Jamie Wyver  

Here’s a lovely story from RSPB member Barbara Webber. 


“I was pleased to read the Nature’s Home article on Ynys-hir, it took me back 80 years to when my mother and I went for safety from Bristol blitzes, to Aberdyfi and my love of nature began.  

View from Covert Du hide, Ynys-hir RSPB nature reserve – Jenny Hibburt (rspb-images.com) 


Some days we went up the estuary to the peat areas and collected peat (there was a war on!) to make dressings for soldier's wounds. We took it back to the Red Cross room in Aberdfyi, laid it out on trays to dry, then picked out any thorns. After drying it was put in muslin bags and, I presume, taken off to Towyn to the army base. 

I was lucky to be in such a beautiful, varied place – that was the first time I saw sundew! I have been back several times to such happy memories.” 

Round-leaved sundew – Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com) 


As those of us who have gardens prepare for the bank holiday weekend, we might be planning a trip to the local garden centre, perhaps to stock up on compost. Unlike Barbara, we don’t have an urgent need for peat. In fact, it’s best left where it is, in peat bogs, forming wonderful wildlife habitats as well as storing water and carbon. And providing beautiful places for people like Barbara to be inspired by nature!  

So please, choose peat-free when you’re at the garden centre and help us show compost companies that this is the way gardeners want to go. 

Find out more: Why choose peat free? 


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For more on reserves, visit our Reserves A-Z and head over to our Bird A-Z for identification and behaviour information. Email: natureshome@rspb.org.uk