Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Brown Field Site

One of the best brown field sites found locally to me has to be the area in between Aberbargoed, Bedwellty and Markham, its apparently owned by the Environmental Health section of Caerphilly Council, which department is anyone guess because they don't even now themselves.

I've got some interesting memories of visiting this place over the years. One from back when it was a water filled quarry, where i nearly drowned when i was about 6 years of age. Me and a friend where trying to catch newts that where surfacing near the waters edge. The banking collapsed from underneath me, the rubble trapping me under water. Thanks to Brett Price for the life saving rescue...pulled me out by my basin cut.

Later on it became a landfill site. Me and a few other mates would go scrounging through the rubbish looking for pen knives, the sort you could buy from the local papershop at the time. You had to be quick as there was competition, mostly in the form of the late Rolly Adams.

Markham/Aberbargoed Old Quarry Site
Its now regenerated into an interesting habitat that's become home for a wide range of local flora and fauna...a large area of grassland, surrounded by Gorse, Bramble and Tree. These scrub areas can be almost impossible to get through, offering excellent shelter for the local fox and rabbit population. A matter of a fact, this is probably the only place you can get to see rabbit regularly these day, rabbit has become quite scarce around here.
The wetter grassed areas can amass an interesting display of Southern Marsh and Common Spotted Orchids, many of which take on some interesting forms.

This particular wet area (shown in photo below) has to be my favourite part of the site. I once counted 52 Bee Orchids in this small area, shame its in the process of being taken over by Willow.
Its one of those places you need to keep an eye on where your placing your feet, nearly trod on these little chaps on one of my visits.
Where there are voles there will certainly be vole runs and tunnels. These are always worth a search through. I've found a good number of beetles this way and at this particular site good numbers of the woodlouse Armadillidium nasatum.
More photos...


  1. Sounds like a great place of a wander and rummage.you've whet my desire to go there one day when I've the chance. What often fascinates me is how quickly wildlife moves in to these places, and often it's not the wildlife that is seeded by the agencies.

  2. Hi Paul...

    You won't be disappointment that's for sure. Late June into July is probably the best time to visit. You do get the occasional dog walker on site but they usually ain't to much bother...unlike that of the local common or parks.There's also a small layby at the top of the road...Markham end.

  3. That grassland looks ideal for a bit of 'tussocking' in winter. Plenty of staphs come that way.

    1. You got me going now mate. If I'm back early enough from work tomorrow i might just go there and have a bash....weather permitting

  4. Having got a few tussocking sessions under my belt, I recently had a crack at some regularly 'swaled' Molina tussocks on Culm Grassland nearby. It got me working up a sweat as it is the thickest and toughest tussock to cut through I have come across so far! After half an hour, I surrendered and opted for some easy Juncus!