Matthew Oates, National Specialist on Nature and Wildlife for the National Trust, shares his love for the Great Orme in North Wales and the wildlife that calls it home.
The Great Orme is a place of pilgrimage for British naturalists. Try finding a botanist or a butterfly enthusiast who hasn’t been there, or at least one who doesn’t desperately want to visit. It is also on the birders’ radar, for its increasing Chough population and because it is a place where rare migrants turn up. Bat, beetle, lichen, moss, moth and marine wildlife enthusiasts also know and love the Great Orme, as do geologists, geographers and archaeologists. In effect, it is a wildlife paradise.
The Great Orme, Credit National Trust, Richard Williams
The National Trust are carrying out 25 BioBlitzes of coastal wildlife this summer. Copyright National Trust, credit Steven Haywood
This summer, hundreds of wildlife lovers and nature experts will help the National Trust to carry out its largest ever survey of coastal wildlife as part of the conservation charity’s year-long celebrations of the coast.
24 places along the 775 miles of coastline looked after by the National Trust across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will host a BioBlitz, a race against the clock involving rangers, experts and members of the public to record as many different species as possible.
A 25th BioBlitz will also be held at Kinver Edge in Staffordshire. Although land locked, this beautiful sandstone escarpment was once formed of ancient sand dunes and the survey will help uncover how some coastal wildlife can live away from the sea.
The National Trust is looking for a second shepherd to support an innovative conservation project in the foothills of Snowdon in North Wales.
Herding the sheep on the mountains above Hafod Y Llan. Credit Joe Cornish
The conservation charity’s in-hand farm, Hafod-y-Llan, manages 1600 Welsh Mountain sheep and every day between May and September, some of the flock is shepherded to new grazing areas away from any sensitive mountain habitats such as upland heaths and flushes (wet, boggy areas), in a bid to improve plant diversity on areas of the mountain.
Farmer and writer John Lewis-Stempel has been awarded the Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015 for Meadowland: the Private Life of an English Field – his lyrical account of a year in the life of a farmland meadow.
“A magnificent love letter to the natural world, full of wisdom and experience, written with wit, poetry and love. I want to scream from the rooftops: buy it, give it, read it” – Tim Smit, The Eden Project
Worth £5,000, the annual book prize is awarded by publishers Frances Lincoln, in association with the National Trust, to spotlight the best books in UK nature and travel writing.
Hope you enjoyed our April Fool story about our new underwater mansion Seaward House off the coast of Blakeney Point in Norfolk.
Aerial view of Blakeney Point in Norfolk. Credit Ian Ward
This year is a significant year for the National Trust as it celebrates all things ‘coast’ – with the 50th anniversary of its Neptune fundraising campaign which has helped us with the acquisition and care of 775 miles of coastline in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
So, keep your eyes peeled over the next few months for the coastal stories we will be issuing as we celebrate all things coast with some great projects to include a detailed examination of our coastal habitats and the effects of climate change and the weather on our coastline with the tenth anniversary of our Shifting Shores project.
A ten acre area of tranquil riverside gardens will open tomorrow (Saturday 28 March) at the National Trust’s Bodnant Garden in north Wales for the first time in its 140-year history. Continue reading →