Cradle for Nature

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Diary - 2017

July : Summer measuring and various surveys

This was the last of the 20-year data collection for trees in the lower field of our site. The largest group since Earthwatch days (20 people originating from eight different countries) convened to help with measuring and several other activities.

The trees of 'Sheila' plot, planted in November 1997, were all measured over two days.

We said farewell and gave thanks to Prof. Svetla Gentcheva-Kostadinova, for whom the ‘Svetla’ plots are named and who sadly passed away last year. There is now a plaque to her above that for Keith, our longterm volunteer and friend. Svetla was instrumental in helping Martin at the start of the project by providing professional forestry support and advice in the early planning stages. Later, she helped Eirwen Harbottle and Prof. Elena Zheleva plant the first tree and she led the Bulgarian side of our project. We welcomed her daughter, Tanya, and grand-daughter, Svetla, this year as they joined us to help.

Prof. Erika Konya, visiting from Hungary, and Pat did some work on our mosses (bryophytes). Pat also led some surveying of flowering plants in and around the different plots.

Prof. Josef Krecek and his daughter, Kamila, from the Czech Republic collected fish-eye lens data on our tree canopies in the different plots (for conversion into a leaf area index) and took tree cores from some of our Scots Pines for analysis.

The UWTSD contingent did their annual measuring of trees and surveying in the upper field, together with helping in the lower field.

It wasn't all 'science' and 'field work' as some of the group went to Blaenavon and met up with the locals and we now plan to put up an information board on site and advertise it in the Heritage Centre or Museum.

Also, Anna did some interviewing within our group to discover our motivations for volunteering on projects such as this.