Iolo Williams

Join me in Dorset for Hen Harrier Day – 7th August 2016

I am wholeheartedly behind the campaign to end bird of prey persecution in the UK, and particularly the massacre of hen harriers on our grouse moors. As such, I am one of the invited speakers at the Hen Harrier Day being held at the RSPB’s Arne reserve in Dorset on Sunday 7th August. The event starts at 11am and I urge everyone to come along in order to show their support for this magnificent bird of prey.

 

Sunday 7th August, 11am
RSPB Arne

Wareham
Dorset BH20 5BJ

 

Useful links

Facebook – www.facebook.com/events/190338031353370

Twitter – www.twitter.com/HHDaySouth

More about Hen Harrier Day 2016 – www.henharrierday.org

 

Iolo Williams

Weather’s been good to hedgehogs

Over the past few years, there has been a great deal of talk about the decline of hedgehogs in both urban and rural habitats in the UK.

As a child growing up in the village of Llanwddyn near Lake Vyrnwy, we had hedgehogs coming into our garden every summer, often with a handful of youngsters in tow. These days, I’m lucky if I see more than two or three live hedgehogs in a year but this autumn, following the unseasonably mild weather, I saw 5 different hedgehogs within three miles of my house, all of which looked healthy and well-fed.

I’m sure the abundance of food and warm weather meant that they could pile on enough weight before going into hibernation and thankfully, not one has been seen dead on the local country lanes.

Having recently cut my hedge, I’ve created a large pile of thin branches, dried leaves and grasses in the corner of my garden and I’d like to think that at least one of the hogs is safely curled up at the bottom of the pile waiting for the weather to warm up once again.

Iolo Williams

Pine Martens released into the wild in Wales

The Vincent Wildlife Trust’s Welsh pine marten project has reached an exciting stage as the full complement of 20 animals have now been released into the wild. These have all been fitted with radio collars therefore they will be followed throughout the winter in the hope that they survive to breed in the spring.

I recently spent two fascinating days with Dave Bavin and his team in the forested valleys of mid-Wales and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to see this beautiful mammal back where it belongs.  Although they are opportunistic omnivores, feeding on a wide range of prey, from mice and voles to blackberries and bilberries, recent research in Ireland has shown that pine marten target grey squirrels to the benefit of the smaller, more agile red squirrels.  It’s far too early to tell whether this could happen in mid-Wales but wouldn’t it be wonderful to walk through a Welsh woodland containing red squirrels and pine marten?