Snails, Slugs and a Very Rare Tree
Snails and slugs
Snails and slugs may not quite get the pulse racing like Cheetas and Gazelles but they are a lot more practically useful in and around the Parish. Without them and the other small denizens that munch their way through fallen leaves and other vegetation we would soon be disappearing under a mountain of debris. Those who have visited Molluscopolis on the Upper Orchid Field may have learned a bit about the variety of different snails you can find here but a relatively new one is the Girdled Snail. SEWBREC, who record all wildlife sightings for South East Wales, this month asked people to look out for the Girdled Snail as they had very few records for the whole of Wales. This is a Mediterranean species, first noted in Britain (Devon) in 1950 but spreading steadily up the country. It is usually found in gardens and waste ground and is very easy to identify as it has a distinctive pale -coloured girdle or keel around its middle. Within a couple of hours we found the one shown in the photo which was perched on a plastic composter, just waiting to be recorded. The chances are there will be several hundred in Wenvoe so, gardeners in particular, look out for them and, if you find them let the Wildlife Group know.
The Service Tree
The Upper Orchid Field has been host to a very rare tree, Sorbus domestica, commonly known as The Service Tree. It grows in a few locations in South Wales and ours fell off the cliffs near Fontygary and was spotted on the shoreline. It was replanted in our field but has never been very happy as the site is both damper and shadier that it would ideally want so it is heading back to a safe location near Fontygary where hopefully it can prosper and reproduce. We still hope that in the future we will be able to provide a home for a a couple of these in a suitable location so that we can help consolidate and expand the population. We have already planted in the Upper Orchid Field, the Wild Orchard and the Community Orchard a close relative Sorbus torminalis, The Chequers Tree, the fruit of which was once used in brewing and which many pubs are names after.