Nature knows best say wildlife experts
Letting nature takes its course when faced with rapid change in environment and landscapes is often a hard choice but the right choice according to a new series of videos produced by National Trust Wales, Natural Resources Wales and other partners.
Nature Knows Best is the theme of a short trailer advertising a series of short films on innovative projects carried out in partnership across Wales.
From Cwm Ivy on Gower in the south to Cwm Idwal in Snowdonia, north Wales, wildlife and environmental experts reveal that dealing with rapid change can be quite scary and taking an approach of minimal intervention requires courage. But, the films also show that where natural adaptation has been embraced then the results have been stunning.
National Trust Wales Wildlife and Countryside Adviser for Wales, Helen Buckingham captures the importance of this natural approach in conserving magnificent meadows on the Ceredigion coast.
" On a UK and Wales-wide basis, these type of meadows are now a really rare habitat - 95% of these grasslands have been lost since the Second World War"
She said: 'Their conservation is really important for rare plants and also for other wildlife. It’s a great nectar source for butterflies, bees and other invertebrates.
Also in the trailer Hywel Roberts from Natural Resources Wales comments on what an incredible change has occurred to the landscape and the regeneration of rare plantlife at Cwm Idwal in the past 20 years since grazing was stopped.
And Corrinne Manning, Wildlife and Monitoring Ranger with National Trust Gower explains that “while change is inevitable it needs to be embraced” and seeing through a minimal intervention brings incredible rewards because “Nature Knows Best”.
Weather and wildlife review
A good year for…
- Barn owl populations around the National Trust’s Malham Tarn and in Upper Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales flourished as a result of improved conditions through a reduction in grazing pressure and the planting up of areas of young woodland, leading to good numbers of their favoured prey, the field vole.
- This summer there were huge swarms of barrel jellyfish, particularly around the south west of England and Wales. As sea temperatures rise with climate change and plankton blooms become bigger and last longer, there are likely to be more jellyfish occurring even further north.
- A lack of stormy weather or frosts in the early part of autumn ensured it was a fantastic year for autumn tints, boosted further by a superb apple crop.
- Little terns had their most productive year on Blakeney Point since 2011. A second nesting site on the Point which is better protected from an ever increasing risk of flooding seen elsewhere on the Point, only attracted two pairs of nesting birds last year. To attract more, a decoy was established by National Trust rangers which attracted eleven pairs this year.
- Another record-breaking year for breeding guillemots on the Farne Islands.
- The long-tailed blue butterfly, an extremely rare migrant, returned to the south east, breeding again on the White Cliffs of Dover.
A bad year for …
- Puffins, which this autumn were placed on the Red list of Birds of Conservation Concern, had a poor breeding season on the Farne Islands when their burrows were flooded.
- Frogs and toads in the south of England faced a difficult year as many pools dried up over the spring. Natterjack toads, including at Formby in Merseyside, had a particularly difficult time, however the May rains arrived just in time.
- Common wasps.
- On the Farne Islands there were 600 less breeding pairs of Arctic Terns this year due to poor food supplies and stormy weather. Arctic terns are on the Amber list of Birds of Conservation Concern.
- Also on the Amber list are Sandwich terns which had a bad year at Blakeney Point. The birds were already struggling due to a shortage of sand eels were affected further by stormy weather in late June. However, more nested successfully at Scolt Head Island as they laid their eggs earlier.
- It was a disappointing autumn to see fungi due to a dry autumn after a cool, wet summer
Watch the videos
View the full length versions of our 'Nature Knows Best' videos