Thanks for The Photos of the Wildlife Sightings

Wenvoe Wildlife Group

Photos of the Wildlife Sightings

Our thanks to all residents who have sent in photos of their wildlife sightings including Bee Flies (see photo), Brimstone butterfly, Bumblebees and wildflowers Ivy -leaved Toadflax, Wild Arum, Lungwort and the rare Herb Paris. With the help of our wildlife cameras we have recorded 20 bird species and 5 mammals. These are all recorded on the South Wales Biodiversity database which can help to inform planning decisions and designate nature protection areas.

We have been mentoring Rosie Robyns who lives in the village and is doing the Welsh Baccalaureate. To help with one of her assignments she has carried out various activities with the Group and has designed 2 anti-litter posters which are being displayed on our noticeboards. Rosie writes: I had a wonderful experience with Bruce and Judy from the Wenvoe Wildlife Group. They were very kind and willing to help me with my community action project for the Welsh Baccalaureate. I had to complete 15 hours of community action that would benefit my community. Judy helped me gain experience whilst working within the orchards and showed how we can do little things to help keep their habitat clean. Bruce was also very informative and knowledgeable when it came to the orchards. He helped explain to me the types of trees and animals that live in the orchard. Overall they were really kind to give up their time to help me with my project. I would like to thank them for being so kind and welcoming towards me. It has motivated me to try and become more involved with the Wenvoe Wildlife Group in the future.”

Wenvoe Garden Birdwatch 2024

Wenvoe Wildlife Group


Whilst we were disappointed with only 7 households taking part in our first Wenvoe birdwatch the results are still interesting and give us a small snapshot of the birds in our own community.

Here are the total number of birds seen :

1. Great tit: 15
2. Long Tailed Tit 14
2. Blue tit: 14
2. Wood Pigeon:14
3. Robin :9.
4. Carrion Crow:8
4. Goldfinch :8
5. Blackbird:7
5. Coal tit:7
6. Collared Dove: 6
6. Chaffinch:6
6. Dunnock:6
7. Rook:3.
7. Magpie:3
7. Herring Gull:3
8. Wren:2
8. Pheasant:2

There was one siting of a Nuthatch, Moorhen and Greater Spotted Woodpecker. In total 20 different species of birds were recorded.

In the UK RSPB birdwatch results for 2023 the most seen bird was the House Sparrow but no House Sparrows were spotted in our admittedly limited sur-vey. We know there are House Sparrows in the par-ish but we are aware that nationally since 1966 22 million of them have been lost. The only bird in RSPB’s list not seen in Wenvoe is the Starling.

More analysis is being undertaken of our Wenvoe results to plot where in the village specific birds were seen and these findings will be published later.

If during the year you spot an unusual bird in the parish please try and take a photo and send it in to the Wenvoe Wildlife Group with the date the photo was taken and a postcode or location description.


Encouraging Mistletoe To Grow

Wenvoe Wildlife Group

Project Balder has involved encouraging Mistletoe to grow on trees in the Village. Currently there are only two clumps of the plant recorded as being alive in the County – one in Dinas Powys and one in Wenvoe. There are several clumps in Cardiff and many more to the north-east and east of the City. Last year we invited residents to contact the Group if they wished to try propagating it and during February berries and instructions were distributed. This involved over 100 berries with an accompanying kit purchased from the English Mistletoe Shop. Mistletoe is notoriously difficult to grow and if we get just a couple of new growths, particularly if one is female it will have been worthwhile. With at least one male and one female we would hope that nature can take over. Our thanks to Chris, Vicar Lyndon, Annette, Shirley and Eleanor who have placed seeds on trees in the Rectory, various Wenvoe gardens, one in Dinas Powys and the Elizabethan Orchard. There are several species of insect, beetle and fungi which are associated with Mistletoe. And Balder was the God of Light in Norse mythology who was associated with Mistletoe although not in a way that he would have appreciated!

Visitors to the Upper Orchid Field will have appreciated the annual cut and clearance of vegetation carried out by John Crockford. We can look forward to a grand display of Spring flowers, particularly Primrose and Cowslip. Rhys has been deploying wildlife cameras around our sites and early footage is revealing the hidden world of wildlife including Field Mice, Birds and Foxes. One particular fox, Stumpy, has no tail but seems healthy enough.

Wenvoe Wildlife Group

Despite the weather we have achieved quite a lot in January. Three new picnic tables have been constructed and installed in the orchards by Brian Rees. Sian White has strimmed and cleared vegetation at both the Goldsland Orchard and Goldsland Watercress beds, enabling improved access to both of these popular but quiet sites. Rhys McGowan has started a project of wildlife recording and all residents are encouraged to send any sightings of wildlife to the Wildlife Group from within the Parish. The Group have purchased a replacement Cherry Plum for the one in the village that was uprooted recently and Mike Tucker has arranged its planting. Mike has also cut the hedgerow that the Group planted along the Community Orchard.

Mike And Glenys’s Reindeer Sale

Wenvoe Wildlife Group

Mike and Glenys’s Reindeer sale along with some separate donations raised £1360 for the Wildlife Group – an incredible sum and our thanks to all who supported the event, bought raffle tickets and reindeer or gave donations. Thanks also to the Church who generously donated the hire of the Church Hall and tea and coffee sales. Huge thanks to Mike and Glenys for organising and running the event. We have received no other funding so every penny is spent directly on wildlife-related projects. Noticeboard refurbishment in the orchards and provision of picnic tables is already committed to the tune of £1200. Thanks also to Mike for donating two reindeer to the School which have been modified with holes drilled in the sides so that they double as Bee Hotels.

