Walk with Mary Gillham


As part of the Heritage Lottery Funded project A Dedicated Naturalist: the Dr Mary Gillham Archive Project, we will be highlighting some of the sites in south east Wales visited and surveyed by esteemed local ecologist, Dr Mary Gillham MBE.

Dr Gillham spent a huge amount of time exploring South Wales and recording all of the species she found in different locations, sometimes for personal interest, sometimes whilst educating a group of extra mural students and sometimes to record what species and habitats were present in order to provide evidence for protecting an area. In this series of 'Walks with Mary Gillham' we will provide you with details of the surveys she undertook and the species she recorded. We would love to get an up-to-date species list so we can compare the two - will you find as much as Mary? Has the species composition changed drastically? Can you add new species to the list?


Walk one: Dinas Powys Woodlands


Click map to enlarge

1km grid square: ST1472 (plus a little bit round the edges!)
Dates: 22/05/1972, 28/04/1976, 18/04/1978, 18/04/1978, 05/04/1981
Number of species: Around 190

During the 1970s and early 1980s Dr Gillham visited the woodlands to the northwest of Dinas Powys on a number of occasions. The woodland was owned by the Forestry Commission and the Glamorgan Naturalists' Trust managed a small portion of it along Cwm George. Now, the site is managed by the Woodland Trust and you can find out more on their website here: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/wood/4731/cwm-george-casehill-woods/.

We would like to invite you to go along to the woods and see what you can find. This pdf has maps of the site, and also contains Dr Gillham's combined species list; we have also highlighted some 'target species' which are under-recorded in SEWBReC's database and which you might be able to spot and record too.

This map from the Woodland Trust shows the boundary of their site, and the permissive paths within the woodland. Please do not trespass on any areas outside the Woodland Trust's boundary or rights of way shown on OS maps.

This pdf includes scans of Dr Gillham's original survey notes so you too can experience surveying with Mary Gillham.

Please submit your records online here: http://www.sewbrecord.org.uk/Mary_Gillham (please note, you will need to be logged into SEWBReCORD to use this link). Alternatively, please download this Excel recording form and return your records by email to dedicated.naturalist@sewbrec.org.uk.


Notes about Walks with Mary Gillham:

  • Please take a common sense approach to recording at these sites. We do not advocate any form of trespassing, and please do not take any risks with regards your own health and safety.
  • All records are welcome, even the most common of species!
  • For a record to be useful, we will need the following information: recorder's name; date recorded; location name; grid reference (ideally 6 figures or more); species name. Please feel free to include extra information or photos.


Mary Gillham's photos from Dinas Powys Woodlands can be viewed on Flickr.


Dinas Powys Woods in 2016 © Annie Irving

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