Posted by: Claire Hannington | November 2, 2016

Autumnal October

This month certainly finished on a high – temperature wise. I was in Ceredigion helping move the ponies on Monday and it was an amazingly warm and dry day.

We started the month however a little damp around the edges – with the Saturday group clearing out the pond on Llanrhidian Marsh. We undertake this task every three years to ensure the stock that graze the marsh have fresh drinking water. We had to dodge a couple of heavy showers but all in all it was a far better day than had been forecast – and nobody fell in!

It’s the best time of year to clear out ponds so we also cleared part of the pond at our farm at South Pilton Green to ensure there is a mix of vegetation cover and open water. With waders on we sent our younger(!) volunteers in – Ollie and Alys to pull out some of the vegetation whilst the rest of us stayed dry on the edge and dragged it out of the pond. Neither fell in but Ollie found there was a hole in his waders – sorry Ollie!


This month also saw the start of our winter work programme with gorse clearance at Fall Bay. We have spent a few days there this month already. It’s part of a five year management plan to break up the vast amounts of gorse in the area and create a mosaic of habitats. We are in year three and the benefits of the last two years work can clearly be seen with heather flourishing in abundance. We also found this lovely little bug.


It’s a glow worm larva!

We have had help from a couple of groups on this site – a group from Blaen-y-Maes youth club who are doing their John Muir Award and also a group of students from Gower College Swansea undertaking their Welsh Baccalaureate.


Whilst I had a weeks holiday walking in the Lake District, the volunteers were ably led by Alys and Ollie and undertook some rhododendron clearance on Ryers Down; gorse clearance at Fall Bay; and scrub clearance at the hillfort at Penmaen Burrows.

We have spent a day since clearing the hillfort and are going to finish it today. What has been cleared already looks really good – but I’m not sure where the volunteers went!


The students from Gower College Swansea also spent a day litterpicking Rhossili beach.

We have spent a couple of days at Cwm Ivy splitting logs and delivering them to the holiday cottages – it’s definitely wood burner season now. We have also continued clearing the woodland ride behind the woodyard that we started last year to create a wildlife corridor.

It was with a tear in our eyes we had to say goodbye to Ollie this month as he has headed back home to Cardiff. He has been an amazing FTV and we will all miss him – we gave him the good old Gower send off – tea and cake at the Lodge!

Thank you Ollie 🙂





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