Oct 30 2020

A warm welcome to a new volunteer

The stunning entrance to Cwm Mynach, photo by Mark Zytynski



For the last 5 years our Coed Cadw volunteer, Brian, has been water sampling at Cwm Mynach near Dolgellau in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. We monitor the difference in the run-off from commercial forestry practices and gradual transition to broadleaf woodland in different sub-catchments. This is a long term data set – we have to wait a while for a pattern to emerge if there is one!

This October we welcomed a second water monitor volunteer, Mark, to support with this important ongoing sampling.


Mark kindly agreed to tell us a bit about himself:


How did you hear about volunteering for the Woodland Trust?

A friend of mine, Brian, who goes to the same Welsh language class as me, asked me if I would be interested in volunteering as I live quite close to Cym Mynach.

What do you hope to gain from volunteering with us?

I am hoping to make a small contribution towards improving the environment for everyone’s benefit.

What has been your wildlife highlight during 2020 lockdown?

My wildlife highlight during lockdown was a wasp’s nest being built under the ledge at the top of one of my downstairs windows. Due to its location I was able to observe it from inside the house and watched it develop from nothing to the size of a small football. Unfortunately, it didn’t survive the wet summer but was fascinating to watch. I now have the utmost respect for wasps.

What do you do when you’re not volunteering?

I have not been able to work this year due to my normal job being linked to the events industry. I have, therefore, been spending the time restoring our 17th century grade 2 listed farmhouse and developing and managing our land (approx 12 acres), which we are gradually turning over to nature and wildlife.


Mark and Brian, photo by Ed Midmore


Ed Midmore, our site manager, and Brian showed Mark around the site and how to use the equipment. Mark is very local to the woods, so his joining the team will ensure that the monitoring can go ahead even during local lockdowns.

All our volunteers are an invaluable part of our team and we are so grateful for your ongoing support and enthusiasm.


Beautiful flora at Cwm Mynach, photo by Mark Zytynski

Written by Martha Boalch (Wales Volunteer Development Officer) and Ed Midmore (North West Wales Site Manager)

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