Walking in the footsteps of Mary: July, Howardian LNR

Walk two: the Howardian Local Nature Reserve, Cardiff

Spotted Orchids in the Howardian taken by Mary Gillham in 2002

In 1973 Cardiff City Council asked the Natural History Society of Howardian High School if it would like to manage 6 acres of scrub/grass/woodland, adjacent to the school, as a nature reserve. Thus began 17 years of involvement by the pupils with the Reserve until the School’s closure in 1990. During this time the Reserve was gradually extended to 30 acres. Much of the Howardian Local Nature Reserve site was a disused domestic rubbish tip.

The Friends’ Group was formed in 1989, by an enthusiastic group of local residents, who work with Cardiff County Council to further improve the reserve. A good network of paths now weave between the great variety of habitats that are packed with interesting flora and fauna and, in recognition of the site’s value for wildlife, it was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 1991.

Mary went to the Howardian on many occasions throughout her life and within her files she generated a list of around 370 species (not all recorded by her)! We’d like to encourage you to visit the Howardian to see what you can find… Click on the images to find out more!


Find out more about the reserve, the species found there and the tireless work of the Friends’ group at www.howardianlnr.org.uk. You can also download a guide to the reserve here: www.howardianlnr.org.uk/1996bkltenglish.html.

Please submit your records online here. Alternatively, please download this Excel recording form and return your records by email to dedicated.naturalist@sewbrec.org.uk.

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