Hello, and welcome to our blog!
As you may have seen from our other pages, this blog has been set up to provide a little bit of information on the general activities that occur at the the Pwllpeiran upland research platform. Why a blog though? Well, for the ‘communicating research’ module of my undergraduate degree at Aberystwyth University the main aim of the module was to… well… communicate research. One of the ways covered was establishing a blog. During that wet lunchtime mentioned on the ‘Why blog?’ page, I thought this would be a perfect chance to put in to practice, what I’d learnt in that module. The only problem being.. as the blog was my idea, I’ve been tasked with writing the first post. So here it goes; hope you enjoy!
A general update from Pwllpeiran
So what’s been going on? Well, the daffodils are growing! The wet are unseasonably warm weather in December meant that the daffodils were growing even in the heart of the winter months. However by February, the temperature had dropped significantly and all growth – both daffodils and grass seemed to cease. Some days we had glorious sunshine, and using the excuse of checking the daffodil plots – meant I could enjoy the terrain and go running. Though I hadn’t quite considered how bad the wind chill on the top fields would be – needless to say, running shorts in future probably isn’t enough alone! This aside, as we approach the end of February, the weather has warmed considerably and the daffodils are slowly moving their way up again.
Finding a biscuit within a hay stack- Keeping a track on the temperature
Having had mild weather in December, and with many reporting this winter as the warmest on record, this had us wondering; ‘Will this affect the daffodil growth?’. Probably, So we decided that collecting data from our weather stations on site wasn’t enough- we need to know what was happening in the soil. So on a cold Mid January day, six digestive-biscuit sized data loggers were placed into the soil, taking great care to mark exactly where we had put them. None of us are enthusiastic about spending a day in the future searching the ground for.. well.. maybe not a needle, but certainly a biscuit in a haystack!
The hope is, that when the data loggers are full in a few months time we’ll be able to gauge if/ how much the daffodils were affected by this unusual warm start to winter. Presuming we actually find the data-loggers that is!
It should also be mentioned that the few first months of 2016 has also seen the arrival of some new faces. Dan; having finished his undergraduate degree in Bangor last summer arrived at the end of January and has begun his PhD on the Brignant extensification plots. Mike, recently returned from working in Australia for the past 5 years – has begun working at Pwllpeiran looking into utilising genetic analysis in upland systems. These arrivals have brought a welcome increase in ideas and knowledge to the research hub – though have likely been a contributing factor to the shortage of biscuits in the kitchen cupboard recently!
The first of many
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed looking around our blog! If so, feel free to follow us here, or on our twitter page (@uplandresources). We hope to update the blog regularly with updates, fun facts, and discussion from different member of the Pwllpeiran team.. Which hopefully will make you (and us!) more aware of what goes on in our uplands.
Until next time!