Field Surveyor for Nature Conservancy Council

In April 1984 I was offered a 20 week contract from the end of April to mid-September with the Wales Field Unit of the Nature Conservancy, based in Bangor, Gwynedd.  The programme was as follows:

1)    Preparatory work in Bangor getting maps etc. ready for surveys.
2)    Visiting land owners/tenants in Dyfed/Powys and South Wales to ask for their permission for survey.
3)    May to July - field survey of wetland sites (mapping sites using a standard method and wetland classification).
4)    Field work in the Berwyn mountains (based near Bala) using standard upland survey method or classification.
5)    Couple of days based in Bangor on maps, air photos etc.
6)    Fieldwork in Mountains of Snowdonia (based in Bangor).
7)    Few days office work on maps or fieldwork in Snowdonia.
8)    Fieldwork in Uplands in Dyfed/Powys.

This was at Scientific Officer level.

I was recommended for this post following the year I had spent based in Llandrindod Wells, Powys, as team leader of a survey of riverside vegetation of the Upper Wye and Upper Severn (see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/vegetation-and-habitat-features-of-the-river-corridorss-of-the-upper-wye-upper-severn-and-upper-usk-by-chris-chadwell)

'Cloudberry' (Rubus chamaemorus)


During my time in the Berwyns with 3 other surveyors, I spotted 'Cloudberry' (Rubus chamaemorus) which had those involved with this area of moorland, which is mostly part of a national nature reserve excited as they claimed it represented the most southerly record of the plant in the UK (perhaps Europe or the world). I note from 'Flora of the British Isles' (1962) that it is a plant of mountain moors and blanket bogs, locally abundant, ascending to 3800' (1150m) in North Wales, Lancashire, Derby & Yorks to Caithness but absent from the Isle of Man, S.W. Scotland, Outer & Inner Hebrides, etc.; in Ireland it is only known from Tyrone, where it is very rare. N.Europe from Scandinavia and arctic Russia to the mountains of S.Germany (not France) and C.Russia, North Asia (east to Kamchakta and Sakhalin) also N.America. In past centuries pies were made from cloudberries where it grew abundantly.  During a visit to Tromso Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden, during a break between the two lectures I was delivering on Kashmir & Ladakh, cloudberry jam was served on waffles.



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