Walking in the Footsteps of Mary: November, Draethen Woods.

In this series of ‘Walks with Mary ’ we provide you with details of surveys Mary (and her colleagues) undertook, the species she recorded, and encourage you to visit sites and record what you can see.

Download the species list here!

We would love to get an up-to-date species list so we can compare the two – will you find as much as Mary? Has the species composition changed drastically? Can you add new species to the list? The woods near to Draethen comprise a series of ex-Forestry Commission plots now managed by Natural Resources Wales. There are also a number of former lead mining sites and surface workings which date back as far as the Romans. According to Mary “The underlying rock is Dolomite or Magnesium Limestone of Carboniferous age and contains galena or lead ore in workable amounts, together with barytes, iron pyrites and other minerals which can be picked on the paths”.

NEW! Child-friendly activities to encourage recording and ID in young people!

Click here!

Mary visited these woods on a number of occasions and recorded over 90 different species of fungi within the months of October and November. When we went on a site recce in the middle of October we found over 50 species of fungi in just a couple of hours and so it is very likely that you can find lots of species when you visit!

Draethen Woods in October 2016. Taken by Annie Irving.

The car park for the woodland can be found at ST20598662 and here on Google Maps. The woodland rides are broad and relatively flat although there are stones and tree roots which makes the terrain a little uneven.

The woods where most of Mary’s records come from

The attached records were identified predominantly by Dr A. R. “Roy” Perry, one of Mary’s contemporaries who worked at the National Museum in Cardiff. Mary and Roy worked together on many occasions and lots of the documents in Mary’s archives bear the markings “recorded by” or “determined by” Roy Perry. Some of the other records were recorded by Rob and Linda Nottage and were collected as part of excursions with the Cardiff Naturalists’ Trust and the Glamorgan Naturalists’ Trust.

Download the species list here!

Below are some of the images of the woodland and quarry at Draethen that we have found in Mary’s archive including the very friendly ferret that they met in 1976!

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Many thanks to Natural Resources Wales for helping in the organisation of this walk,  and Glamorgan Fungus Group for providing the expertise.

Submit your records at www.sewbrecord.org.uk/Mary_Gillham or send them in a spreadsheet to dedicated.naturalist@sewbrec.org.uk. You can download a template spreadsheet from the Walks with Mary Gillham page on the SEWBReC website: www.sewbrec.org.uk/a-dedicated-naturalist/walks-with-mary.page.

Notes about Walks with Mary Gillham:

  • Please take a common sense approach to recording at these sites. We do not advocate any form of trespassing, and please do not take any risks with regards to your own health and safety.
  • All records are welcome, even the most common of species!
  • For a record to be useful, we need the following information: recorder’s name; date recorded; location name; grid reference (ideally 6 figures or more); species name. Please feel free to include extra information or photos.

2 thoughts on “Walking in the Footsteps of Mary: November, Draethen Woods.

  1. Pingback: ‘Dedicated Naturalist’: Walking with Mary in Draethen Woodlands | earthstar

  2. Pingback: Fungi Foray into Draethen woods – Mary Gillham Archive Project

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