STRANGE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS IN ST AUGUSTINE’S GRAVEYARD

A bright light was being emitted from amongst the tombstones

As night fell a bright light was being emitted from amongst the tombstones at St Augustines Church

In the ancient graveyard of St Augustines Church last night there were strange lights, odd noises  – and dark figures to be seen moving amongst the tombstones .

More than thirty local residents of all ages – armed with torches  –  had turned out explore the churchyard after dark in a bid to locate and identify  some of St Augustine’s nocturnal wildlife population – specifically bats and moths.

A "bat briefing" is given to the group in St AUgustine's churchyard by Wildlife Trust officer Lorna Baggett

A “bat briefing” is given to the group in St Augustine’s churchyard by Wildlife Trust officer Lorna Baggett

The “Bat and Moth Night” was organised by the charity the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales one of whose officers, Lorna Baggett,  briefed the searchers on what to look out for and the species they would be likely to come across. She said that a population of pipistrelle bats is known to roost in a corner of St Augustine’s churchyard.

Bat detectors were issued to group enabling them to hear - and locate the animals in flight.

Hand-held electronic  “bat detectors” were issued to members of the group –  enabling them to hear – and locate the animals in flight.

Hand-held  electronic “bat detectors” were issued which were able to pick-up the ultrasonic sonar screeches of St Augustine’s bat-population –  sounds which are normally inaudible to the human ear . The detectors also had a direction-funding facility on them giving users an idea where to look to see bats in flight.

Wildlife Trust conservation officer Vaughan Matthews shields his eyes from the bright light as he checks on the moths collected in the trap. (They are all released afterwards)

Wildlife Trust conservation officer Vaughan Matthews shields his eyes from the bright light as he checks on the moths collected in the moth trap. (They are all released afterwards)

In the north of the  churchyard a “moth trap” had been set up by Vaughan Matthews who is the conservation officer at the Wildlife Trust. This emitted a powerful light to attract local moths to alight on a white sheet where they could be identified

Vaughan gave the group a briefing on the types of moth to be found in the area and hoped that the trap would have attracted a number of  interesting species by the end of the evening.

Wildlife Trust officer Lorna Baggett (inset) tells the group - armed with detectors - where the pipistrelle bat feeding grounds are

Wildlife Trust officer Lorna Baggett (inset) tells the group – armed with detectors – where the pipistrelle bat feeding grounds are

The Moth and Bat Night provided Penarthians with a fascinating opportunity to see, hear – and marvel at – some of the wide variety of wildlife in the  area in its local habitat,  again underscoring the importance of retaining what remains of the ancient wooded areas  of the town.

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales covers the entire area from Aberystwyth  to Cardiff and superintends more than 50 wildlife reserves.   Its website is on http://www.welshwildlife.org/

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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4 Responses to STRANGE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS IN ST AUGUSTINE’S GRAVEYARD

  1. bizzilizzi says:

    Wonderful to see the moths and to hear about their natural history e.g.how can a very very small delicate scrap of life emigrate from the south of Europe to Penarth. The variety that was there was a great education. I am off to get a book and learn more.

  2. Alex says:

    Was part of this last night and had a fantastic time! Many thanks to Lorna and Vaughan for such a fun evening!

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