I’ve taken a liking to leeks. I mean, I’ve always liked leeks but lately I’ve been eating a lot of them, especially with mushrooms – then added with pasta or rice. Yum yum. They are a gentle alternative to onions.
Anyway, that got me thinking about Wales. You might wonder why. Well, the leek is the national emblem of Wales. This is because Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, commanded his soldiers to wear leeks in their helmets or armour in order to identify them in battle. This battle, incidentally, took place in a leek field.
If you live in Wales or are visiting anytime soon, there is a plethora of flora and fauna to behold in this beautiful country. Below is a selection of what you might see:
- Along the coast and islands are gannets, kittiwakes, Manx shearwater, puffins, razorbills and shags
- Staying with birds there are hen harriers, merlins and ring ouzels
- In addition, hundreds of red kites flock daily in Mid-Wales – and this bird is the national symbol of Welsh wildlife
- Brown bears, wolves and wildcats used to roam the wilds of Wales, but sadly died out during the Norman period
- Instead you might see otters, stoats, weasels, polecats and even wild goats
- Back to the sea and if you’re in the south-west, look out for dolphins, basking sharks, leatherback turtles and seals
- Staying with dolphins, New Quay (don’t get confused with Newquay in Cornwall – that’s where you’ll see plenty of surfers!) has the only summer residence of bottlenose dolphins in the whole of the UK
- There is a fish which is only found in Wales – in fact, it’s only found in one lake in Wales, Bala Lake. The fish is called a gwyniad
- Snowdonia has masses of plantlife. One favourite is the Snowdon Lily, an alpine plant. Its name in Welsh is brwynddail y mynydd which means rush-leaves of the mountain
If your family is planning a trip to Wales, try to arrange a visit to one of the 216 Wildlife Trust nature reserves or 11 RSPB sanctuaries. Failing that, have a stroll along the 870-mile Coast Path. This website will help you decide just what to do on your holiday. It is a gorgeous country well worth spending some time there.