The new calendar for 2014 is finally on its way! (check out the 2012 one here – 2013 we missed due to my illness!) Weâ€™ve already cancelled two dates due to very unseasonal weather but today we were lucky and the weather was ideal for the work we had planned.
Weâ€™re producing a desk calendar this year and the broad theme weâ€™re working towards is about showing how close the country parks are to the urban landscape, providing a sense of location to the calendar. In addition weâ€™ll include some of the natural history we come across.Â Today we took a walk through Bargoed Woodland Park starting from the Aberbargoed grasslands and working our way down towards the Rhymney river.
I produced a book all about the regeneration of the park ten years ago with the poet Ann Drysdale and whilst it has definitely matured since then its also been cut into four sections as a result of the new bypass, which must make it difficult to manage. James Bower, the Ranger, took us down paths that even the locals were surprised existed. Itâ€™s fascinating how far away from civilisation you can feel even when you know its just around the corner.
The stars of the day were the Marsh Fritillary butterflies, which only showed for the first time this year last Friday. The last couple of years have not been brilliant for this rare butterfly and with the Met Office officially proclaiming 2013 the coldest spring for 50 years, we can only hope that it continues to hold on in this corner of South Wales.
Bluebells were out in force, a sign that again everything is very late this year and it was quiet on the bird front; buzzard, carrion crow, blue and great tit, swift, swallow, house martin, blackbird and a solitary heron to round off the day.
Good company as always and a great start to the project – Iâ€™ll post the next date as soon as James and I have arranged it. The later two dates in the year are already set; Sunday 4th August and Sunday 29th September. If you areÂ interestedÂ in taking part in the project the contact James at Â -Â firstname.lastname@example.org –
It was a really good day out Tim, looking forward to the next one.