On the 11th-12th April we are running a 24 hour Bioblitz at Cwm Tydu. A Bioblitz is a type of wildlife survey that aims to allow everyone from experts to the general public to contribute usable information about the species living in a certain area. The Bioblitz at Cwm Tydu is part of events to mark 50 years of National Trust’s Neptune Project, to acquire and care for the nation’s coastline. We will be racing against the clock to try and record everything that crawls, swims, slithers or grows on land and at sea. Our target is to record over one thousand species over the twenty four hour period.
There will be knowledgeable professionals and academics from many organisations including National Trust, RSPB , Aberystwyth University and many local wildlife groups on site throughout the day. The professionals will lead the identification and recording of everything we find. We have climbers, a diver and lots of willing volunteers all lined up so, we are pretty confident that we will get into every nook and cranny of Cwm Tydu. We will be running from our Bioblitz base camp in Cwm Soden. There will be the chance for members of the public to go out and hunt for plants and animals alongside the professionals and volunteers. All the species we find will go through a triage system back at the basecamp to help identify them and add them to the events main record.
There is an intricate patchwork of habitats at Cwm Tydu. There is maritime grassland and heath on the cliff tops grazed by our resident herd of welsh mountain ponies. The meadows down in the valley are rich in butterfly species. Ancient semi natural woodland is the dominant cover on the valley floor, at this time of year the woods are coming back to life, filled with the white of wood anemone and the pastel yellow of primroses. Finally the pebble beach provides a habitat for many marine invertebrates and the cliffs above support fulmars, gannets and razorbills.
We already know there is some really interesting wildlife down there. There are bottlenose dolphins, chough, peregrine falcon, lesser spotted woodpecker, black oil beetles and pearl bordered fritillaries. So we are hopeful there will be even more down there for the public and experts to find and add to our tally.
We will be running a number of activities during the Bioblitz, to help add to the species count and also to introduce and familiarise people with the wildlife we have on the reserve. These events will include dolphin watching, minibeast hunts, mammal walks, bird watching, dawn chorus walks, bat walks and more… We would like to encourage everyone to come down to Cwm Tydu, even if you only have an hour or just want to come for a single event; you are welcome to come along. We have been really looking forward to this event since we started planning back in September, and can’t wait to get stuck in with you all on the day.