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New Website New Blog!

Jun 29, 2013 | General | Comments (0)
An entry welcoming people to my new website and a new set of blogs.
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The State of Things (Part 2)

Oct 29, 2012 | General | Comments (0)
An article on the spread of Japanese Knotweed.
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The State Of Things (Part 1)

Oct 20, 2012 | General | Comments (0)
Marine pollution on the South Wales coast.
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Red Kite’s in August

Aug 15, 2012 | General | Comments (0)
Red Kites's at harvest time in mid August 2012, the first bit of sun that we have had all summer.
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Tawny Owl Chick, 2nd Attempt and Sigma 400mm lens.

Jul 29, 2012 | General | Comments (0)
Here is a later attempt at photographing a Tawny Owl chick.
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Tawny Owl Chick.

Jul 15, 2012 | General | Comments (0)
My first attempts at photographing a Tawny Owl chick.
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Usk Reservoir

May 28, 2012 | General | Comments (0)
The Usk Reservoir and the surrounding area.
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Denmark Farm & Tynewydd Reserve, Adar Network.

Apr 17, 2012 | General | Comments (0)
An overview of a couple of local reserves.
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Spring Walks: Llyn Briann, Tywi Forest and New Quay.

Mar 15, 2012 | General | Comments (0)
Spring Walks: Llyn Briann, Tywi Forest and New Quay.
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General Blog Update.

Jan 1, 2012 | General | Comments (0)
General information on the following blog entries.
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Wildlife and Conservation Blog by S. Tune

Dec 20, 2011 | General | Comments (0)
A blog looking both at the Wildlife of West Wales and those who are working to conserve it.
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You can find a broad range of products and services on this web site, including Binoculars, Photographic & Optical Repairs, Accessories, Classic Collectable Cameras, Books, Wildlife Articles, Wildlife Art and Networking.

Also do visit our: WILDLIFE BLOG, on areas of natural interest.

Wildlife and Conservation Blog by S. Tune

on Dec 20, 2011 | General | 0 comments


Hello everyone, first of all I would like to say thank you for taking the time to read my blog. 

Why am I writing this? Well what we are doing here in Wales is really something of a new and unknown venture. By what are we doing, I mean setting up a binocular / photographic company in a rural area, where previously there has been nothing. Our village doesn’t even have a corner shop, or a pub, or many other things that others take for granted, and that may be part of the point there is chronic under investment in this area both at local and national levels. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a nice area, it’s a beautiful area, and there are many wonderful people living here. But that doesn’t stop you asking the question, do we need a binocular shop? Do we need a binocular shop more than we need a …post-office for example? Possibly not!  But then I don’t know about running a post-office, I know about binoculars and spotting scopes and cameras and all of the hundreds of bits and pieces that you annoyingly need to make them work. So I decided to come out here and set this up! There is something else mind, something I spotted the first time I came here, and that is all of the wildlife that is great to look at is already here.

   Previously I had worked at a number of urban locations, at my last shop, we were lucky enough to have a visiting Peregrine Falcon who liked to come and hunt pigeons on the church at the end of the road. If you were lucky you might get a sighting whist trying out a scope or binoculars, but then since setting up a scope often also involved avoiding sometimes literally hundreds of shoppers and tourists, delivery drivers, cars, taxis, and of course the bin lorries that seemed to squeeze down a street only just wide enough for them (I’m sure they would think nothing of flattening a budding birder), you probably lucky to survive the testing of the product. There are no such problems in rural Ceredigion; we are in no short supply of large tracks grass land, woodland, shoreline, heaths and meadows in which to safely stand and watch all kinds of wild wonders.  In fact, not long after arriving at our farm I was amazed to see not one, but eight Red Kites circling above the farm yard. Red Kites are just part of everyday life here in West Wales (although admittedly not normally in groups as strong as eight), you will often see them in ones’ two’s and three’s hunting at field’s edge, they seem wonderfully unaware of how close they came to extinction; and they serve as a reminder of what people can do if they try to conserve and support wildlife.


   I realised that if you are starting to try and view wildlife that you also start becoming involved in trying to conserve wildlife, that there is a connection. I’ve always liked wildlife and have always been excited and pleased to see it, any kind, whether plant or animal, insect or bird or fish, I’ve always been happy in the natural world, looking over a landscape, looking up in the air or looking closely at the ground beneath my feet. However it wasn’t until I moved from working in pure photography to working for a supplier that specialised in optics that I realised this connection. Many of our customers were wildlife enthusiasts who would stop at nothing to see (as clearly as possible) their chosen subject. The ethics of this are difficult (I still give much thought to this) because shouldn’t wildlife be exactly that, ‘wild’, left alone by man. The problem is that man has already encroached so much on the habitats of his neighbouring species that I doubt that there is a creature on this Earth that has not felt the effect. So I think that we are left with having to support wildlife in very open and public way, nature has to have PR and it already does. Hardly a week goes by without a leaflet coming through my door on supporting some species or that, how this creature is threatened with extinction, and these are all true and worthwhile causes, but you cannot support them all, not directly. As a family we do our bit but I often feel swamped.


   So it was a conscious decision when we set up Adar Nature Optics, to try and get more involved with conservation and supporting it, particularly at the local level.  What are we doing to support conservation? Well that comes in two categories. Firstly what we are doing directly.

   Well as I mentioned above Adar Nature Optics is based on a working farm, when we took over farming here the land hadn’t been managed in quite some time, but this did mean we could have a fresh start. We have been spending much of our time ‘laying’ and replanting the traditional hedges around the farm, taking out old fencing, barbed wire and pieces of scrap metal, and general clearing rubbish not just on the farm but also on the roads running parallel to us. Putting areas of land for ‘set aside’ so as to and create wildlife corridors. We’ve put new nest boxes around the farm yard and tried to keep feeding our resident birds. But perhaps our biggest project is the creation of something amounting to a small wildlife reserve at the edge of our land.

We have a small river running through a couple of our fields (the river Nant Cledlyn) and for the distance of a couple of hundred yards we own the land on both banks, the near side is a meadow, the far-side is a mixture of trees and hedges not quite constituting woodland, two other small streams join the river at this point and there is a set of small rapids. Again the land here hasn’t been managed for some time and the land on the far-side makes for poor grazing. So we decided to plant trees in this area, set it aside from the animals, and turn the scrub back into woodland. We have already started clearing the clogged streams and propagating tree saplings for planting out in the next year. We hope to put up more nest boxes in the area and create habitats for invertebrates (log piles etc.). We also have planned a small pond (in an area that already gathers water) and generally encourage species diversity. This will include not using pesticides and fertilisers and encouraging others in the area to do the same.


   Secondly support for conservation will come from the way in which we manage our company. We hope to encourage business from those who are already involved in conservation and educate those who are just beginning to observe wildlife. To network and supply information on conservation in our area, to show people the kinds of species and habitats that West Wales has to offer.


   There-you-are then we do intend to sell some binoculars, encourage local wildlife conservation and support the local community in the process.  Hopefully this introduction to setting up Adar Nature Optics has given you some idea of the kinds of things that we hope to try and achieve. All in all there is a lot still to do, so I had better get on.

Please come back again for next week’s blog entry which will be on the area of upland mid Wales around Llyn Brianne.



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