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Denmark Farm & Tynewydd Reserve, Adar Network.

on Apr 17, 2012 | General | 0 comments
 

One of the more interesting groups / businesses that I will be talking a little more about through our Network, and indeed somewhere that I will be both studying and teaching at, is Denmark Farm conservation centre. http://www.denmarkfarm.org.uk/ A nature reserve situated in the heart of rural Ceredigion half way between the market towns of Tregaron and Lampeter. Denmark Farm has been established for the last 25 years and in that time the local wildlife really has made it home with a mixture of wetlands, woodlands and meadows. Not only is it a beautiful place to visit and just walk around but it also hosts a number of courses and activities (both its own, private and those run by higher education establishments). It also carries out important ecological studies and surveys and it was on just such a survey trip that I was first introduced to Denmark Farm.

The Lake at Denmark Farm.

The 15th April 2012 was Bug Safari day at Denmark Farm, this was a free event with an open invitation and I decided that this would be a perfect optunity to take the family and have a look around. We were lucky with the weather, the sun was out and the Welsh countryside was looking its best, spring was here! I don't know if it was the weather but we were greeted by the most perfect setting; a small group of converted (in to a teaching space) farm buildings set amongst woodland and meadows brimming with wildlife. The Bug Safari was going to take the form of an organised Bug (invertebrates & insects) hunt around a number of different habitats; and would form part of an Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) research project. The family, along with a number of other local families, seemed to relish the opportunity to go rummaging in leaf litter, looking under stones and on plants to see what they could find. There were a number of children present and both they and their parents were soon racing along to see just how many bugs could be discovered in our allotted time slots (15min's in each habitat). It was great fun and very interesting at the same time, plus gave us the opportunity to meet a number of like minded people. After we had completed our study we spent some further time exploring the Farm, walking down to where a new hide has been constructed overlooking a very pretty pond. We quickly became engrossed in the antics of the resident Willow Warblers that had found a good home in the many Willow trees that lined the ponds North Bank. We stayed here sometime watching them and a solitary Canadian Goose that was sitting on the water. I also had the opportunity to spot my first Pied Flycatchers of the year! Eventually a little tiredness crept in and it was that and thoughts of what was for dinner that told me that it must be time to go home. All in all though it was a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon; I wouldn't hesitate in recommending that anyone in the local area who is interested in wildlife goes along to events at Denmark Farm!

Even though the Bug hunting took place at 'quite a clip' I did manage to get some photographs of our 'discoveries':

Spider

It should also be said that I was quite influenced by my visit to Denmark Farm; it has inspired me to press forward with my own nature reserve (mentioned in my earlier blogs). This has been an area of development that we have managed to keep chipping away at. Since I last wrote, and over the winter, we have continued to clear the hedge rows and have carried out much needed work on the trees (cutting off dead or over hanging limbs), we have also made several trips to clear the river of any rubbish or litter that finds its way into the watercourse.  However since the Denmark Farm visit there has been quite a lot of work taking place: We managed to borrow a JCB and cleared the gateways of the joining fields and fill in areas where the hedge row has been damaged or collapsed, we have also rebuilt the gateway in the same area and cleared an area that will have a gate giving footpath access to the main road from the reserve. More directly we have put up more than half of the fencing that will separate the grazing land from the reserve and created areas where the animals can come to the river for water without entering the reserve. I have started putting in the foundations for the area where the hide is going to be. We have also dug and filled the pond and put a number of woodpiles around for animals and insects to make into their homes. We have used a number of old pipes to build a bug hotel. There have been a large number of trees and shrubs donated to the reserve and we have used them to fill the gaps in the existing hedging and plant up new wooded areas, we hope to eventually turn at least 2/3 's of the reserve in to woodland.

An image of the river from where the hide will be built at Tynewydd Farm.

Developments at the reserve and at Denmark Farm can be found through links on the new Adar Network part of our website. Adar Network has been set up to hopefully help with my wish for the company to be involved directly with the development of local conservation. This area will provide a forum (where people will be able to express their ideas), a database of useful information and a network through which those who are interested in conservation in Ceredigion can contact one another.

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