Issue 53 – Winter 2015

The search is on for harvest mice in Wales
How widespread are harvest mice in the landscapes of Wales today and where should signs of them be looked for? BECKY CLEWS-ROBERTS describes the habits of this elusive, very small mammal, and a collaborative project to improve knowledge of their distribution and habitat preferences
The rare spider fauna of Wales
Although of modest size, Wales is notable for the diversity of its spider fauna, having almost five times as many species per unit area as England, and four times as many as Scotland. This richness has been catalogued for nearly two centuries, and is continuing to deliver exceptional records, as RICHARD GALLON describes.
Restoring ancient woodland – seeing the light
At this year’s Wales Biodiversity Partnership Conference ALASTAIR HOTCHKISS delivered a workshop on Ancient Woodland which looked at the Woodland Trust’s approach to restoration management and its new 4-year restoration project. It was well attended by members of the private, public, and voluntary sectors, both local and national, and it’s hoped that this positive response could spell good news for ancient woodland.
Bats in Wales
Legal protection for bats provided the spur for county bat groups to form, to give advice to householders and to find out more about their local bats. As a result, and with the help of rapid technological developments, knowledge of the status and distribution of bats has been transformed in three decades; alongside which bat populations and distribution are constantly changing, as HENRY SCHOFIELD explains.
Llynnau Cregennen - the hidden jewels of Cadair Idris
Acid rain, pollution, peat erosion, nutrient enrichment, invasive non-native species – life is tough for freshwater lakes in Wales, and few manage to maintain healthy ecosystems which meet European targets. What a delight, therefore, to find thriving lakes which appear to have changed little over the centuries. TRISTAN HATTON-ELLIS headed a team which plunged into an investigation and emerged with an astonishing insight into underwater life.
The seasonal changes along our coasts
NIA HAF JONES is our guide through the seasonal changes seen at the seaside and beneath the waves, and shares a few gems of knowledge with us about some of our coastal species.
Citizen Scientists counting our breeding birds
Our breeding land-birds are probably the best monitored in the world. GEOFF GIBBS explains how it is done, which species are the winners and which the losers, and what the fieldworkers get out of taking part.
Wildlife in orchards, churchyards and gardens
When people come into contact with nature the fun begins, and creates the chance of securing a lasting place for nature within Society. Where better to enable this to happen than in orchards, churchyards and gardens? An innovative project is involving people to help wildlife in these places, as IWAN EDWARDS reports.

Our regular page from the charity Buglife

Brownfield stepping stones – important habitat links

Clare Dinham

Discoveries in Science

Interesting insights from the National Museum Wales

Leafhopper diversity in a Cardiff urban meadow

Mike Wilson

From the garden

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

A sustainable future from a Regency past

Rob Thomas and Bruce Langridge

Nature at large

Habitat management at Rhosgoch Wood

Ivy Denham

Marine matters

After the 2013-14 winter storms

Ivor Rees

Life lines

Following the work of Natural Resources Wales

Surveying Risso’s dolphins

Ceri Morris

Mammals round up

Mammal news and sightings in Wales

Muntjac, water vole and carrier bags

Frances Cattanach

Book reviews

Underlands: A Journey Through Britain’s Lost Landscape by Ted Nield
The Birds of Radnorshire by Peter Jennings
Wildflower Meadows in Monmouthshire: ten years of conserving and restoring flower-rich grasslands by Monmouthshire Meadows Group
Cyfres Am Dro by Angharad Tomos
Glyndŵr’s Way by Paddy Dillon
The Ceredigion and Snowdonia Coast Paths by John B. Jones
The Severn Way by Terry Marsh

Wales Biodiversity Conference 2014

Nature recovery planning in Wales

Wales Biodiversity Partnership