Woodland Bears & Flowery Grasslands

Tuesday 21st March 2017

Brown bear (c) Jim PrestonBrown bear (c) Jim Preston

Local residents can be regailed with stories of Transylvanian wildlife with an illustrated talk in Grafton Flyford on 4th April.

Transylvanian flower-rich grassland (c) Philip PreceyThe southeast Worcestershire local volunteer group of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust has organised a talk to discover the fascinating wildlife of this hidden corner of Eastern Europe. The talk, given by local wildflower expert Michael Liley and trustee Mervyn Needham will introduce listeners to Transylvania’s flower-rich grasslands, ancient wood pastures and their associated flowers and wildlife.

Harry Green, organiser of the talk, explained “We’re really looking forward to this talk, which is a special addition to our regular programme. Michael & Mervyn both visited the Tarnava Mare and Carpathians regions of southern Transylvania last year and were bowled over by the abundance and diversity of wildlife there.

“From brown bears and buffalo to yellow-bellied toads and lesser-spotted eagles and from bug orchids to 900 year old oak trees, they’re promising us a fascinating insight into a beautiful landscape that is still managed using traditional farming methods.”

Internationally important landscapes

Transylvania wood pasture (c) Michael LileyMichael Liley, botanist and one of the Trust’s conservation officers, organised a trip specifically to see the flower-rich grasslands and wildlife-filled wood pastures in Transylvania last year.

The landscapes, together with their amazing wildlife and wildflowers that merit global designations, are some of the largest areas of continuous unspoiled grassland and wood pasture in the whole of Europe.

Michael commented “The future of this spectacular landscape is uncertain so we wanted to go and see it before it’s too late. The hay there is still hand-scythed and livestock are commonly shepherded – guarded against wild carnivores by big fierce dogs.

“This culture and way of life may yet pass into history because of a combination of migration from rural to urban centres, land abandonment and adoption of industrialised farming methods.”

The talk takes place on the evening of Tuesday 4th April from 7.30pm at the Three Parishes Village Hall, Grafton Flyford. Entrance costs £5.00, which includes a hot drink and cake.

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