Thank you Cy for your inspiring talk ‘Revealing the hidden heritage of Radnorshire Wildlife Trust’s Gilfach Reserve’ (see earlier post). Your talk was a real eye opener. For us a hump in the ground will never again be just a hump in the ground.
On Friday 15th March there will be an illustrated talk about the archaeology of Radnorshire Wildlife Trust’s Gilfach Nature Reserve. The speaker, Cy Griffiths, Director of the Council for British Archaeology Wales undertook a survey there and her talk provides the details her findings.
Date of talk: Friday 15th March 2019. Venue: CARAD theatre space, East Street, Rhayader. Time: 7.30 p.m. start. Entry: £2, under 16s free.
Rob Parry’s illustrated talk about the Marsh Fritillary butterfly last night (19th February) was something very special indeed. Rob is an expert on the requirements of this endangered species. He covered in fascinating detail the butterfly’s breeding biology and its requirements of habitat and climate, its relationship with a parasitic wasp and why it has become so rare – mainly due to the loss of its caterpillar food plant Devil’s-bit Scabious.
Although once common the Marsh Fritillary is now believed extinct in the Rhayader district but there is hope. Rob told us about the butterfly’s history in the Rhayader district and about an exciting project that began last year to restore areas of habitat where it was once found. The aim, once the habitat is right, is to reintroduce this beautiful butterfly.
Thanks Rob for such a stimulating talk.
Sorcha’s talk last Thursday was very well attended. Not surprising really as everyone knows how superb her photography is and what an inspirational champion she is for looking after our district’s natural heritage. We are very lucky to have her in our midst. Thank you Sorcha.
Farming and Wildlife in the Elan Valley is the topic of this illustrated talk by local farmer and naturalist Sorcha Lewis. Sorcha is well known for her work in environmental conservation and here she tells us about the special measures she and her husband have undertaken to protect for future generations the natural heritage of their upland farm.
The talk is on Thursday 24th January and will be at CARAD (Community Arts Rhayader and District), East Street, Rhayader in the museum/exhibition building. Start of talk 7.30pm. Entry £2 adults, children under 16 free.
The group visited the Spaceguard Centre near Knighton on Saturday November 17th. The subject proved very popular with 21 members gathering for a guided tour. Unfortunately the sky was rather cloudy on the night but the indoor tour was something quite exceptional and well recommended. The Spacequard Centre website gives a warning to prospective visitors – it says ‘beware, a visit to the Spaceguard Centre can be life changing’. It certainly was, not only for the fantastic place that it is but for the mind-blowing lecture we were given on the history of the cosmos, as far as is currently known, and the potential threat posed by near earth objects (NEOs). Looking out for NEOs is the main role of the Spaceguard Centre. Currently we can do very little to save Earth from a catastrophic collision with a NEO but at least we will have recorded the event.
If you’ve never been to the Spaceguard Centre you should make a visit soon – it really is life changing.
This trip to the coast was a great success. Twelve members made the trip and our diligent searches came up with many wildlife treats. These National Nature Reserves are beautiful places with special species to be found at every turn. Relatively few birds were found but that was expected at this time of year as most were keeping a low profile while they undergo their post breeding moult. It was the abundance of insects that stole the show, particularly the dragonflies and butterflies: the rare Small Red Damselfly (photo below) was about in numbers at Cors Fochno and with them numerous Blue-tailed, Emerald and Azure damselflies, Black and Common Darters, Four-spotted Chaser, Brown and Common Hawkers and the Emperor Dragonfly. The butterflies included Brimstone, Common Blue, Small Copper, Speckled Wood and Dark Green Fritillary. Even the Gatekeeper butterflies, which were plentiful, created a stir as they are very rarely found around Rhayader. The moth Endotricha flammealis (photo below), disturbed from the heather as we followed the boardwalk at Cors Fochno was a goodie too as, to date, it has not been found in Brecknock or Radnorshire.
At Ynys Las we walked to the View Point finding some interesting coastal plants among the drought dried grasses.