Issue 56 – Autumn 2015

Clawr rhifyn 56 / Issue 56 cover

Zero-till and cover crops - the new agri-revolution

Farmers across the globe are learning to work with nature rather than fight it. The biology of their soil is more important than the power of their machinery, and the benefits of their new approach are seen not only in the improvement of soil and an increase in wildlife but in their farm accounts. MIKE DONOVAN explains the methods farmers are using to implement these new ideas.

Lovely Dyfi – progress in the Biosphere

When we reported on the Dyfi Biosphere in 2009 (Natur Cymru 33 pp18-21) the area had just been awarded its new, improved status by UNESCO. The accolade concerns cultural and built heritage as well as natural heritage, but here ANDY ROWLAND concentrates on how it can be used to encourage people to play more active roles in understanding, monitoring and caring for their environment.

Wentwood Forest revisited

In Natur Cymru 51, Barry Embling gave us a fascinating introduction to Wentwood Forest. Now COLIN TITCOMBE fills in more of the detail, based on his experience as a forester there 40 years ago. He describes the raven which went to the Tower, the dormice living in conifers and the insects encountered during day-to-day forestry operations.

The limestone grasslands of north-east Wales

The species-rich grasslands of the north-east Wales limestone are a highlight of the Welsh flora. Here JOHN OSLEY describes the limestone country, the types of grassland, the plants and where you can see them.

Spoilt rotten – the wonders of colliery spoil tip

Historically wildlife suffered as the south Wales coalfields expanded to fuel Britain’s rise in the Industrial revolution. But mining left behind huge spoil tips which are now providing unique and extraordinarily rich new habitats, particularly for invertebrates. LIAM OLDS has been studying these unlikely strongholds of biodiversity.

Sefydliad Morgan Parry Foundation

Morgan Parry was a highly respected advocate for living within natural limits. The Morgan Parry Foundation (SMPF) has been established by his family, friends and colleagues in his memory in order to continue his work. By ROGER THOMAS, founder trustee of the SMPF. www.morganparry.cymru

Weaving the web: towards a natural garden

Can successful growing of fruit and vegetables ever be fully compatible with the requirements of biodiversity? MALCOLM BERRY thinks it can, at least when growing at home. Here he shares some experiences from his journey into polyculture.

Dartford warblers in Wales

The tiny Dartford warbler differs from almost all our breeding warblers by staying here year-round, which does leave it very vulnerable to severe winters. In 1998 it bred in Wales for the first time. HANNAH MEINERTZHAGEN tells us about her research on this species in Gower, carried out for an MSc at Swansea University.

Book reviews

Rainbow Dust by Peter Marren
Small Mammals and their signs, pub. Natural Resources Wales
The Life of Buzzards by Peter Dare
A Bird Observatory is Born by Joan James

Discoveries in Science

Interesting insights from the National Museum Wales
Spread of the New Zealand Flatworm – a new citizen science survey
Barbara Brown

Islands round up

Our regular look at the islands off the Welsh coast. This time:

Cretzschmar’s bunting on Bardsey Island

Ben Porter and Geoff Gibbs

Buglife

Our regular page from the charity Buglife

Promoting spring forage

Steven Falk

Woods and forests

News from Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales

Campaign to save the Celtic rainforest at Llenyrch

Rory Francis

Life lines

Following the work of Natural Resources Wales

The Chinese mitten crab – alien invaders on the Dee

Ben Wray

From the garden

It’s all happening at the National Botanic Garden of Wales

A Welsh mycological revival

Bruce Langridge