Today after work I attended the second meeting of the heather training course lead by Gwent Wildlife Trust and Chris Hatch in the hope to educate a group of volunteers to conduct surveys that will hopefully give us a better understanding of the health of our heathland. On our first visit we learned how to identify several upland species of plant that are of particular interest/concern and sporting some new equipment we are now setting off on our own to conduct these surveys within given areas separated into 'polygons'. I'm not sure what area i'll be working in yet but I hope that I find enough time to get as much done as possible. The idea of all this is to collate data so that the area can be properly managed accordingly so that we can maintain/improve our heathland for its inhabitants. Red Grouse are the key species that we have in mind but also Birds of Prey like Short Eared Owl and Hen Harriers that use Heather to nest in. There are lots of factors that make a good healthy heathland but age diversity seems to be the key with old mature heather for nesting and young heather for food. Bracken management is also key so we will be documenting the area's that need management so that we can tackle the problem accordingly.