Celebrate St David’s Day with the First Signs of Spring
We may not be able to welcome visitors to Bridgend County at the moment, but with St David’s Day and warmer weather nearly upon us, we are able to share some cheering signs as spring rolls in. Learn about Bridgend’s budding flora, foragable delicacies and local wildlife that can be found throughout the destination.
We hope we can safely welcome visitors back again soon to explore the gorgeous green spaces and wildlife here in Bridgend County.
You may already know that Merthyr Mawr National Nature Reserve is a haven for wild flora and fauna. But you may not know that a nearby Merthyr Mawr village is one of the best places to spot seasonal snowdrops here in Bridgend. Amongst the picture postcard thatched cottages, the tranquil St Teilos churchyard is a lesser-known hotspot for seasonal wildflowers. Visitors can also check out the ancient 5th century stones at the rear of the church that were unearthed during the construction of the current church.
The neighbouring Nature Reserve stretches over 840 acres of wild landscape, through some of Europe’s tallest sand dunes.
From April onwards, Merthyr Mawr’s famous floral delight blossoms, a particularly rare species of orchid, Southern Marsh-orchid and Early Marsh-orchid. In fact, it’s estimated that there are fifteen different types of orchid’s nestled amongst the sands making it incredibly biologically diverse and a haven for bees and insects. Later in the spring the woodland areas of the reserve are filled with masses of bluebells and their delicate fragrance
Boasting 100-plus acres of wonderfully wild nature the seasonal flowers are ever changing at Bryngarw Country Park, set in the heart of the Garw Valley...
Celebrate St David’s Day with iconically Welsh daffodils
Nothing symbolises Wales like the charming yellow buds of a springtime daffodil, and there will be bountiful clusters dotted across Bridgend this St David’s Day. The oriental gardens of Bryngarw Country Park, play host to the nation’s favourite flower growing beside blossoms of rhododendrons, magnolia and azaleas.
A sea of beautiful bluebells
Another fantastic floral display that can be enjoyed in Bryngarw Country Park are the swathes of beautiful bluebells which transform the forest floor each spring, discoverable along the 3/4 mile walking route through the Green Flag parklands. The banks of the Afon Garw lead to the ancient woodlands where the tiny flowers clustered around the foot of ancient oak trees. Foxes, squirrels and woodpeckers can all be spotted amongst the trees.
Pretty birdlife at Parc Slip Nature Reserve
As the days get longer and warmer, the beautiful lapwing wades around the Northern Wetlands at Parc Slip Nature Reserve. The acrobatic aerial displays of the males as they tumble through the sky, accompanied by their uniquely mechanical sounding ‘peewit’ call are quite a sight.
Freshly foraged spring flavours
Our unique landscape is a forager's delight, even in the winter months. Local expert Sasha of Wild Spirit Bushcraft recently shared this incredible horde of winter fungi foraged in the Merthyr Mawr Nature reserve including Wood Ear, Velvet Shank and Scarlet Elf Cup. As temperatures rise there will be plenty to forage, with the woods filled with wild garlic and nettles that are excellent for whipping up bowls of fresh soup or tangy home-made pesto to drizzle over salads or pasta dishes.
Sasha brings her cooking to life with foraged Welsh delicacies that can be found locally. She dehydrated the pictured horde of mushrooms and added a sprinkling of dried laver found on the shores of Rest Bay and blended in a coffee grinder to create an easy to use seasoning powder for use in dishes that need a hit of salty umami flavour.
Not only offering world class golf courses, our golf clubs provide a very special habitat to many species and are recognised as some of the most sustainable in Britain. In fact, Royal Porthcawl and Pyle and Kenfig have paved the way in sustainable golfing with their GEO-Certification ‘Dunes 2 Dunes’ project which protects local wildlife and habitats. In spring, the courses are teaming with flourishing wildflowers which attract insects, bees and birdlife.