Walking the land with Ivy from Conservation and Trees, June 2023



We are very lucky to be stewards of the land here at Llwynbwch.

We’re not the first and we certainly won’t be the last and whilst we’re always looking, listening and learning from the land, neither of us are trained ecologists, so we happily look to others for support and advice. (As a small aside, Adam did study Environmental Biology in his university days, but they’re a few years ago now!)

In June we spent an enjoyable afternoon with Ivy, an ecologist from nearby conservation business Conversations and Trees, walking the land and discussing our land management plans, especially in relation to how the Exmoor ponies are grazing and any impact this has. It was particularly dry, being a warm June day and many of the usual streams had stopped running – quite unusual here!

During our walk we spotted purple moor grass/ melinio, plenty of healthy valerian, orchids and dog violet growing as well as meadow thistle, tormentil scabious and numerous meadow brown, ringlets and checkered skipper butterflies. We discussed brambles, whether and how much to control its growth (it can be a habitat for both hedgehogs and dormice) and whether or not to bruise bracken to weaken its growth. We also talked at length about scrub encroachment – some scrub is great for wildlife but it will keep trying to turn into woodland if left. 

We told Ivy that nearby neighbours had been out looking for glow worms and asked if she’d ever seen any locally. Neither of us have, so far, but we are hopeful and will definitely be on the lookout now it’s in our thoughts!

We found Sneezewort, Marsh willowherb, an absolutely stunning golden ringed dragonfly, Burnet moths, Hemp agrimony and some common Cow-wheat down by the gorge near ‘Goat’ field. This is a plant food for the Heath Fritillary butterfly. We didn’t see any Heath Fritillaries, but will now keep our eyes peeled for any sightings.
We were lucky to share a beautiful afternoon and have much to look up and think about moving forwards, along with some more decisions to be made!

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