Welcome to our AFON Advent Calendar! Each day leading up to Christmas you will find a wonderful new post by a different member. This years theme is your favourite nature reserve; where do you go to escape from the world and connect with nature? Enjoy!
The Wyre Forest National Nature Reserve is situated near the small town of Bewdley, to the west of the River Severn. The area was identified as an important ecosystem and was designated a sight of special scientific interest (SSSI) some years ago. Wyre is a special place that inspires much of my wildlife art and photography. So it was only natural to join the Wyre Forest Study Group to learn more about this ancient woodland. As a member I undertake and participate in surveys of a wide range of species. Our aim is to increase our understanding of their status and distribution, which we then report to national bodies. These results are then published and contribute to the planning of environmental conservation.
The forest if full of an array of wildlife due to it’s diverse habitats. One of my favorite habitats happens to be a small natural waterway that runs through the heart of the forest known as the Dowles Brook. Dippers, Kingfishers and Grey Wagtails can be observed here as well as Otters if you’re lucky! We also have areas in the forest that support a small population of Adders. Sadly they are declining each year but we are doing our best to protect and conserve this truly stunning reptile. Hopefully with more funding we can track the Adders movements using telemetry, which will give us valuable data to improve our conservation efforts. I will continue to visit this ancient woodland in order to seek out its hidden gems.