RSPB Cymru Blog

We love Wales!

We love Wales!
Croeso! If you love all things Welsh and wild then this is the group for you. Here you can chat to other RSPB supporters, share your stories and tips, and post photos of wildlife and wild places.

RSPB Cymru Blog

  • Derwen hynod Cwm yr Esgob ar y rhestr fer Coeden y Flwyddyn 2016

    To read this blog in English click here.

    Dychmygwch eich bod yn 500 mlwydd oed.  Meddyliwch am yr holl ryfeddodau yr ydych chi wedi’u gweld.  Meddyliwch am yr holl newidiadau amgylcheddol a’r datblygiadau technolegol yr ydych chi wedi bod yn dyst iddyn nhw.  Ond dychmygwch fod yn fyw am hanner canrif, heb wybod byth sut beth yw cael eich canmol.  Dim un ‘da iawn’, ac erioed wedi teimlo’r curiad ar eich cefn. Roedd hyn yn wir am ein coeden arbennig ni - tan rŵan.


    Mae coeden hynod sydd wedi’i lleoli ar safle RSPB Carngafallt ym Mhowys wedi cael ei rhoi ar y rhestr fer yng nghystadleuaeth Coeden y Flwyddyn 2016 gan Coed Cadw, sydd wedi’i noddi gan Loteri’r Cod Post.

     

    Mae ein coeden ni sydd ar y rhestr fer, ac a gredir ei bod wedi bod ar y safle ers dros 500 mlynedd, gyda siawns o ennill y wobr gyntaf, sef pecyn ‘Tree LC’ sy’n werth £1,000 tra bod bob cystadleuwr ar y rhestr fer sy’n derbyn 1,000 o bleidleisiau yn cael eu gwobrwyo’n awtomatig gyda phecyn ‘Tree LC’ o £500.

     

    Mae’r pecynnau gwobr ‘Tree LC’ yn amrywio o arolygon coed a rheolaeth broffesiynol, at docio, ffensio a thaenu tomwellt er mwyn diogelu’r gwraidd.

     

    Mae ein derwen hynod ni ymysg y fwyaf, ac o bosibl y goeden hynaf ar borfa coetir hynod Cwm yr Esgob.  Mae’n dderwen amlfonyn wedi asio i’w gilydd, gyda ‘choeden awyr’ sy’n gerddinen – coeden sy’n tyfu o’r tu mewn heb i’w gwreiddiau gyffwrdd y ddaear.

     

    Fodd bynnag, mae ein derwen hynod ni wedi cael ei magu mewn modd unigryw.

     

    Yn 1184, gwyddys bod Tywysog o Gymru, sef Rhys o Ddeheubarth, wedi rhoi’r ystâd gyfan i fynaich Sistersaidd Abaty Ystrad Fflur - a oedd yn golygu bod yr enw Cwm yr Esgob yn addas.

     

    Gwyddys bod ein coeden wedi dechrau ei bywyd fel coeden ifanc tua diwedd amser y mynaich oddeutu 1500 OC, gan dyfu ymysg coed derw hynod mawr eu dydd ac ers hynny mae wedi’u disodli.

     

    Yn 1536, gyda’r Ddeddf Uno, daeth Cymru o dan gyfraith Lloegr, a daeth yr holl diroedd mynachaidd yn eiddo i Harri VIII.  Yn y modd hynny, mae’n debygol fod ein derwen ni wedi dod yn eiddo i’r hen drwyn-gopr pan oedd ond yn 50 mlwydd oed.

     

    Yn ogystal, mae gan goetir Cwm yr Esgob fannau cynhyrchu golosg nodweddiadol, gyda llawer o’r coed yn hen brysgwydd neu docbrennau – yn cynnwys ein derwen ni sydd ar y rhestr fer – gydag ychydig o’r pren yn cael ei ddefnyddio i greu golosg heb dorri’r goeden yn gyfan gwbl.

     

    Er hynny, parhaodd ein derwen i ffynnu, ac efallai y gall tocio fod yn un o’r rhesymau sylfaenol ei bod wedi goroesi a chyrraedd gymaint o oedran.

     

    Yn gynnar yn y 19eg ganrif, gwnaed gwaith clirio ar raddfa fawr yn y caeau o gwmpas er mwyn tyfu cnydau.  Yn ffodus, cafodd y borfa mewn coetir a’n derwen ni yng Nghwm yr Esgob eu harbed oherwydd natur greigiog y tir.