The Goldsland Orchard has been cleared of nettles and brambles by Sian so is looking quite tidy. Work is starting on the Watercress Beds followed by the Wild Orchard. We have submitted our 7 Green Flag applications so can now concentrate on getting the sites up to standard. A big thank you to Ian, Annie and Judy for turning out for November’s Conservation Session on the Upper Orchid Field. This is a regular event, usually the third Monday in the month – check What’s On for details. If you can spare a few minutes at any of the Orchards at a time and date to suit you, do get in touch.

The school children have also been busy in the Wildlife Patch constructing two more planters and filling them with 20 bags of soil. Shrubs planted include Mahonia, Caryopteris, Salvia and Escallonia. We have just heard that Rhys has been successful in obtaining funding from the Vale Nature Partnership team. In the new year, we will be beginning a species monitoring project across the Parish helping us better understand the animal species in the village to support our conservation efforts. This will involve the use of wildlife cameras and footprint tunnels at the Upper Orchid field, Elizabethan Orchard and Community Orchard. However, we would also welcome your help. We would like to encourage village residents to record what wildlife they see in t gardens, or when out and about in the village and countryside, letting us know what, where, when and who saw it and even better if you manage to capture a photo. Watch this space for more details on how to report your records.


Wenvoe Wildlife Group

Wenvoe Wildlife Group


If you are interested in wildlife in and around Wenvoe keep an eye on our Facebook page ‘Wenvoe Wildlife’. We can no longer post to our original page ‘Wenvoe Wildlife Group’ but you can still look at the site where there are many years of posts. All new posts are on the new page. We continue to support the school wildlife patch and plan to install more planters and a small, guarded pond in the coming months. Anyone who would like to help with this project, please contact the Wildlife group – sometimes just 10 minutes of your time every now and again can make a difference.

We have mentioned in the past that we have just one Mistletoe growing in the village as far as we know and there are only two live plants on record in the county. If you have a mature apple tree and would like to try out germinating some berries, contact the Wildlife group as we shall have a limited number of berries you can use this Autumn. We are also planning to do our own simplified version of the Big Garden Birdwatch which takes place at the end of January which will enable us to find what birds are doing well or not so well in Wenvoe. Watch this space for more information


The School Nature Club

Wenvoe Wildlife Group

The School Nature Club continues to flourish. This month they learned to identify Horse Chestnut which gives us Conkers and distinguish them from Sweet Chestnut which we love to roast. They assembled two more planters and will be filling them with Bee-friendly shrubs such as Escallonia, Mahonia, Caryopteris and Salvia in the Spring as well as sowing seed of Limnanthes, the Poached Egg plant. Vegetation cutting is expected any time on the Upper Orchid Field, Community Orchard and Cae Ysbyty but is weather-dependent. Ian Moody and other volunteers turn up once a month to help with manual maintenance on the Upper Orchid Field – why not wander up and join them? Third Monday in the month or check this newsletter for date and time. Do you have a mature apple tree and want to try getting Mistletoe to grow on it? If so, contact the Willdlife Group.



Wenvoe Wildlife Group

The weather has not been kind to our conservation work but thanks to some of our observant residents we continue to record species which have not previously been registered in the Parish. An example is the Mint Moth which is probably not uncommon but easily overlooked. This small day-flying moth tends to inhabit patches of mint so one to look out for. We have now recorded 40 wildlife species in the School wildlife patch but expect the numbers to increase steadily, particularly if we get some better weather. The grass, Timothy, shown in the photo is doing very well – this is the foodplant of the caterpillar of the Essex Skipper (recorded in Cardiff and Barry) and the Marbled White butterflies.


Wenvoe Wildlife Group

We continue to work on our sites but (and we are not alone as far as village groups are concerned!) we do need more residents to get involved and spare a few minutes helping out with simple jobs. We held a session at the Elizabethan Orchard during July encouraging new volunteers to spare an hour in the evening but no new helpers turned out. Meantime we do what we can and recently have started refurbishing our noticeboards. Elizabethan Orchard noticeboard has been completed – next we shall focus on the Wild Orchard board. At least we have been awarded with 7 Green Flags again which is a tribute to those who help to care for the sites and the landowners who make it all possible. An important function of the Wildlife Group is to record species that are seen within the Parish of Wenvoe and St Lythans. Many of our records are firsts for this area such as the Common Purple and Gold Moth shown here which was spotted by members at the Elizabethan Orchard. They do not have to be rare and many common species are under-recorded. It is unlikely that anyone else is recording wildlife in the Parish and an apparent absence of wildlife can have a bearing on planning applications, especially for large-scale development. You do not have to be an expert but a photograph can usually help with identification. Do get in touch if you would like to get involved.





Turning out with other volunteers on the School’s Big Help Out we installed two planters, filled them with soil and planted them up with pollinator-friendly plants. A bird feeder was erected which will really come into its own in the Autumn and through Winter. Mike Tucker created a log pile which will be good for small mammals, beetles and amphibians as well as fungi and lichens. If you have a spare log or two feel free to add it to the log pile.

It was nice to see that solitary bees are using the bee hotel and small amounts of collected pollen are visible through the viewing screen. Autumn projects agreed include two more planters and a small pond. Already we have recorded the Red Tailed and Buff Tailed Bumblebees and the Common Carder Be. All species are reported to the Biodiversity recording database.
The Wenvoe Gardens Open Day provided an opportunity to see the wildlife patch but also all the other gardening and horticultural projects being carried out by the school. They are making a great effort to reconnect children with nature and deserve our full support.



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