Management of the woodland in the Vale of Glamorgan consists of opening up and clearing small sections to allow sunlight to enter, this results in ground flora having a chance to germinate and flower.
Trees and scrub that have been felled are used to create a habitat pile for deadwood-loving insects like beetles and are also excellent cover hedgehogs.
Flowers typically seen in our country park woodlands are snow drops, primrose, celandine, blue bells, dog violet, ramsons, and lords and ladies. Butterfly species such as, speckled wood and brimstone can be seen as well as dragonflies and damselflies darting through the open woodland rides.
There is plenty of bird life within woodlands especially during the nesting season. Birds to look out for are, woodpecker, tree creeper, nuthatch, tits, and soaring high above the trees, the buzzard. For those who arrive for a stroll in the evening you will often see vast numbers of noisy rooks settling down to roost for the night, later on, you may hear the sounds of little and tawny owls.
The mammals at our country parks are the least often seen. The woodland fringe and hedgerows are home to rabbits, brown rats, bank and field voles and prickly hedgehogs. The early morning or late evening walker can sometimes spot badgers and foxes. The most common mammal to spot through the woods will be the squirrel. Squirrels will be busy during the summer months feeding and collecting as much food as possible to store away for the winter months.
Cosmeston Lakes Country Park
Cosmeston has over 20ha of broad-leaved woodland, the main gravel pathway runs through the centre of Cogan wood with many off the beaten tracks for you to discover.
The woodland at cosmeston is typical of many broad-leaved types of woodland in the UK, oak, ash, elm, hawthorn and blackthorn making up the majority of the tree species found with dense ivy covering both tree and ground in many places.
On summer evenings at Cosmeston look out for the flittering shapes of hunting bats like the pipistrelle as they swoop through the woodlands and over the lakes in search of tasty midges and other insects. In certain areas of the park, large numbers of these agile mammals can be seen feeding together in the fading light.
Management of the woodland at cosmeston consists of opening up and clearing small sections to allow sunlight to enter, this results in ground flora having a chance to germinate and flower.
Porthkerry Country Park Woodland
Cliffwood is a good example of lowland mixed woodland on limestone with a canopy of ash, pedunculate oak, field maple, and yew along with a variety of typical shrubs and wildflowers. The wood is on a slope facing inland but the southern edge falls away to a partially wooded limestone cliff.
Mill Wood was used for 150 years for timber production. The name comes from the sawmill that was run by the Romilly Estate from around 1850. The woodland is around half a mile long and is steeply wooded on both sides of a central stream - the Nant Talwg. A designated right of way follows the course of the stream.
Knockmandown Wood was an area of woodland fringing medieval meadowland. As a part of the Romilly estate the woodland was managed and coppiced producing a very different habitat from the other woods nearby with a carpet of primroses and orchids.