Winter walks and wildlife wonders

Spinnies Aberogwen nature reserve © Jonathen David Harty

Hannah Everett, one of our conservation interns, takes us on a journey through some North Wales Wildlife Trust nature reserves and the activities she has undertaken on site to help protect our local wildlife.

Hi everyone! I’m Hannah, and I’m currently doing a conservation internship based in the north-west of beautiful north Wales. I’ve always treasured the outdoors and enjoy immersing myself in nature through exploring rock pools, hiking through woodlands to swimming in lakes. I’m extremely excited and grateful to have gained this valuable opportunity with the Wildlife Trust helping to pursue a career in a field I’m so passionate about.

Hannah Everett, Our Wild Coast conservation intern

 © NWWT Hannah Everett

My first day as an intern was spent at Cors Goch, a large nature reserve on Anglesey with various habitats including the lime water fed fen. As we began work we saw three common snipes dart off into the sedge, a great way to start the morning. Our first task was to rake the cut heather which we later burned on corrugated tin sheets to prevent high levels of nutrients leaching back into the environment. What a difference it makes with lots of volunteers helping, a large section was completed before tea break. Sallow was also cut to help maintain the heathland habitat, the branches were then collected and made into a dead hedge, a perfect habitat for insects and mammals. Luckily I had brought my wellies, unlike some volunteers who got very muddy feet. The curious Belted Galloways and Highland cows also introduced themselves by nibbling on the ivy and brambles we had just cut. Surprisingly, they had such gentle and calm personalities which everyone enjoyed watching.

Cors Goch Nature Reserve

Cors Goch Nature Reserve © Damien Hughes

We also visited the Spinnies Aberogwen Nature Reserve where we carried out maintenance work such as clearing pathways and cutting trees to create a glade, ideal for nesting birds. The reserve was thriving with life, including nuthatches, herons and little egrets. The new bird hide was a treat and a fabulous spot to enjoy the wildlife. 

Nuthatch at feeder on Spinnies Aberogwen nature reserve © Steve Ransome

Nuthatch at feeder on Spinnies Aberogwen nature reserve © Steve Ransome

I also visited a school near Caernarfon with the community and education officer where we replanted a border in the school gardens. The pupils were highly enthusiastic to help, so much so that we almost ran out of jobs. Digging holes, planting shrubs, creating stone walls and clearing up was executed with excitement and laughter.

The birds and buds walk at Nantporth Nature Reserve was a success, despite the weather. The walk was very informative, I can now confidently identify trees including ash, hazel, oak and elm, even in the winter months. We were also fortunate to spot a range of coastal birds such as oyster catchers, a great crested grebe, red shanks and curlews. We gently rambled along the woodland footpath running alongside the Menai Straits, surprisingly some wildflowers were also on show including primroses and Devil's-bit scabious. I am really excited about the many opportunities and experiences this internship will provide me over the next four months, and eager to get stuck in!