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Exploring Our Woodlands

November 2007

October sun makes way for November chill

Posted by Gareth Bonello on 15 November 2007

The autumn has been in full swing for a couple of weeks now, and the mild weather has resulted in some spectacular scenes here at St Fagans. The days of October were sunny and clear and the winds have been calm. The result of all this were spectacular shades of orange, red, yellow and brown as the leaves changed colour but stayed on the trees. Now that it is mid November we have had a couple of blustery days and a couple of rainy days and the branches are becoming increasingly bare as piles of dry leaves collect along the paths and roads. The temperature has also dropped dramatically over the past week, with the cold nights often leaving a frost on the leaves by the morning.

Many of the trees and hedges that bore fruit earlier in the month have been picked clean by the hungry birds. The squirrels are having a field day with all the seeds and nuts currently in abundance on the trees, Particularly the Beech Mast which is just starting to fall. I’ve also seen a good few Redwing over the past few weeks that have flown south from Scandinavia to cash in on the bounty of Hawthorn and Yew berries.

As far as activities go I had a very busy week with the school half term holidays. I ran workshops based on the BBC Autumnwatch and Nature Detectives schemes and personally dealt with over 1100 visitors! There was a leaf identification trail and an autumn identification challenge as well as colouring in for the little ones. The autumnwatch website is well worth a visit as it has loads of free resources and information that will keep you busy for years!

The woodland path is coming along nicely and plans for the panels are moving forwards. I’m particularly pleased with some of the ideas for activity panels that will get people interacting with their surroundings, and actually looking differently at the woodland. The path was cleared last week with the help of some volunteers from Legal & General and it's starting to look more walkable. Many thanks to the guys and girls at L&G for being such tough nuts and doing a great job! I've put some pictures below.

The Ty Gwyrdd interpreter Elin Roberts and myself have also started getting bird food from a company called Wiggly Wrigglers and have been feeding the birds all manner of treats outside the Ty Gwyrdd . I'm hoping to put up several bird feeding stations in the next few weeks as well as some nest boxes and hedgehog boxes too. Let me know if you have any comments and don't forget to look at the pictures!