A bumper volunteer year in Wales!

Helen Bradley

Helen Bradley

Outreach Officer

10th November 2017

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Volunteers at Cae Blaen Dyffryn counting butterfly-orchids

Every year in Wales, we carry out surveys on our two reserves, Cae Blaen Dyffryn in Carmarthenshire and Caeau Tan y Bwlch in Gwynedd.

The findings help us discover how the wild flowers and plants are getting on and if we are doing the right things to help them thrive. We have found that both reserves have improved greatly over the years and have an abundance of wild flowers such as bird’s-foot-trefoil, knapweed and tormentil. This is great news but also means we need more pairs of eyes to help record them.

Luckily we have volunteers who give up their time to help us, and this year we welcomed a record number to the reserves. 20 people came along to Caeau Tan y Bwlch and 12 people to Cae Blaen Dyffryn. This has meant that we could survey more extensively and get a more complete picture of the health of the reserves. A key part of the survey is to count the number of butterfly orchids. Both reserves have greater butterfly-orchids and Cae Blaen Dyffryn has the rare lesser butterfly-orchids too. You can find the results from this year’s count here.

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Volunteers at Caeau Tan-y-Bwlch, Gwynedd

This year, we asked volunteers what their favourite part the survey days was. Here is what some people said...

“Working for a common goal in beautiful surroundings on a lovely day!”

“Actually getting down on hands and knees and looking at what grows in a meadow! The knowledge I got about plants in that small area. I will never look at a field in the same way again!”

“Learning about plant surveys, identifying and counting orchids, feeling useful”

Volunteers are crucial to helping us keep our reserves flourishing and we very much appreciate the help we get. You don’t have to be an expert to come along – just an interest in plants and the desire to spend a day in a beautiful meadow!

If you’d like to find out about next year’s surveys please do get in touch by emailing cymru@plantlife.org.uk or 02920 367193. You can also keep an eye on the Plantlife events calendar.