long for that now!) I finally got around to planting my ‘beebombs’. Beebombs are wildflower seedballs designed to be scattered on open ground or in gardens to replicate a wildflower meadow. With such habitats…

Aberystwyth in Bloom: Part 2

With a change of scenery in order, what better time to visit the grounds of Aberystwyth Castle, a great spot for a morning of nature therapy! I was hoping to find some wildflowers to capture as part of my ongoing photography project and fortunately I was not left disappointed. The usually short cropped lawns have…

Aberystwyth in bloom: Part 1

Whilst lockdown has been an awful and difficult time, there have also been several positives which have emerged from this bleak situation. I like many others around the country have found absorbing myself in nature a great distraction and a way to stay positive and uplifted over the past 10 weeks or so. I’ve particularly…

Castle birdwatch

Yesterday morning, desperate for a change of scenery I headed out to visit the scenic grounds of Aberystwyth Castle, just a 5 minute walk from home and so well within the government guidelines! Despite the lure of yet more bright blue skies and glorious sunshine, the grounds were all but deserted apart from the birds…

The importance of wildflowers: Part 2

You may have seen my previous post about the importance of wildflowers, continuing that theme today I am looking at another small but vital habitat close to home. Just above the high tide line of the harbour is a small patch of rough ground, usually strewn with small rowing boats used by seafarers to reach…

The importance of wildflowers

Stepping just outside my back door is a small wildflower verge, a strip of long grass and a tangle of wildflowers, underappreciated by the regular traffic of dogwalkers. This area is however a small but vital habitat for many species of plants and animals and should be valued and protected. Plantains and grasses growing wild…

In search of bluebells

I am very lucky to work in a beautiful location, Nanteos Mansion, a grade I listed Georgian mansion nestled in woodlands just outside the town of Aberystwyth. Yesterday we stopped in for a spot of lunch, giving me the opportunity to explore the beautiful surroundings, something I haven’t done nearly as often as I would…

Red, white & blue

Here are some more images from my recent trip to Aberystwyth Castle and it’s grounds, somewhere I really must visit again on a more regular basis as it is particularly beautiful and alive with colour during the summer months. It’s wildflower beds, bare until only a few weeks ago, have now burst into life and…