The extra bits...(Under construction).

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Blog walking - Nercwys forest.....

      Friday 20th March at Nercwys woods, North Wales.

      Although suffering from 'man flu' I took Bramble along for a walk around one of my favorite local walks at Nercwys forest. Over time man has had a huge impact upon this area, changing the landscape quite dramatically. With these many changes the effect upon local flora and fauna has also been dramatic. In an evolutionary timescale the changes have occurred within just the blink of an eye which means wildlife has been hard pressed to adapt or evolve to the swiftly changing landscape. After centuries of sheep farming and open moorland the land was used for lead mining in the mid to late 1800's with some remains of the sturdier buildings still visible. There are remains of a Bronze age burial cairn and remains of more recent farm buildings tucked away along the trails. The site of what was once a large walled vegetable garden has had its dry stone wall reconstructed and now contains a wildflower meadow where old breeds of pig and sheep can sometime be seen, used to graze the area as it would have been done many years ago. 

     Then in the 1960's the area was acquired by the Forestry commision and large areas of non-native conifers such as Silver pine were planted for the timber industry. This managed woodland is pleasant enough and is home now to a reasonable amount of wildlife but I always feel that a large part of these areas should be given over to native trees which would, in my opinion, support a much larger and more diverse amount of wildlife. 

     The walk itself was a little bittersweet if I'm truly honest. I've mentioned in previous posts that this year it would appear a far greater number of trees have been felled for timber and the place has lost some of its atmosphere and its feel of a 'slightly spooky fairy tale forest'. Also a lot of the trails have been 'improved' by being flattened, widened and hard-cored, to allow easier access for people which has also had an effect upon the atmosphere by losing many of the twisty and narrow pathways. Easier access also attracts folk who have no idea of the impact on such areas they can have. I always try to abide to my rule of leaving no trace of myself being there, apart from the footprints of my walking boots, and leaving the area untouched. But even this early on in the year the detritus left by folk is alarming. I suppose it's not just folk being bone idle but also a lack of understanding of the effect of all the discarded drinks containers, food wrappers etc have on wildlife. I picked up tin cans, plastic bottles and crisp packets which filled my small knapsack by the end of the walk, with each item a potential death trap for small creatures. What really gets my goat is that the bloody things are lighter once empty than when these imbeciles started walking with them!

Just some of the detritus I picked up...
     But still there were lighter moments that still made the walk enjoyable. Certainly there is a feeling of Spring about the forest with the increased singing of birds such as Robin, Blackbird and Titmarsh. The first flowers are beginning to appear with the odd Dandelion and Colt's-foot adding a touch a yellow to the sides of the pathways...

A mountain of moss with spore cases just starting to appear.....


Something so primitive about Lichens,  probably why they appeal to me...

Sometimes the minute can look scary...


Colt's-foot, the flowers appear before leaves...

Early Dandelion....


      Of course Bear was not to be out done by a few photographs of flora....

On the walls of the old mine buildings...


In her natural habitat once again....

Nope I'm not coming out yet dad......

      Another sign of Spring was the vast amount of frogspawn found in one of Bear's favorite watering holes...


She just has to get in on the act.......

     All in all Nercwys forest still holds some magic, especially when the sun is shining through the trees and the paths are free of people.....






Old breed sheep in the wildflower meadow......

     I hope you enjoyed this stroll around Nercwys forest, till the next time take care....

John

20 comments:

  1. Yes, I DID enjoy it, except for the fact that human swine leave such messes for nice guys like you to clean up! (My apologies to swine.)

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    1. Tis soul destroying to see so little thought by the supposedly most intelligent race Mr. Smythe, glad that you enjoyed the stroll.

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  2. When you begin to work for the Forestry Commission you are given a long ruler and a book of non-native tree species.... after that it's up to you.

    Finding rubbish like that makes me mad. There's a stretch of road nearby that is always littered; why people are drawn to throwing out their junk at this particular spot I have no idea, but they do. I'm tempted to stop and clear it all up.

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    1. Perhaps if cleared up Cro, some folk may indeed think twice about littering there again? Though knowing the human race I seriously doubt it but we do what we can.

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  3. I enjoyed that walk John. Thanks.

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  4. Lovely walk apart from the rubbish. Am surprised Bear didn't come out covered in frog spawn!

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    1. Bear swam till her nose touched it DC then doggy paddled backwards quite perturbed. Very funny to watch as she did this about four times!

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  5. Fantastic close up shots of the primitive looking lichens! It's a magical looking spot.

    The problem is that beauty spots are often favoured park drinking spots in my part of the world. Withness my town's "forgotten nature reserve"

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  6. Hi Simon, I sometimes wonder who are the beasts and who look after the world.

    I love the small stuff on the trails, seems like a different world to us giants.

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  7. Damn if I accidently sent a comment just now. Spring looks like it is a couple of weeks advanced over there compared to my neck of the woods. Got snow again today, though I wasn't able to go out and play in it. Your pics are awesome.

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    1. Most unlike you to comment Owl ;-)
      Hopefully we've seen the last of the snow here yet I would not yet rule it out. Spring does feel as if she's here albeit a tad tentatively at the moment.

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  8. Hi, it saddens me when I see that others cant put their rubbish in the bins or dispose of it at home. ..
    Looks like you and bear were enjoying yourselves and were able to admire the best of mother nature. Your photos are really good! Bron**

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    1. Thanks Bron, though I think my pictures fall a long way behind yours. The rubbish thing is really getting under my skin of late, woe betide anyone I catch littering!

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  9. Thank you for the pictures John. They are wonderful!

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  10. Just glad that they give some pleasure TB

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  11. Lovely photos John, very atmospheric.
    Twiggy

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  12. Hello from Texas...People never cease to amaze me...it's just too easy to pick up the trash! Sorry you're having to do it...
    Lovely blog!
    hughugs

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    1. Hi Donna, I'm glad that you enjoyed your visit here m'dear and that you'll return. The litter thing is definitely one to get me on my soap box, just do not understand peoples mentally sometimes.

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