The local wildlife – or what remains of it – on Penarth Headland may not have known much about last week’s historic planning committee decision – which has preserved their environment at least for now – but they have been out and about enjoying the weekend.
Many people aren’t aware of just how much natural wildlife there still is in this small forested area along the headland and in adjoining gardens, but envir0nmentalists say the constroversial proposal to fell several trees to make way for the controversial Northcliff Lodge apartment development could well have tipped balance and forced the birds and animals to leave the Headland forever – had it gone ahead.
Spotted on the Headland yesterday was this female European green woodpecker – believed to be one of only 52,000 breeding pairs in the UK. The species is the largest of the three different types of woodpecker which live in Britain.
The woodpecker and her mate have been spotted on trees and around the Penarth Head several times since mid-summer but also feed on the ground – hunting for ants. The decision to reject the Northcliff Lodge development may well result in the woodpeckers – (a species far rarer than humans) to remain the in the area.
The relatively warm winter has also promoted activity by local squirrels who have been spotted busy burying winter fare in local gardens – and even in plant pots.
This year the squirrels seem in good condition and are obviously finding enough food locally to get-by on.
There may also still be a small fox population in and around the headland – more likely to be heard rather than seen.
Missing lately however is a pair of local owls who used to call to each other at night. They haven’t been heard since the summer.