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Nature’s Calendar – September

Nuts and berries begin appearing on the trees. Look out for feeding signs from small mammals. Squirrels split the still-green hazelnuts clean in half. Wood mice and voles gnaw neat little holes in the shell before removing the kernel inside.

The park’s summer migrant birds – including the Swallows, Spotted Flycatchers, Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats – prepare to leave.

Newts begin to leave the park’s ponds in search of suitable hiding places to hibernate for the winter. Unlike toads and frogs which can travel quite a distance from ponds to hibernate, newts prefer to stay close by, tending to seek out a log or stone a short distance from the pond.

Fruit is out in abundance. Rosehips on the park’s dog roses are a favourite of finches and small mammals, while blackberries provide another source of food at the edges of the meadows and in the north woodlands. There are more than 2000 micro-species of the common bramble plant, so the blackberries at Bryngarw are likely to taste slightly different to the blackberries you might find elsewhere.