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?
Click map to enlarge
Site centre: ST034997Site entrance: ST035998
Situated to the north of Mountain Ash, this reserve is in an area that was previously known as one of the most polluted parts of the UK partly as a result of the adjacent Phurnacite plant. The plant closed in the late 1980s and Lord Aberdare generously gave the reserve to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) in November 1986.
There are a selection of habitats including a large pond, marsh, flood meadow, acidic Oak and Ash woodland and scrub. Several uncommon plants are present including Fat Duckweed, Water Chickweed, Marsh Yellow-cress, Great Pond Sedge and Common Club-rush, and the site provides habitat for aquatic insects, including dragonflies such as the Common Blue Damselfly and Southern Hawker.
Also, as a consequence of the industrial environment many melanistic (dark-coloured) variants of invertebrate species such as spittlebugs and peppered moths have been recorded from the reserve - keep a look out for them!
This month we have arranged a joint event with WTSWW at Pwll Waun Cynon, to walk together in the footsteps of Dr Gillham. This will be held on Sat 3rd Sept 10.30am - 12.30pm. We would be delighted if you could and join us for this event or visit the site during your own time.
This pdf contains a species list for the site.
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 email@example.com.
Notes about Walks with Mary Gillham:
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