Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Classic edgeland habitat

You may remember I recently introduced the new modern day geographical concept of 'edgelands' to all you loyal blog readers influenced by a recent book of the same name. Having finished reading the tome (well 250 odd page paperback) whilst taking it easy in the sand dunes of Fueterventura, yesterday was the first opportunity to get out and view my local landscape through the eyes of this new left field thinking of trendy geographers.

The British near Abersychan is a classic edgeland habitat not urban not rural but something in between, an edgeland where land was abused for its mineral riches only to be left bedraggled without friends, alone to fend for itself. Not unexpectedly then nature has been quick to put an arm around this landscape  reclaiming and softening the hard lines of this former industrial site lifting it from the doldrums. Gorse, bare ground, acid grassland, ramshackled buildings and watercourses of unknown origin conspire to make this edgeland an exciting ramble for Old Style New Wave Naturalists (OSNWN). And I'm not alone in my appreciation, rather than the local newspaper's periodic editorial about 'this derelict site', dog walkers, den builders and youths on uninsured motorbikes take advantage of open accessible space without the boundaries that characterise urban living.

After that back to the wildlife and birds stood out head an shoulders above other taxa. A pair of prospecting redstart, a distant 'a little bit of bread and cheeeeese' yellowhammer, blackcap, chiffchaff, willow warbler and active redpoll were the pick of the crop.

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