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Education Ranger Tom Bean on the 'River Trip'

Hear the story of the ever popular National Park River Trip... The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority offers a wide range of education opportunities, helping school pupils learn about and engage with the natural and built heritage and culture across the National Park. Almost every day of the year, Rangers and National Park Centre staff are adapting their stories and resources to engage and focus pupils of all ages, abilities and for changes in the curriculum. One of the oldest stories is fondly referred to in the National Park Authority’s Discovery Team as the River Trip. Following the Afon Syfynwy from source to mouth, the compelling tale threads through the landscape both shaping the hills and valleys, as well as responding to the atmosphere, habitat and human land-use. Meeting a school group at the top of Bwlch Gwynt is a reminder that that water is all around us in Pembrokeshire...

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National Park Ranger Blog
Published 25/09/2017


National Park Wardens are bale-ing out pollinators

South Warden Manager Tim Jones explains how his team’s conservation work improves biodiversity for pollinators and how you could also benefit… There are eight Wardens (including me) covering the south of the National Park, which stretches from the Angle Peninsula to Amroth and also includes the land around the Daugleddau Estuary. The aim of most of our conservation work is to remove nutrients from sites, which results in less biomass but more biodiversity, with the end result being a more traditional hay meadow...

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National Park Warden Blog
Published 17/08/2017


Ranger welcomes reprieve for roadside wildflowers

North West Area Ranger Ian Meopham heralds the latest approach to hedge cutting. You may have noticed that Pembrokeshire’s roadside banks have changed, they are blousier, bouncier; more ‘full beard’ than ‘clean shaven’. They hum, buzz and flutter, and when the wind blows they wave, bend, undulate and ripple. Wildflowers on the roadside. In late May and June when the wildflowers such as foxgloves, cow parsley, campion, hawk bit and scabious, to name but a few, are in full bloom, they put on a display to rival that of the most obsessive gardener. So, what’s going on? What’s changed? I think it’s well-known and understood that our wildlife has had a hard time over the last 40 years, retreating often to the margins of productive land, but our roadside verges, banks and hedges are bucking the trend as a result of a change in management policy which seems to have no losers. Up until two years ago the banks would have been cut with tractor mounted flails twice a year, in early and late summer...

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National Park Ranger Blog
Published 07/08/2017


A week of guided walks for Ranger Carol Owen

North Area Ranger Carol Owen has been busy leading guided walks for schools during the recent spell of good weather, helping 80 children learn more about the National Park in just one week! As the summer term comes to an end a number of schools are taking the opportunity to give their pupils some different experiences, with the emphasis being on enjoyment. Hakin Juniors travelled up from the south of the county with 44 year six pupils to walk the length of the Preseli Hills...

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National Park Ranger Blog
Published 21/07/2017


Working on the night shift - Bats at Ty Canol NNR

Guest blog by Paul Culyer, Senior Reserves Manager for Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in Pembrokeshire. Most of us have some experience of seeing bats, even those of us who live in cities can see them flying at dusk. Although there are 17 species of bats breeding in the UK, some of these are rarely recorded in Wales. Tŷ Canol National Nature Reserve (NNR) is owned by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and is managed in partnership with Natural Resources Wales. These protected mammals play an important role in the Welsh environment...

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Guest Blogger
Published 21/11/2016


Pembrokeshire Coast seal spotting adventures

Ranger Ian Meopham provides some tips on how to view seals and their pups safely in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Although you can see seals in the waters around the Pembrokeshire Coast throughout the year, it is in the autumn months that the females come ashore to pup. You may see them and their white pups in sheltered coves and on the quieter beaches from the end of August to November, while the islands of Skomer and Ramsey are particularly popular places for expectant ‘cows’ to give birth. More than 600 pups are born on Ramsey each year, making it the largest grey seal pupping site in southern Britain. We’re lucky here that the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail provides many fantastic viewpoints to see these amazing animals without disturbing them. A pair of binoculars will help you get an even better view without causing any distress to pups or their mothers. Fed by their mother’s milk, they are weaned after only three weeks and it is critical that there is no interference by people or dogs...

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National Park Ranger Blog
Published 04/10/2016


Ironman Wales: A Midlife Crisis in the Park

Read what happened when former National Park Discover Ranger Gayle Lister vowed to take on Ironman Wales in  2015 - the year she turned 40. It’s 4am and my alarm is going off...

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National Park Blogger
Published 15/09/2016


Restoring ancient woodlands and elusive dormice

Biodiversity Officer Sarah Mellor highlights the wonderful wildlife you can discover out and about in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Bumping into bee flies in the Gwaun Valley I had stopped to wait and investigate some mining bee holes in a soft area of a track when I spotted a beautiful furry dark-edged bee fly behaving very strangely, bobbing up and down and dipping its abdomen in a sandy area of soil. Bee fly © www.northeastwildlife.co.uk I was witnessing the first stage in a fairly gruesome life cycle and those mining bees were certainly in for a bit of a shock. Click here to find out why! http://www.brc.ac.uk/soldierflies-and-allies/bee-flies. Discovering the dormouse May is the first of our dormouse nest box checks in Pentre Ifan Wood as part of the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme. We haven’t had much success with finding dormice in our boxes so far, despite the fact that we know they are present in the wood (while carrying out the winter box clean we found a dormouse had nibbled a nut just outside box 12!). Searching for dormice This spring was no exception, but we found a variety of wildlife including two bumblebee nests. In one box we found a queen, who was probably brooding the first of the female workers, and also a box full of rather angry bumblebee workers intent on doing their job of defending the nest! We also found a lot of baby blue tits, and of course, the ever present wood mice...

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Biodiversity Blog
Published 10/06/2016


Rockpool creatures aplenty at Gelliswick beach

By Hayley Barrett, National Park Ranger. A recent trip out to Gelliswick beach with Hubberston VC Church in Wales School led to a host of slippery finds, proving that this beach in Milford Haven is a great home for wildlife. Sitting on the edge of the busy Milford Haven Estuary, Gelliswick beach is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and part of the Pembrokeshire Marine Special Area of Conservation (SAC) meaning the wildlife it supports is specially protected and of international importance. It’s great that there is such a wealth of wildlife right on these children’s doorstep...

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National Park Ranger Blog
Published 02/06/2016


Bluebells, butterflies and birds

Biodiversity Officer Sarah Mellor highlights the wonderful wildlife you can discover out and about in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Bluebells in the Gwaun Valley. April 2016 Freshwater East We have a new butterfly transect at Freshwater East and the transect season is already underway...

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Biodiversity Blog
Published 18/05/2016


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