Issue 59 – Summer 2016

The Welsh Rothschilds – identifying places for nature

In 1915 Charles Rothschild produced the first list of places worthy of preservation for nature. Although the information about the Welsh sites selected was sketchy, it is instructive to revisit the list and consider how they have fared, and, as author JONATHAN MULLARD points out, to consider in what condition they may be in when another century has passed.

The end of the line for the Strandline Beetle?

With its perfect camouflage you could be excused for not spotting the Strandline Beetle. Sadly, there are more sinister reasons why it’s rarely seen. MIKE HOWE reports on the decline in populations on the coasts of South Wales.

Earthstar fungus Geastrum britannicum: coming soon to a churchyard near you

Species of fungus previously unknown in the UK are found on an annual basis but it’s not every day that a species new to science is found, especially one that is both eye-catching and apparently widespread. ANDREW SHAW charts the progress of this new earthstar.

Trelogan - A small Welsh village with a worldwide reputation

Trelogan is a small village in north Flintshire with a long history of metal mining.  PAUL DAY and PHIL PUTWAIN explain how its mining legacy produced both interesting plants and an open-air laboratory which have provided one of the finest demonstrations of evolution in action.

A photographer’s journey - from landscapes to birds in their habitat

The advent of digital cameras changed the world for bird photographers. JEREMY MOORE has progressed from taking images of landscapes to photographing birds in their landscape. He describes this journey culminating in his new Bird/Land exhibition, in which letterbox-shaped photographs are displayed as a triptych.

Snowdonia – more than mountains: the Snowdonia Biodiversity Fair

GETHIN DAVIES knows better than most how the experience of spending time in the open air, and enjoying the wide Welsh beaches, can influence what interests a person, and even his choice of career. That is one reason why Snowdonia National Park Authority’s annual Biodiversity Tour, which intends to concentrate on the Park’s marine habitats this year, is so close to his heart. In this article he explains more about the background of the annual Biodiversity Tour and gives us a taster of what children from three coastal primary schools can look forward to during June 2016.

This article is written in Welsh. You can read a translation here.

Do bats visit the Pembrokeshire Islands?

New ideas about the movements bats will undertake in the UK are emerging, as we discover that bats such as Nathusius’ pipistrelle make extraordinary journeys. Here RACHEL TAYLOR reports on a research project recording the occurrence of bats on three Pembrokeshire islands, to look for evidence of bats commuting to these sites. Far more bats were found than previously known there, including unexpected species such as greater horseshoe bat.

“I had seen nothing in nature so spectacular” - the Grassholm saga

The fourth largest gannet colony in the world and, as DAVID SAUNDERS reports, a very remarkable tiny island.

Freshwater pearl mussels - Pearls in Peril

Natur Cymru 50 reported on the beginnings the Pearls in Peril project which was aiming to protect vulnerable populations of freshwater pearl mussels on the Afon Eden. As the project draws to its close ELAIN GWILYM and JACKIE WEBLEY report on the work that has been done. Things are looking hopeful, but it may be many years before we see how successful it has truly been.

Book reviews

Meadowland by John Lewis-Stempel

Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland by Steven Falk, illustrated by Richard Lewington

Marine Matters

Seared scallops

Ivor Rees

Buglife

Our regular page from the charity Buglife

There is life in dead wood!

Ryan Clark

From the garden

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

Dancing to the rhythm of fungi – ballerina waxcaps

Bruce Langridge

Discoveries in science

Interesting insights from the National Museum Wales

Safeguarding the gems of a scientific collection

Harriet Wood

Plantlife

Our regular page from the charity Plantlife

The Great Orme

Colin Cheesman

Woods and forests

News from Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales

The Long Forest project

Nick Atkinson