• Oxeye Daisies
    Blog

    Wild Therapy – Go With The Flow – Mindfulness

    This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and I’ll be sharing stories and snippets about how giving myself time and space to be in nature has helped me with my own journey. One of the best things about spending time outdoors in nature is that you can just be. When you’re there, there’s no end goal, no need to ‘achieve’ anything. Because just being out in natural space is all you need to benefit from being there. Having that time to yourself shared with the trees, sky, sea, wherever you are, allows you to empty your brain of all those things spinning round in it, because they’re simply not needed.…

  • Goldfinch
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Charming Goldfinch

    Listening to birdsong out of your window can give you a pretty good idea of which birds you share your neighbourhood with. On a typical day on my street I’ve got various gulls yelling at each other on the industrial estate, feral and wood pigeons lazily cooing from the rooftops, and the bickering of house sparrows and starlings from the trees and hedgerows. One of the songs I often hear but don’t see the artist behind is the goldfinch. They are little showstoppers with their bright red and yellow feathers which jazz up even the greyest of urban gardens.Goldfinch have a guinea pig-esque chattering song as they bob through the…

  • Wood Anemone
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Little Spring Things

    The arrival of spring is like waiting for a bus. Firstly the signs are small, few and far between. The odd bird call and a feisty primrose fighting against the chilly showers and cold snaps. But all of a sudden everything seems to arrive at once. The trees and hedges are bursting with colour, you can literally hear them buzzing with new life! During this time it pays to notice the smaller things, before the real riot that is summer begins! This week at the Howardian Nature Reserve I did just that, nosing through the undergrowth to see who was about. In the shade of the trees forget-me-not stands out…

  • Blog

    All A Flutter

    On a spring day when the sun is winning the fight against the still very wintery feeling showers, there’s nothing better than getting outside, filling yourself with all those feel good endorphins and witnessing some nature magic. I headed over to Parc Slip Nature Reserve near Bridgend to see what a bright April day could conjure up for me. After an hour or so looking for secretive adders basking in the scrub in the morning sun with no success, this dazzling orange Comma butterfly was a welcome relief to my fruitless search! Commas hibernate over the winter and use the amazing patterns on their wings to blend in with dead…

  • Frogspawn
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Spawn to be Wild

    Everyone has something they get excited about to signal the first signs of spring. For some, it’s primroses and daffs, their cheery yellow flowers a sure sign that the coldest weather has passed. For others, it’s the volume being cranked up to 11 in the dawn chorus on the way to work as the mornings get brighter. But for our ponds, it’s the arrival of frogspawn! The warmer weather we’ve had has triggered amphibians like common frogs to get in the mood for lurrve, with toads, newts and frogs waking up from winter slumber to head to ponds where they have previously spawned. For some this means navigating our human…

  • Shelduck at Roath Park, Cardiff
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Shelduck In The City

    The tree lined Victorian boating lake in Roath Park is home to some of our most familiar faces – mute swans, Canada geese, greylag geese and more mallards than you can shake a stick at (very carefully, from a distance, without disturbing them!). It also provides a rest spot for those passing by on the way to their preferred hangouts. Last year it was the elusive red necked grebe from eastern Europe, and this month it’s been home to a much less rare bird, but still an uncommon visitor to the city centre, the shelduck. Shelduck are one of our biggest ducks in the UK, just a bit bigger than…

  • Blog,  Get Involved

    No New M4: A Bumblebees Plea

    Today is World Wetlands Day, and I cannot stop thinking about the fact that whilst we are celebrating and cherishing these amazing places to visit, that South Wales’ very own wetland haven is threatened with destruction. This year the Welsh Government are voting to rip up the Gwent Levels, all for 10 minutes less spent in a car.This is our last chance to inform ourselves, and to fight for the future of our environment. Time to get angry South Wales. Plans for an M4 relief road diverting traffic from Chepstow, around Newport, and into Cardiff, have been rumbling around for years, but the issue is now at crisis point as…

  • Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Grebe-y Guts

    The Cardiff Bay Wetlands reserve is a great place to watch wild birds minutes from the city centre, including one of our cities more flamboyant characters, the Great Crested Grebe. During spring and summer these waterbirds develop ravishing rusty red plumage on their heads as part of an elaborate courtship ritual. They dance in the water and fluff up their head feathers to make themselves look as fabulous as possible. But during winter it’s more of a subdued affair. Not needing their best get up, they opt for a monochrome palette, but are still identifiable from other grebe type birds by their long pointed beak, white neck and black head…

  • Grey Wagtail Cardiff
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Blown Off Course

    If there is one thing that is predictable in Cardiff, it’s that it is completely unpredictable! This week proved that again, when I noticed a new wild arrival in my neighbours back garden here in the heart of the city. Following from weeks of turbulent weather and storms, a little grey wagtail had found itself blown into the urban sprawl of Tremorfa – a housing estate situated by busy industrial estates. Grey wagtails are normally found by rivers and waterways, where they use shallow water to find insects to eat – a far cry from suburbia! These slate and lemon yellow birds are considered red listed, meaning that they have…

  • Kingfisher at Forest Farm Cardiff
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Blue Of The Undercut Bank

    On one of the last days that truly felt like Autumn in late October, I found myself wandering the leaf lined trails in the Forest Farm Nature Reserve. Whenever I visit it’s always tantalisingly full of my favourite woodland birds – chaffinches, blue tits, nuthatches, treecreepers, the list goes on. But one bird has always evaded my infrequent visits – the infamous Kingfisher. In Welsh it’s name is ‘glas y dorlan’ which (according to my sources!) means ‘blue of the undercut bank’ – illustrating it’s electric blue feathers and preference for our waterways. I’ve always had a fondness for them, some hazy memories from my childhood remembering them dashing along…