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

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Heritage trees

There's a disused forgotten farmstead on the hillside above Blaenavon by the name of Tir Abraham Harry. For readers of the human landscape its not too difficult to trace the remnants of a farm building, some collapsed drystone walls - now covered in bilberry - and a fragmented field boundary of gnarled and stunted hawthorn with two similarly weathered crab apple trees.   

Crab apples are not something often found in the uplands as text says the altitudinal range of this species is about 400 metres. Tracing the contour line on my Landranger puts these two trees at just over this limit. For a landscape elevated to global status for its historical unsustainable use of natural resources its reassuring to find at least some escapees from those scorched earth times.  

Kicking about in this landscape I flushed a sitting meadow pipit and encountered a pair of stonechat defending their nest site, skylark were widespread, a reed bunting sang and linnet and redpoll were frequent. Although is was early morning several large red damselfly were on the wing and the attractive upland click beetle was in flight.

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