Dear All, we've (I've) been very slack for some time on updating the Friends of Henllys LNR Blog (not since June 2014). It is not like we've been doing nothing, in fact Apr 2104 - Mar 2015 has been the busiest year on record for us notching up in excess of 1000 volunteer hours for the very first time since we started.
Much of what we've been up to has been put into short and sweet Tweets on Twitter via @HenllysLNR and this is where you'll find most of our activities.
In a nutshell, we've seen our wildflower trial blossom; pulled a load of Himalayan balsam again and again and again and again and again; did our second year of pond sampling where Henllys Church in Wales Primary School found newts for the first time and scientifically tested the quality of the water by sampling the water bugs (both ponds in great health with the top pond improving since last year); rebuilt an otter holt with 1st Henllys Scouts' cubs; made bird boxes with the 1st Henllys Scouts' beavers which were then being checked out early this spring while Brian and I made some willow fascines; we gained a retired-fireman as a volunteer (Brian, see previous picture link); Tricia's Grow Wild project went really well; had fun at the Henllys fete; saw that our hard work over the years have had an effect on reducing invasive Himalayan balsam; realised a scythe is brilliant for late-season Himalayan balsam; seeing areas of wildflowers coming back after tackling Himalayan balsam in areas of the LNR; got a bat detector and a scythe from a Keep Wales Tidy Grant; took part in Tidy Wales Week; dismayed that some Himalayan balsam was in flower in November; used the scythe to clear around the orchard; planted a WWI memorial common oak tree with Henllys Community Council; unblocked the culverts on the local nature reserve several times by hand; planted trees around the container; did 47 wheelbarrow trips of 100 metres with stone to firm up a bottleneck just up from the LNR; made a slippery access path safe with grassmats thanks to a donation from Cwmbran Shopping Centre; widened the main footpath between Glan Rhyd and Birch Grove over 3 Fridays; added more grassmats to the top of the steps; saw the hard path continued creating a lovely walking loop paid for by Torfaen Council; did some tree crown lifting with Torfaen County Borough Council; improved another access point; got tadpoles again in both ponds; we've been shortlisted for a biodiversity award from Keep Wales Tidy and are applying for Community Green Flag status.
Apart from that nothing much to report on.