     

    Yn 1893, dechreuodd oes newydd pan adeiladwyd argaeau Cwm Elan gan greu cronfeydd mawrion i ddarparu dŵr yfed i boblogaeth Birmingham. Bron i ganrif yn ddiweddarach, agorodd canolfan ymwelwyr Cwm Elan yn 1985 a chroesawyd niferoedd cynyddol o ymwelwyr.

     

    Prynwyd y coetiroedd a’r borfa mewn coetir hynod gan yr RSPB yn 1990, gan greu’r hyn yr ydym ni yn ei adnabod heddiw fel gwarchodfa Carngafallt.  Mae’n cael ei hadnabod am ei hamrywiaeth neilltuol o rywogaethau, ac ers hynny mae wedi cael ei chydnabod am hyn drwy gael ei gwneud yn ardal warchodaeth.

     

    Mae ein derwen hynod neilltuol ni sydd ar y rhestr fer yn rhan o dirwedd arbennig ac yn goetir arbennig iawn.  Mae’n gartref i gyfoeth o adar coetir, yn cynnwys cnocellau brith lleiaf, corhedyddion y coed a gwybedogion brith, yn ogystal â chasgliadau o gennau, bryoffytau ac anifeiliaid di-asgwrn-cefn saprocsilig (pren marw).

     

    Mae’r goeden ei hun wedi’i gorchuddio mewn epiffytau (planhigion sy’n tyfu ar blanhigion eraill) a chennau prin fel Calicium salicinum, ac mae’n gartref i rai chwilod nodedig fel yr ‘chwilyswr’ anghyffredin. Mae ein coeden ni’n ecosystem fach gyfan ynddi’i hun, sydd wedi tyfu drwy’r oesoedd.

     

    Yn awr, beth am i ni i gyd ddangos ein gwerthfawrogiad o un o aelodau hynaf RSPB Cymru.  Mae’r amser wedi dod iddi dderbyn y ganmoliaeth y mae hi’n ei haeddu ac rydym yn galw arnoch chi i bleidleisio rhwng 19 Medi a 9 Hydref drwy fynd i - https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/tree-of-the-year/

  • Cwm yr Esgob veteran oak tree shortlisted for Tree of the Year 2016

    I ddarllen y blog yma yng Nghymraeg cliciwch yma.

    Imagine being 500 years old. Think of all the wonders you’d have seen. Think of all the environmental changes and technological advancements you’d have bore witness to. But imagine being alive for half a century, without ever knowing what it’s like to be praised. Not one ‘well done’, never having felt that pat on the back. This actually stood true for a special tree of ours - until now.


     

    A veteran oak tree situated on RSPB Carngafallt in Powys has been shortlisted in the Woodland Trust Tree of the Year 2016 competition, sponsored by Postcode Lottery.

     

    Our shortlisted tree, which is believed to have stood on the site for over 500 years, stands a chance of winning the first prize ‘Tree LC’ package worth £1,000 whilst all shortlisted contenders that reach the 1,000 votes mark are automatically rewarded with a £500 ‘Tree LC’ package.

     

    The prized ‘Tree LC’ packages range from tree surveys and professional management, to pruning, fencing and mulching for root protection.

     

    Our veteran oak tree is amongst the largest and potentially the oldest tree on the Cwm yr Esgob ancient wood pasture. It is a fused multi-stemmed oak, which has a rowan ‘air tree’ - a tree growing from within without its roots touching the ground.

     

    Our veteran oak tree, however, has had quite the unique upbringing.

     

    In 1184, Welsh Prince Rhys of Deheubarth is known to have given the whole estate to the Cistercian monks of Strata Florida Abbey – which meant the Cwm yr Esgob name was fitting as it means ‘Valley of the Bishop’.

     

    Our tree is known to have started life as a young sapling towards the end of the monks’ time around 1500AD, growing up among the large veteran oaks of their day which it has since gone on to replace.

     

    In 1536, the Act of Union brought Wales under English law, and all the monastic lands became the property of Henry VIII. Therefore, it seems likely that our oak fell under the ownership of old Coppernose at only 50 years old.

     

    The Cwm yr Esgob woodland holds distinct charcoal hearths as well, with many of the trees being old coppice or pollards - including our own shortlisted oak - with some of the timber being used to create charcoal without the tree being completely felled.

