East Glamorgan, Cardiff and the Valleys

Coed y Bwl wild daffodil woods, near St. Brides Major, Glamorgan by Richard Marks

Coed y Bwl wild daffodil woods, near St. Brides Major by Richard Marks

We manage 11 nature reserves in east Glamorgan, Cardiff and the Valleys, including the beautiful reserve of Parc Slip, with its great cafe and easy to access areas as well as its hidden corners, which was once a coal mine. It has some fantastic historical features such as the Fountain, a memorial to a terrible mining disaster and we are working with a local heritage society tell more people about this aspect.

Taf Fechan Nature Reserve, near Merthyr Tydfil, is a magical and stunning nature reserve with its lime stone cliffs, wild river and verdant fern filled valleys.

Coed y Bwl in the gentle Vale of Glamorgan is a wild daffodil wood on a steep slope this gem of a reserve is well worth visiting in March when the whole floor is carpeted in yellow of Tenby and Welsh daffodils and studded with the white of wood anemones.

Latest East Glamorgan News

  • Frog Went A-Courting Frogs at Coed y Bwl Richard MarksFrogs are already on the march at Coed-y-Bwl Reserve – one jump ahead this year with masses of spawn appearing on January 27. Reserve volunteers have logged only one January record in the same ancient sheep pond alongside the wood – coincidentally on January 27, 2008 during a comparably mild period of westerly weather. At a time ...
  • Early Spring Flowers Record Breaker Coed y Bwl wild daffodil woods, near St. Brides Major by Richard MarksIt’s a record! The first wild daffodils were in bloom at Coed y Bwl reserve on January 25 – beating a long-standing early record by six days. Our mildest December since records began helped promote dormant bulbs at this wildwood gem in the Vale of Glamorgan. On the same day, nuthatches were spring-cleaning an old woodpecker hole in ...
  • Smutty Ferns A Fern Smut larva showing its characteristic brown head and green gut Graham WatkeysThis is about smut, but not the fungal kind of smut this time but the Mothy kind (reference previous article – Smut at Pwll Waun Cynon.) I’ve no idea why this particular group of Moths are called smuts but apparently they are. Maybe it’s one of these names that get applied ...
  • Parc Slip and The Welsh Wildlife Centre in the New Year Blackbird at Parc Slip by Vaughn MatthewsDust off your wellies this New Year and make a resolution you will enjoy keeping! Parc Slip’s Visitor Centre will be open as normal from New Years Day onwards, serving its delicious winter menu and a selection of hot beverages to keep you warm this season. Get stuck into a wild adventure to start your ...
  • Hair Ice Hair-ice at Taf Fechan caused by Exidiopsis efussa by Graham WatkeysNumber 545 Another entry in the occasional series of updates on the species recorded at Taf Fechan and this is a fascinating one. Exidiopsis effusa is one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of normally invisible fungal species living inside dead wood happily and quietly digesting away; however its particular presence is revealed rather spectacularly by the ...
  • Winter Moths Mottled-Umber-moth-by-Vaughn-MatthewsWinter may not traditionally be seen as a productive time of year for finding insects but there are still some out there that are worth keeping an eye out for! The vast majority of the UK’s 2,500(ish) species of moths are active during the warmer months of the year but there are a good number that ...
  • Structurally complex habitat banks and hibernaculum Creating a structurally complex habitat bank and hibernaculum (Photo by Pete Hill) Or Building the ARC We don’t often get to do big conservation or at least big in the sense of single large project aimed at a specific outcome; so it was with enormous anticipation and excitement that we welcomed the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust to Pwll Waun Cynon to install a pond and a large ...
  • Fungi in East Glamorgan Blue Cobalt Rust by Graham WatkeysAnd Pavlovian Potatoes Now, I have been interested in fungi for long enough to feel a sense of awe followed by confusion, stupefaction, disbelief and then finally a frankly quasi-religious rapture when I encounter the word “unmistakable” attached to the identification of one. This particular unmistakable fungus was Cobalt Crust and finding it amongst the tangle of ...
  • Dear Mr. Horse Is the food in the boxDear Mr. Horse, Thank you for your kind attention. May I first take this opportunity on behalf of the WTSWW to personally thank both yourself and your herd-mates for your concerted and dedicated conservation grazing efforts here at Pwll Waun Cynon, we are particularly impressed with the whole nutrient recycling effort. I further commend your positive ...
  • A Successful 5th Year at the Unknown Wales Conference Unknown-Wales-1.jpgThis year’s Unknown Wales Conference was another resounding success, with over 200 delegates joining us at the National Museum in Cardiff for a day of talks on Wales’ weird and wonderful wildlife. The Conference is organised jointly by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and the National Museum of Wales Cardiff, supported by a ...
  • Bringing Back Heathland at Llyn Fach Black-Darter-Dragonfly-at-Llyn-Fach.jpgI like friendly wildlife or if you’re being pragmatic and probably more biologically accurate cold-blooded wildlife that can’t actually physically move. I like to think my finger was the equivalent of a hot radiator on a cold day; she flew off a few minutes later. She is a Black Darter by the way and she and ...
  • The Slime Mould Slime-mould eating a fungus by Graham WatkeysThe Hazels at Taf Fechan destined for coppicing are usually marked with yellow line marking paint, so seeing a large blob of yellow on a tree wasn’t a surprise and I was only interested in the fungus at first, but this blob of yellow wasn’t paint. The fungus is Wrinkled Crust. The fungus is doomed, it’s ...