Walking in the Footsteps of Mary: March, St Gwynno woods

Walks with Mary ’ is back after a winter break! In this series 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.

This month we’re in St Gwynno woods which are situated in the mountains between the Rhondda and Cynon Valleys. A forestry plantation with its own reservoir, nearby Llanwonno has a lovely pub and a church where Guto Nyth Brân is buried… it has also been used in Dr Who!

Download Mary’s species list here!

Mary visited this large wooded area on many occasions with colleagues, her extramural class and during guided Cardiff Naturalist Society walks. An excellent spot for a diverse array of fungi, multiple horsetail species as well as Parsley Fern (Cryptogramma crispa) on the pennant sandstone cliff near to St Gwynno’s church. In March (1971) and April (1990) Mary and her colleagues recorded 45 different species within the St Gwynno although a broader search through Mary’s archive pulls up a further 377 species recorded in and around the woodland.

Download Mary’s species list here!

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There are many species missing from Mary’s list though and so plenty of scope for you to add to the tally!

picture1We also have downloadable resources to encourage recording in beginners!

The car park for the woodland can be found at ST032958 and here on Google Maps. There are entrances at ST02689571 and ST03229587.


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.

The Mary Gillham Archive Project is funded by HLF and managed by SEWBReC
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