     

    Nevertheless, our oak continued to thrive, and pollarding may well be one of the founding reasons it has survived to such a great age.

     

    In the early 19th century, there was a large scale clearance of the surrounding fields to grow arable. Luckily, the wood pasture and our oak at Cwm yr Esgob were spared due to the ground’s rocky nature.

     

    In 1893, a new era began with the building of the Elan Valley dams creating large reservoirs to provide drinking water for the populace of Birmingham. Nearly a century onwards in 1985, the Elan Valley visitor centre opened and hosted growing numbers of visitors.

     

    The woodlands and ancient wood pasture were bought by RSPB in 1990, creating our Carngafallt reserve as we now know it today. It is recognised for its outstanding variety of species and has since been recognised for this by being made a protected area.

     

    Our exceptional shortlisted veteran oak tree is part of a special landscape and an extra special woodland. It calls itself home to a wealth of woodland birds, including lesser spotted woodpeckers, tree pipits and pied flycatchers, as well as lichens, bryophytes and saproxilic (dead wood) invertebrates.

     

    The tree itself is covered in epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants) and rare lichens such as Calicium salicinum, and is home to some noteworthy beetles such as the uncommon ‘inquisitor’. Our tree is a whole mini ecosystem in itself, which has grown over the ages.

     

    Now, let us all show our appreciation for one of RSPB Cymru’s eldest members. The time has come for it to be given the plaudits it deserves and we call on you to place your vote between 19 September and 9 October by heading to - https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/tree-of-the-year/.

  • Art & wildlife combine for the State of Nature Wales 2016 launch

    I ddarllen y blog yma yng Nghymraeg cliciwch yma os gwelwch yn dda.



    Poetry, spoken word, beatboxing, rapping, graffiti, music and children dancing with eight-foot-high choughs – all in the name of Welsh nature. Yesterday was quite the day.

    State of Nature 2016 Wales has been on tour, spreading the report’s harsh lessons ever since its first day at Llanelli’s St Elli Shopping Centre on 15 September, before concluding on The Hayes in Cardiff yesterday. Being one of the busiest areas in Cardiff, the public launch was a hit with everyone. The public showed vast interest in the report’s findings by stopping, asking and discovering what they can do to improve nature’s fortunes within Wales.

    By launching the report in such a public way, we believe it went further. The public didn’t just stop for information. They took photos of the canvases. They took video footage of the live performances and captured their thoughts about nature. They caused a flurry over social media. This report reached more people than ever.

    Images: Organized Kaos & canvas by St Bernadette's Primary School

    Our left-field launch could have turned the people of Camden Market green with envy. From live poetry by Martin Daws (Young People’s Laureate for Wales 2013-16) and Aneirin Karadog (2016 National Eisteddfod’s chaired bard), rapping and beatboxing by Mr Phormula (Ed Holden), musical harmonies by Ellie Makes Music, street art of the finest form by Milli Magic and a circus performance with a twist by Organised Kaos. We clearly showed that Wales is the home of creative talent.

    We had media coverage across all BBC platforms and Welsh news outlets. While ITV Wales recorded a special interview from St Bernadette’s primary school in Cardiff, who designed some unique and creative messages on our shrill carder bee canvas - and were fittingly celebrating the school’s first ever eco-week!

    We also need to take a look back at the coverage gained by last week’s UK report launch in Westminster. There, Sir David Attenborough and Iolo Williams spoke about the challenges that nature faces, and Plantlife’s Trevor Dines gave a passionate speech with such childhood context that it left much of the audience still awestruck on their way home. Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Andrea Leadsom, appeared to accept that big changes are needed if the UK is to maintain and improve its biodiversity in the future. 

    Images: graffiti artist, Millimagic, rapper Mr Phormula & members of the public writing their messages for nature

    Remember however, we went on this journey to improve nature’s fortunes. The report found that 1 in 14 species in Wales is extinct or heading towards extinction. For a country that is often so proud and heavily dependent on its natural environment - this simply isn’t good enough.

    A partnership led by 50 strong conservation bodies agreed that Wales needed to try something new to raise awareness for nature’s plight. We decided to go left-field, with the hope of engaging with as many people as possible, and the tour and launch duly delivered.

    When you take all of the above into account, State of Nature Wales 2016 will hopefully have that lasting effect on nature and prove to be a historical landmark in years to come.

     



    Images: poets Aneirin Karadog, Martin Daws & Mr Phormula