Pumlumon Cardiganshire 14th August 2021recording general
The highest point in Cardiganshire and source of the rivers Wye, Severn and Rheidol. Remarkably, Pumlumon is still the only high mountain in Wales to have achieved zero grazing (albeit with some trespass) and it is instructive to see the effects here of nearly 10 years regrowth and changes in species distribution and abundance. Over this time there has been a remarkable recovery in summit heath and grassland communities, with previously unsuspected populations of Salix herbacea (Dwarf Willow), Carex bigelowii (Stiff Sedge) – here at its southernmost site in Britain – and C. x decolorans, its hybrid with C. nigra (Common Sedge), together with the dwarf mountain variants of Succisa pratensis (Devil’s-bit Scabious), Solidago virgaurea subsp. minuta (Goldenrod) and other upland or montane taxa. Lower plants, fungi, invertebrates and birds all seem to have benefited from grazing removal with, for example, Merlin (Falco columbarius) nesting on Pumlumon for the first time in living memory, and Wood Tiger (Parasemia plantagenis) and the rare rust fungus on Dwarf Willow, Melampsora arctica, both recently observed. People with an interest in these groups might find reasons to attend – and would be particularly welcome. The meeting starts at 10:30 am. Note: As with all mountain tops, Pumlumon can be very challenging and attendees will need to be able to climb and descend over 450m over sometimes very steep rocky paths and boggy areas. For further information and to book, contact Andy Jones with your email address and mobile details.