Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's Christmas so Finland seems fun

Once again we had our Christmas event and once again it was loads of fun.

This year instead of me hosting a quiz we had a wonderful talk by Cate Barrow on her trips to Finland to photograph Bears, Woverines, Birds, butterflies and much more, all in excellent scenery

Her pictures were taken in the summer so nighttime pictures were full of colour and life with the cutest bears you could ever imagine 

Cate told us of her 12 hour shifts in hides to get superb pictures of Ospreys and has kindly given permission for me to share one with you here 

Osprey Making the Bed by Cate Barrow
 You don't get pictures like that without capability and dedication 

If you were not able to be there Cate has a new website at  and  if you want to look at the finland pictures specifically they are at

Cate has already told us about the places she is planning to go and we're all jealous of her plans if not the amount of camera gear she's planning to carry

So until next year Ho. Ho. Ho... 

Best wishes


Monday, October 28, 2013


In a double header presented by Joan and Tricia our two past presidents of CNS. reported on an outing to "Antarctica” taking in the The Falklands wildlife and history, South Georgia and meeting up with the grand daughter of Ernest Shackleton. The ice sculptures from the glaciers and bergs were as spectacular as the scenery which really does make you wonder how anyone managed to cross those mountains. 

The intrepid duo had quite a better time in their adventure and they certainly had the best of accommodation in their former Russian spy ship. With Albatross and the like being easily visible from the heated bridge it made you wonder why they would want to get out, but out they did and dressed in bright red survival suits they went from ship to shore to have their adventures. 

You may think this attire would frighten off the wildlife, but none of it, as the seals just kept an eye on them and six different penguins made for an exciting time birdwatching. 


Friday, October 18, 2013

Got a boring wall?

Why not see if the Open University poster can brighten it up

We received this link from one of our members and thought it was worth sharing

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Do you know about Wallace ?

Many of us do and are aware of where he lived in Usk for a short time

I had this series of lectures pointed out to me and wanted to share

All other series lectures (listed below) will be held in the Wallace Lecture Theatre (Room 0.13), in the Main Building at Cardiff University (Park Place, CF10 3AT). All lectures will begin at 18:30, and are FREE TO ATTEND. No advance booking is required. All members of the University and the general public are welcome.
  • 8 October 2013: James Williams (University of Sussex) – "Alfred Russel Wallace – a Life, a Love of Science, and the Mysterious Missing 'L'"
  • 12 November 2013: Mike Bruford (Cardiff University) – "Wallace and the Foundations of Biogeography"
  • 10 December 2013: Sandy Knapp (Natural History Museum) – "Wallace in Wales"
  • 14 January 2014: Steve Jones (University College London) – "Wallace and the Limits to Evolution"
  • 11 February 2014: Dick Vane-Wright (University of Kent & Natural History Museum) – "Wallace and Coloration"
  • 11 March 2014: Danny McCarroll (Swansea University) – "Wallace and Ice Ages"
  • 8 April 2014: Stephen Inglis (National Institute for Biological Standards & Control) – "Wallace and Vaccination: Great Minds Don't Always Think Alike"
  • 13 May 2014: Martin Rees (University of Cambridge) – "Wallace and Extraterrestrial Life"
  • 10 June 2014: Chris Stringer (Natural History Museum) – "Wallace, Darwin and Human Evolution"
Download the brochure HERE.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Volcanos and Wildlife of Tenerife

The new season of indoor meetings got underway last night with Andy Kendall talking about ‘The Volcanos and Wildlife of Tenerife”.

The last eruption in Tenerife was in 1905 – a blink of the eye in geological time – and the island’s landscape is dominated by its volcanic past. Andy talked in particular about two caving trips, one with a surveying team and one with a group of artists (from the International Society of Spelaeological Art), to explore lava tubes on the island. In particular, they explored the extensive Cueva del Viento - Sobrado system in the north-west of the island. This is the fifth largest lava tube in the world; the top four being in Hawaii. Lava tubes are distinctive caves formed by lava flowing below the surface.

The lava inside the tubes is not all black as you might expect, but coloured, often yellow, by minerals and bacterial growth. Tree roots grow down from the roof of some of the caves, giving a surrealistic look to the photos. The rock is hard and jagged, with characteristic features including shelves, bubble bursts and, more rarely, stalactite forms.

The talk was illustrated with some spectacular photos, both above and below ground, with a few sequences set to music. Andy also showed sketches that the artists did underground, giving a different perspective to the caves.

