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

Monday, 22 May 2017

For how much longer?

Since the closure of Blanserchan Pit in the 1980s and the subsequent purchase of the valley by the local authority, I've witnessed a gradually change in this landscape. From a characteristic post industrial blandness to one that threatens to become woodland, sofening the Cwm in a carpet of birch and stubben conifer. The battle against scrub encroachment is now reduced to local authority guerrilla action; management when resources become available. However, without a concerted, consistent effort to reduce and restrict, the progression of succession from open vista with its blackened tips and seek and find fragments of industrail relicts will be lost, remembered only by those Facebook pages with monochrome images of the past.

Despite this ongoing change some patches of more open grassy swards can still be found. It was windy but that didn't stop a number of butterflies and moths taking flight. Around eight dingy skipper and three small purple-barred day flying moth were evident. According to the distribution maps prepared by Martin Anthoney (County Recorder), the small purple-barred has lost ground in the east of the county with just a few sites remaining in the west.

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