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

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Spoils of industry

The role of water in the making of Blaenavon's industrial landscape is something of a neglected subject I feel, yet the management of this resource has left a legacy of features that any 'from scratch' nature reserve designer would be proud of. Water based artifacts abound, from numerous reservoirs, some breached and barren features to others still supporting standing water often protected by a thick margin of Juncus. Juncus also delineates the many now disused channels that once transported water from the water bodies to the point of industry use. These days wildlife has moved in to fill void vacated by miners, iron workers and water operatives.

Yesterday's visit to the wetland that is Garn yr erw was marked by numerous singing skylark a bird that's still holding its own in the upland. Several reed bunting called from the willow that's now maturing around the fringes of a number of ponds. From the purple moor grass expanse a snipe called infrequently contrasting with the frequency of red grouse. Here too was a stonechat. To Cefn Garn yr erw where a more contemporary reclaimed land form was marked by around 8 lapwing at home on the Cladonia dominated coal spoil. This is a landscape that delivers much but promises so much more for an inquisitive naturalist!

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