Cwm Du Glen
Nine of us and Sam the dog braved the elements this afternoon for a walk, arranged by Elen Richards (Woodland Trust), in Cwm Du Glen (Pontardawe). This valley, which is accessed from Pontardawe Cross, is beautiful at any time of year, but at the moment it is simply stunning. The Upper Clydach River was a torrent of water today, where dippers were busy feeding their fledglings and grey wagtails were foraging on rocky, riverside slabs. The river corridor with its typical riparian woodland has lots of native Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra), banks stuffed full of mosses and liverworts and a colourful flora including Bluebell, Wood Anemone, Sanicle, Yellow Archangel, Wood Sorrel and Wood Melick. Ferns are abundant everywhere.
Yellow Archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon subsp. montanum)
The steep sides of the valley support woodland that used to be full of Rhododendron. However, the Woodland Trust has recently done an excellent job of removing this invasive alien here, restoring a more natural Sessile Oak woodland ecology. We were rewarded with singing Wood Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher which was foraging in characteristic fashion from the side of the river.
Sessile Oak woodland, Cwm Du Glen
This was the first of a number of Cwm Du Glen events that the Woodland Trust have arranged for this year. Most of these are family orientated.