Nature’s Summertime Treats (Part I)

WildNet - Lee Schofield

Spring may have sprung behind closed doors this year but summer brings its own seasonal delights to tempt us outdoors. In this series of blogs, we’d like to introduce you to some of nature’s best summertime treats that you can enjoy at our reserves.

Today, let’s get some colour back in our lives at Springdale Farm.

Brighten up your day

If you need some colour to brighten up your day, then Springdale Farm is the perfect place to be. The hay meadows here explode into colour in the summer months as an extravaganza of wildflowers burst into bloom. From the yellows of Bird’s-foot Trefoil and Tormentil through to the pinks and purples of Common Spotted Orchid and Common Milkwort, there’s an abundance of species of wildflowers to appreciate.

A circular footpath takes you through the grazing pastures, with their stunning views of the Usk Valley, to wander among the hay meadows and then on into the ancient woodland where birds like Pied Flycatchers and Chiffchaffs will be busy feeding their families.

A blue-eyed beauty

June is the best time to see a rather special plant, Blue-eyed Grass. Not actually a grass but  a member of the Iris family, its delicate blue petals only open in bright sunshine. Look out for it in the wetter corners of the meadows.

A flutter with butterflies

It’s not just the wildflowers that put on a colourful display during the summer. Attracted by the nectar-rich flowers, butterflies like Common Blue, Marbled White and Meadow Brown fill the meadows whilst Brown-banded Carder Bees and Red-tailed Bumblebees provide the soundtrack for long lazy summer days.

Working for nature

Springdale Farm was created by Gwent Wildlife Trust when, thanks to our supporters, we were able to buy two separate farms and join them together. We still farm the land but we use traditional methods that protect and enhance the features that make the reserve so special for nature. By cutting the hay meadows late in the summer and using cattle to graze the land we keep the abundance and diversity of wildflowers that are sadly missing from more intensively-farmed land. We coppice the woodland to create a diverse habitat that can support many kinds of birds, animals and plants, and have planted a small orchard with traditional plum and apple varieties.

Read more about Springdale Farm Nature Reserve here

Help us keep our Nature Reserves open as a haven for wildlife and people!

Donate now

Our local green spaces are more important than ever before, as refuges for wildlife and calming breathing-spaces for ourselves. We have kept all our Nature Reserves open throughout the Spring lockdown. Whilst there the need to maintain and manage these precious places has never been greater, funds have never been less certain.

We need to raise around £350,000 each year to maintain our 30 Nature Reserves for the threatened and important wildlife they support and people who visit them. This year, we are facing a shortfall of £35,000.

If it weren't for the generous support of our members, Pat Gorvin's legacy, the support of players of the People's Postcode Lottery and other grants, this would be much higher. Please support us by making a donation or becoming a member, if you are able. We will be grateful for any support you can give to help maintain these precious places at this difficult time.