Tuesday 9 April 2024

Volunteer Event Welcome Walk

by Nicky Fish, our Wales Officer for the Woodland Hope Project

With torrential downpours for the week leading up to our first scheduled event of the year (which took place on Sunday, 17th March) it was looking unlikely that we would go ahead but my good ‘ole sundance worked its magic and miraculously it was so warm and sunny I went without my coat!

(c) Elliot Bastos

Ten people joined Elliot (Woodland Hope's Assistant Project Officer) and myself for an introductory meet up and walk at the spectacular Conwy Forest Falls in Snowdonia.

The circular walk around the woods runs down to the deep gorge of the Fairy Glen and is set in 10 acres of Sites of Special Scientific Interest native woodland, so we were able to show the volunteers the typical type of veteran oaks inhabited by the mosses, ferns and lichens that are so special to this area and the Celtic Rainforests that the project will work in over the coming Summer.

On a usual day the waterfall and gorge are pretty spectacular but even more so on this occasion after so much rain; the spray from the colossal waterfall hitting our faces as we walked above. In fact, it was hard to tear the group away from its draw, which enabled me to chat to an elderly couple sitting for a breather on the viewing bench and give them a quick ten minute ‘Bats and Wildlife Gardening’ top tips. They were completely enthralled by this and promised to go home, create a pond and plant lots of native wildflowers to attract moths and other beneficial insects for bats!

After the woodland walk we retired to the Conwy Forest Park Café for refreshments and our volunteers learned about the passive acoustic monitoring methodology and the Audio Moth detectors (and others) we will be using to monitor the Celtic rainforests over the summer and how to use the software to set up and read the results.

We look forward to welcoming the group back in May at one of our rainforest locations once bats have emerged from hibernation for further training and upskilling. 

If you would like to find out more about the Woodland Hope project visit this page.

(c) Nicky Fish

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