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

Sunday, 2 March 2014

News from the pit head

A brief visit to one of the best kept landscape secrets of Gwent. The Blaenserchan valley  near Pontypool was left to nature when the National Coal Board pulled out in the 1980's. A patchwork of grassland, mature trees and colliery spoil promotes a rich diversity of wildlife. That said its still a touch too early in the year to see this area at its best. A couple of calling nuthatch, a great spotted woodpecker and around half a dozen meadow pipit summed up the ornithological interest. Otherwise frog spawn has started to put in an appearance and this bloody nosed beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa) demonstrates the invertebrate world is starting to wake. Nonetheless the  most colourful thing in the valley was a collection of ladies knickers. These were not randomly scattered in an impromptu fashion but purposefully wired to trees throughout the valley. I counted eight in total and for those with an interest in the detail, they appeared to be mainly thongs ranging from black lace, to animal print and red with sequins!    

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