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

Saturday, 27 December 2014


I love pottering about, that's why I chose a local patch scramble around the Lasgarn Wood clear-fell in preference to a morning visit to Llandgefedd Reservoir. Having grown up calibrating my internal sense of direction around the paths and track ways through homogeneous stands of larch it was somewhat disorientating to find myself walking an extensive open space without a treescape by which to fix my compass. 

I'm warming to clear-fell, not only does it turn back the successional lineage but provides an ecological vacuum by which 'things move in' - the prospect of a first patch great grey shrike is now a real one! It also reveals the true character of the landscape from a time before government sponsored soft wood tree planting sort to influence the composition of the valleys in-bye land. The Lasgarn Wood forestry operations have indeed exposed some glimpses of this past. Some cracking fragments of beech woodland with ample standing and fallen deadwood, a sunken land and dry stones with moss aplenty.

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