Seasons have shifted and there any many changes to report on at Ynys-hir since the last blog. Firstly, August saw the welcoming of 3 interns for their 9 month posting; Darran, Philippa and Naomi. All will be working on site creating homes for nature and improving the experience for visitors.

Our recent conservation work has focussed on clearing large areas of bramble, holly, and rhododendron from our broadleaf woodland on the green trail to open up the scrub layer for specialist woodland species like the pied flycatcher and wood warbler. Both species are on the conservation red list, meaning their numbers nationwide have dropped significantly. Fortunately our part of Wales has the perfect habitat for these birds and it’s our job to keep it in the best condition. Another part of the management will see our Welsh mountain ponies grazing in the wood over the coming weeks; their hooves churn up the ground and reduce the amount of unwanted vegetation regrowth in the spring.

Elsewhere on the green trail, we’ve created a new Insectacropolis for our minibeast Wildlife Challenge. Rotting log piles, leaf litter and muddy stumps are great places for finding the smaller inhabitants of our reserve like worms, earwigs, and ground beetles which are essential food for hedgehogs, blackbirds and many more species. Sign up for Wild Challenge free on our website and explore the micro-world on the reserve!

We have made some changes to the red route due to the closing of the path at farm corner as we coppice an area of woodland. Our aim is to create pockets of woody regeneration throughout the woodland to generate a more dynamic habitat with trees of different ages. Beforehand we had to conduct a dormouse survey to ensure no disturbance occurred, and it was certainly an experience surveying for nests in head-high brambles!! We didn’t find any nest evidence, however stay tuned for an update of murine management work in the coming months.

As this part of the red trail is now closed, with the help of our brilliant volunteers and warden Russell, we opened up a new route into Covert Du further down the track to access Ynys Eidiol viewing screen and the reed bed.