On the second visit, Andy and his party got to the top of the 3,718m peak of Mount Teide. The photos looking down at the caldera wall and the distant coastline certainly made me want to revisit the otherworldly beauty of the volcanos of Tenerife.

Before the talk, the Cardiff Naturalists Society held its AGM.

The next indoor meeting, which is about Antarctica, is on Monday 14 October, is at the same place: The Cardiff School of Management building on Metropolitan University’s Llandaff Campus (Room 0023) at 7.30pm. The new program can be found elsewhere on this blog:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

2013 - 14 Programme is now on-line

Our New programme is now on-line as you can see

As was noted to members in the last newsletter we have LOADS and LOADS of really wonderful wildlife books for sale. The plan is that each and every indoor meeting this year will be preceded by a book/picture sale until I have nothing left in my front room.

The books are those left to the society by Dr Mary Gillham. There are books on just about everything and keys on all plant and animal groups, new naturalists, large format picture books and many, many books written by Mary Gillham herself.

We’ve boxed them up into general categories, but I won’t be going through them and bringing them in any specific order as there are simply too many boxes to be going through them each time. So the best thing you can do is get there early (from about 7:00) and give yourself time to browse and chat with other members.

To members, most things will be name your own price, but there are some rare books we know have value and will be putting a suggested donation on. All proceeds from these sales will be going towards our Student prize fund so you’ll be helping me get my front room back and the society with your donations and the next generation by funding their studies

Non members will be requested to offer a little more in donations for the books that were published with prices as per the publications page on the CNS website. Members prices will be so low you should seriously consider joining us

Margery Lewis

Someone our older members will remember with fondness has left us

She was one of Mary G’s class regulars – can’t be many left now. We hadn’t seen Margery for some years but remember her with affection and admiration

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Field Trip Changes

It is with great regret that we have to tell you about 2 field trip cancellations / postponements and some alternate arrangements we are putting in place. Please can you tell anyone you know who does not tune into emails regularly  

The trip scheduled for this Saturday is planned to be on the top of the EPPYNT RANGES and given the weather forecast, the likelihood of not being able to see the landscape features and the long distance to travel in bad weather as well we have reluctantly decided to postpone this trip

Also the trip planned for Saturday, September 7th. WENVOE ORCHARDS. Has been cancelled as our planned leader is not able to lead the walk for us. This event has been postponed and will now be held in September 2014

We are therefore able to offer the EPPYNT trip on the 7th of September as an alternate date which is hopefully already reserved in your diary

We are adjusting the start time of this trip to 11:00 in Eppynt or 9:00 in Cardiff to share lifts as part of this change so the new details are as follows PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE AND TIME

On this walk, we will explore the geology and natural history of the eastern edge of the Epynt Ranges. We will look at the flood plains of ancient rivers and volcanic ash of Devonian age and evidence of shallow seas in the Silurian as well as evidence of recent glaciations.  This is a circular walk with a couple of extra side stops, a total distance of approximately 5km. This area is a fairly exposed upland environment with some uneven footpaths so please come dressed appropriately. Toilets at the visitor center are usually open. 

Meet the Epynt Ranges Conservation Centre – Pentre Dolau Honddu (SN 99307 43788). Please bring a packed lunch


Meet at the BGS Cardiff offices at 9:00 to share lifts north. See for details 

Please email Andy Kendall via to say that you will be meeting there so we know to expect you or call me on the details below to discuss arrangements

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rhoose Biodiversity Blitz details posted and another event in the Calendar

The Rhoose point event details have now been updated with the starting place and time

Rhoose Point
NEW EVENT. A Biodiversity Blitz organised by the Vale of Glamorgan Council ecology team to which Cardiff Naturalists’ members are invited. We shall be trying to record as many species as possible in the company of some experts and local enthusiasts and residents.

We shall meet at 10am at the Rhoose Station car park (ST 0620/6623). The event is being organised by the Vale of Glamorgan Council and will include both experts and non-experts

Members of Cardiff Naturalists' Society are very welcome, particularly as there was feedback from last year's survey that people would like to get involved in Biodiversity Blitzes'
Vale of Glamorgan Council ecology team

Another Bioblitz this Summer that Cardiff Naturalists' members are very welcome to join and this one is at the Amelia Trust farm on Saturday 27th July. 

Timings to be confirmed but are likely to involve Vegetation and Insect surveys to start around 10am. 

A dawn chorus for the early birds might be on offer along with a Bat Walk and Moth Survey in the evening. 

The Amelia Trust farm is just off Five Mile Lane (A4226) between Bonvilston and Barry. You can read more about the farm and how to get there by looking at their website at

No special skills are necessary to help out - just an interest in wildlife

Monday, June 3, 2013

Wild About Cardiff

Cardiff Naturalists had a wonderful time at the Wild About Cardiff Springwatch event at the Forest Farm Nature reserve and enjoyed the walks we did on Saturday and Sunday immensely 

Many thanks for Rob & Linda Nottage and Barry Embling who were our walk leaders, and to those members of the public who joined us on the walks

We also had fun supporting the Rangers in the pond dipping sections. I especially had fun when my nephew joined me and we hunted tadpoles together - Thanks Osian !

Once we'd admired them we caught them again from the tray and released them back into the pond. I could have watched the hard work for ages... Thinking about it that's what I did

Also thanks to the Cardiff Parks Rangers and the Friends of Forest Farm for hosting the event

If you missed the event this year look out for it in next year's programme

Sunday, June 2, 2013

CNS and the Protection of Birds

In our latest newsletter we have an article relating to the  protection of birds, and some documents relating to the societies work in that area

we placed some documents on-line here

We are able to provide some more cartoons relating to this terrible event here.

If you want to read all about it then why not join CNS and get a copy of the newsletter

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Wales Wonderful Wildlife Opening

Members of the Cardiff Naturalists Society enjoying the opening of the Wales Wonderful Wildlife exhibition at the West Wharf gallery. Members were able to enjoy the exhibition and share a glass of win with the gallery owner Elizabeth Cooling who is our former membership secretary 

The exhibition features the work of Rob & Linda Nottage, Raj Chettri, Paul Bowden, Phill Blanning, Mary Salter, John & Margaret Samuel, Rhian & Andy Kendall, Lucy Fay,  Rebecca Sheahan, Mike Scott, Eirian Edwards

The people who have supplied these pictures are members of the society. They include amateur naturalists and professional ecologists all of whom are keen to share their wonder in the natural world. 

The pictures have been taken on a range of equipment showing that you don’t have to spend a lot on camera equipment (though many of us do), understanding the wildlife and environment is much more important

If you are thinking of visiting the exhibition let me give you a few more reasons to in these following pictures, You can enjoy this excellent selection of photographs in really comfortable surroundings as the pictures are arrayed with comfortable seating and are right next to the cafe area where you can get a coffee and some really excellent carrot cake amongst the offerings

The exhibition is next open on the 6th—8th June 10am - 5pm which are the opening hours of Jacobs Market

You can read more about the gallery on the West Wharf Gallery Facebook page of on their new website

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wales Wonderful Wildlife


Wales Wonderful Wildlife

An exhibition of pictures of Welsh Wildlife and the environment by members of the Cardiff Naturalists Society at the West Wharf Gallery, Jacobs Building, Cardiff 

Opening 4pm 1st of June

Also open 6th—8th June 10am - 5pm

The work will include pictures of a wild range of our wildlife and will include some rarities that have been discovered by members of the society and on society events.

The show will run from the 1st – 8th June and will be accompanied with some information about the society and why we think that’s it’s the best local wildlife group and one that is well worth joining if you have an interest in the environment

If you would like any more information please get in touch using the contact details on the website

You can read more about the gallery on the West Wharf Gallery Facebook page of on their new website

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wild About Cardiff

We're Wild about Cardiff are you?

If you want to find out more about the wildlife of Cardiff why not join us at the  Wild about Cardiff event at Forest Farm Nature Reserve on the 31st of May - 2nd of June

We will be running Wildlife walks on the 1st at 11 am and 2nd at 10 am and we will have information about society and the wildlife of Cardiff available

We really hope to see you at what will be a wonderful event

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Craig y Cilau

Just a quick reminder for those who put things in your diaries and don’t update them properly (like me)

The walk that was planned for this Saturday was moved some time ago to a new date as below

Saturday 18th May                                                                 Craig y Cilau
Start time 10am                                                                      Packed Lunch

This is an NNR which we shall be visiting with Jon Wohlgemuth from CCW. It is part of the Mynydd Llangatwg SSSI . There is an old tramway which gives flat, grassy access for 600 metres but then the paths narrow and we may well explore on less even ground. Unusual botany includes Mountain Melick, Angular Solomons Seal and Alpine Enchanters Nightshade and there is an extensive cave system.

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