Monday, July 14, 2014

Meadows of all types and a parasite

Last week two of us set out to explore and record at Cwm Cadlan National Nature Reserve - with ambitious plans to go through the reserve; out onto the common and back by another route.

In the event we had hardly got 200 yards from the car by lunchtime - there was so much to spend time on and investigate.

The marshy grassland found at Cwm Cadlan is unusual as lime-rich spring water flows through the reserve, creating alkaline habitats in amongst the more acid ones.

Marsh Lousewort or Melog y waun, Pedicularis palustris was present in the marshy meadow near the entrance in grater numb ers than I have ever seen before. (This isn't a picture from Thursday...)

And we were just in time to catch the last of the Fragrant Orchids - which are also plentiful there:

Fragrant Orchid or Tegeirian pêr, Gymnadenia conopsea - approaching the airfield after a sortie... (this picture was taken on the reserve)

Then on a higher meadow (just below the common) we found several different species of Marsh Orchid, some a little past their best including:
Southern Marsh-orchid or Tegeirian-y-gors deheuol, Dactylorhiza praetermissa.

Many other species were recorded; we covered a third (or less) of the reserve and repeat visits to the area are definitely required.

Then on Friday, Mike alerted me to a good stand of Ivy Broom-rape right in the centre of Brecon which I visited on the way back from our meeting at Berthlwyd Farm on Saturday:
Ivy Broomrape or Gorfanhadlen eiddew, Orobanche hederae in the trees between Brecon Hospital Car Park and the main road.

The joint BSBI / BWT meeting at Berthlwyd Farm went well with 16 of us botanising in meadows full of, in particular, Great Butterfly Orchids.

Picture by Steph Coates

A good list of species was recorded and five of us went to the New Inn in Ystradfellte for Cream Tea afterwards. Some went on to see waterfalls. A great area of the county for all these pursuits.

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