The weather was glorious as we set up for the annual Fun Day. The Friends volunteers turned out in force and were joined by the Cardiff University students and Professor Jo Cable. As usual the stream shuffle and microscopes proved popular (although getting water in your wellies wasn't as much fun!)
The Friends offered an Explorer Trail and Scavenger Hunt as well as an opportunity for publicising the work that we do, RSPB set up their stall and were able to take groups sweep netting on the meadow and bird watching (binoculars provided).
We hope that the 25 families who joined us this year enjoyed their time with us.
The HLF time limit has led to a few extra work days in July and August being scheduled for the installation of the single noticeboards.
Wednesday July 13th was the day selected for the Rhydyblewin site at the far north of the Nant Fawr area. The ground was solid (although, in the middle of the present heat wave it managed to rain on the day!) and the digging was hard work.
The new notice board was built and the cement poured.
The meadows have benefited from the earlier rain and current warm weather. The hard work from the hayraking, cutting back and planting has resulted in biodiversity in the plantlife and the pollinators are out in force.
The Cardiff High meadows wild flower species are increasing in number and the patches of common spotted orchids are spreading. However, the Himalayan balsam patch is also growing and this will need to be addressed this year. The flowers and trees planted by the schools over the last few are establishing all over the Nant Fawr area. The two orchards are healthy and are starting to produce fruit. The yellow rattle is growing well in the Rhydyblewin orchard and the grass around the trees is restricted.
The verges damaged by the Welsh Water works at Rhydyblewin are recovering; in fact some of the seeds from Grow Wild are flourishing in the disturbed ground.
Last Autumn we were able to join a scheme run by Natural Resources Wales (NRW)to collect acorns. As many of our native tree species, like oak, have been affected by harmful pests and diseases over recent years, the Acorn Antics campaign was designed to ensure that young oak saplings planted on the Welsh Government estate in the future will be better suited to local conditions, and have a better growth rate and resistance to disease. Pupils from Cardiff High School (Welsh Baccalaureate volunteers) worked with the friends and acorns were then sent to the Forestry Commission nursery in Cheshire to be grown onto to saplings. They will return to Wales to be planted in woodlands and forests close to where they originated. NRW representatives recently visited the
Forestry Commission tree nursery in Cheshire to visit the acorns we collected and they have now grown into saplings - they
will get replanted in Wales in the near future.