The Pembrokeshire countryside & it's wildlife 3rd - 17th July 2021

Updated: Oct 4, 2021




Its always good to have a break from everyday life and work, Have a rest, chill out and get some energy back. I was certainly ready for that break come the 3rd July!


For our summer holiday this year My wife and I decided on Wales and found a lovely cottage In Pembrokeshire in the small village of Bwlchygroes about 30 mins from the town of Cardigan and the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline (incorporating Cardigan Bay) The aim of the holiday was to chill out, go for walks, visit different places, see some wildlife, particularly Dolphins, more on that later, but to see wildlife we didnt really have to travel far, the cottage garden produced quite alot on its own.

On the first night, it was just getting dark, around 10ish when i looked out the window and saw 2 Bats flying around the garden, unfortunately I had forgotten to bring the Bat detector to ID them 100%. They were quite big and after speaking to an ecologist friend, I suspect they were Greater Horseshoe Bats, no photos but a slow motion video is attached.





When looking out the window I noticed a Hedgehog come out from underneath the hedge and wander through part of the garden, fantastic we thought, we both love Hedgehogs. What a good start to the holiday. I love Moths and was hoping to see some by using light traps during the holiday. This area of Pembrokeshire is under recorded where moths are concerned so what did I see? More Moffy news later in the blog.


The village we were staying in was quiet and there were farms around with livestock. Lots of very narrow country roads and several miles to the next village. All this provided us with plenty of places to go for a walk just from the cottage itself including 1 walk that was just over 3 miles, a nice walk but beware the last mile coming back up into the village starts with 2 hairpin bends up hill then the road continued to go up hill. Not reccomended if you have dodgy knees!




It was nice, just walking in the welsh countryside, fresh air and the quiet. We were able to take our time and look at the verges as we went, we discovered quite a bit that would just otherwise pass you by if you were in a car.






The verges in the area were covered in Foxgloves, We had never seen so many,

All parts of the plant are poisonous if eaten and contact with the foliage may irritate the skin and eyes. Foxgloves contain a chemical called digitalin which is used to treat heart conditons. Check out this link from PlantLife to find out more;

https://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk/discover-wild-plants-nature/plant-fungi-species/foxglove








There was quite a bit of Fireweed or Rosebay Willowherb (as its known in the UK) around too along field/verge edges. Fireweed is a tall flowering plant in the Willowherb family with an abundance of pink flowers. It looks spectacular when you see it in large numbers.


But did you know, you could make tea from it?

Fireweed is also used for pain and swelling (inflammation), fevers, tumors, wounds, and enlarged prostate.

Check out these links to find out more:

https://joybileefarm.com/fireweed-tea/#:~:text=Fireweed%20tea%20or%20Ivan%20Chai,Carolina%20in%20eastern%20North%20America.


https://www.wildfooduk.com/edible-wild-plants/rosebay-willowherb/




There were lots of wild Strawberries along the verges, much smaller than what we would normally expect a strawberry to look like and not as sweet and juicy as the cultivated fruits we normally see.

Check out this link from the Wildlife Trusts to find out more about wild strawberries.


https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/wildflowers/wild-strawberry




This photo shows Herb Robert, of the geranium family. It was certainly in plentyful supply around Bwlchgroes.

Herb-robert was traditionaly used as an antiseptic as well as to treat stomach upset and nose bleeds, its leaves are edible and sometimes used to make tea.

Check out this link from the woodland trust to find out more:


https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/plants/wild-flowers/herb-robert/






Bramble is a common plant and yet another food source if your out and about foraging in the countryside.

Check out this link from PlantLife to find out more:

https://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk/discover-wild-plants-nature/plant-fungi-species/bramble





This pretty yellow flower was spotted on one of our walks. It is Yellow/Common Toadflax. It contains a chemical that is poisonous to cattle. Check out this link from the wildlife trusts to find out more:

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/wildflowers/common-toadflax










Our cottage in Bwlchygroes was located aboout 30 mins from the coast so we were never too far away from a beach. We had quite a range to