Gold light floods the grazing land between the two woodlands, saturated by an avian soundtrack so tangible it is almost visible – a cloud of chirrups, whistles, warbles and trills. Dawn-fresh dewy grass shimmers.

You might not expect these tired old inter-war plantations to be the setting for such an ebullient dawn chorus. The Corsican pines in Coedwig Pen-bre are diseased and wind-stunted, while those in its nursery wood Coed Pen-y-Bedd, are ivy-swaddled as jungle-swamped temples. But even these veterans provide homes for greater-spotted woodpeckers, blackbirds, owls, and common crossbills. More importantly, as forest management continues to evolve (with a Coedwig Pen-bre Recovery Plan) they are belted by broadleaf coppice and scrub from which the majority of the birdsong emanates.

Read more in the March 2022 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine