Here is a round up of the work that has taken place at Llwyni Nature Reserve in the last year.

Access Improvements:
Over the summer, further improvements have been made to the paths throughout Broadoak Woods and Llwyni Valley. Our volunteers and contractors have been laying down new stone on pre-existing paths to make the sites more accessible. Across both reserves, a number of lovely new wooden signs have been installed by staff and volunteers.  They can be seen at both entrances to Llwyni and the main Broadoak entrance on Hollowbrook drive. 

Over the summer the Wild Ground team hosted a nocturnal wildlife walk through Broadoak and were joined by local residents, interested in learning about their woodland neighbours. By using bat detectors, the group were able hear and identify 2 different bat species. Bats hunt at night for insects by using echolocation and emitting high frequency calls that get missed by the human ear. Bat detectors work by converting the ultrasonic bat calls into a sound audible to humans. As the evening grew darker, the group were also able to hear a number of Tawny Owls calling to each other and Badgers snuffling in the undergrowth looking for worms and other insects. 
Practical habitat work:
It has been a busy year in Llwyni, with numerous habitat improvement projects being undertaken by staff and volunteers. A large stretch of hedge has recently been laid near the middle entrance to Llwyni Valley and there are plans to do more around the reserve. Hedge laying is where the stems of the shrubs/trees are partially cut and laid flat to the ground, this encourages new growth and a thicker hedge. This traditional skill has been practiced in the UK since the 1600s and is fantastic for wildlife, providing food and homes for numerous species. Over the summer our Thursday volunteer group were also regularly scything the site to keep paths open and keep the Bracken down. This helped keep paths open during the summer and the cut grass was put into large heaps to create a habitat for grass snakes. Surveys will be undertaken in the spring to help us understand the reptile population in Connah’s quay.