For the birds
Mike Dilger meets Chris of the RSPB to see the managed landscape of Ruabon Moor. Odd scars on the landscape are areas that have been cut for the black grouse's benefit. Each year, 10% of the moor is cut to give a really rich mosaic of various ages of heather and other young plants like bilberry. Where a swathe has been cut the vegetation grows up and provides nice soft, succulent young shoots for the grouse. Also on the wet areas the cutting provides a lot of insects for the chicks to eat. Grouse chicks eat insects, whereas the adults eat plants. April is the best time to watch black grouse, but there are plenty other birds to see on the moor.