Pwll Du beach

Our Gower Project Walk 2 – Pwll Du Bay, Wet and Dry

The second stage of the second of the Our Gower project walks brought us out from the muddy woodland of Bishopston Valley to the unique beach of Pwll Du. It is unique because of its deposit of stones build up over decades of limestone quarrying in the 19th century. Below the stones is a normal sandy beach and wet or dry, it is a very attractive South Gower cove.

Walking on stones

The first day I walked this route with a school, it was wet. Like the mysteriousness of the valley woods, there was atmosphere in the bay as well. The sea fret contributed to this along with the huge piles of stonesContinue reading

upright moss

Bishopston Valley Details and No Rain

This walk for the “Our Gower” project extends beyond Bishopston Valley to the beach at Pwll Du, but I thought I would present some of the details of the valley which, with the dry weather of the second project day in the valley, allowed us to explore and photograph more easily.

Fungi community

We also recorded some of the sounds of the thickly wooded valley and made notes about the atmosphere of the place – how it made us feel, what its colours and textures were like and something of the history and geography of the environment. For instance, Guzzle HoleContinue reading

Ash walking staffs

My Walk this Week – Our Gower Project Walk 2, Bishopston Valley

The second of the schools I walked with on the Our Gower project had no more luck with the weather than when we walked out on the marshes (see last weeks posts) – if anything, it was worse!

Bishopston Valley

Bishopston Valley on South Gower is home to some wonderful ancient woodland . . . and when it is wet, it is also home to a great deal of mud. Despite the wet conditions (or perhaps because of them) everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. As well as Wellington boots, everyone had been givenContinue reading

Gower landscape

Our Gower Project Walk 1 – Reviewing the Walk

The “Our Gower” project, organised by with the Nature Conservation Team in the City and County of Swansea, involves more people than myself. There are Years 8 and 9 pupils from four different schools working with seven people from different organisations plus the school teachers to experience four of the wild outdoor environments of the Gower Peninsula in Wales.

Out in the mist

Tim Orell from the Nature Conservation Team is working with Gower Unearthed, Nature Days,  and  plus writers Emily Hinshelwood and Helen Nicholas to give the pupils an outdoor experience they won’t forget.Continue reading

Across the marshes

Project Walk 1 – Returning to Weobley Castle

After exploring and recording their reaction to the salt marshes on this project walk, we all returned to Weobley Castle to eat our sandwiches in the dry before setting off for another Gower environment.

Weobley Castle

The views from the castle across the marshes are excellent and if the mist and rain were wet, they also added a timeless atmosphere to the place. Though some were more wet than others, everyone was happy to carry on.

Project Marsh Walk Soundscape

muddy marsh track

My Walk this Week – Our Gower Project Walk 1, Salt Marsh

My walk this week follows on from the project recce walk I posted about at the end of September. That was the recce – for the real walk we had to change the route as the ground underfoot had become non-negotiable for walking with a group following high tides and wet weather.

Salt Marshes

And the wet weather was a big part of the walk experience for the pupils we were taking out to experience the wonderful expanse of the salt marshes of the Loughor Estuary and Burry Inlet on the North Gower coast in Wales. Starting at Weobley Castle where they produce the delicious salt marsh lamb, everyone donned the wellington boots provided for them.Continue reading

top of the walk

One Amongst Many

One amongst many refers both to the one black leaf of the family on the forest footpath and also to this, the fourth of my walks this week and a return to a local woodland.

This is one of my most frequent local walks . . .  and every time it is different! Whether it be the time of year or the current weather conditions, and even if the same objects are there each time, I still get a fresh look at them, perhaps enjoy them from a different angle, under different light conditions, or whatever.Continue reading

Watching the river

Watching the River

The third of my local walks this week is along the banks of our main local river – the River Loughor. I fought my way across the marsh and through dense brambles and knotweed on one side to reach a point on the eastern bank I hadn’t stood at before.

Oak leaves and river

On finding I wasn’t able to get far along the river due to the brambles, I retraced my steps and crossed the bridge to explore along the western bank at another part of the river I had only seen before, but not walked along.Continue reading

rusty fence

Local Viewpoint and Not Being Lost

I was asked twice on this walk if I was lost! I know the viewpoint well and the various routes to it but this was clearly not evident to those asking the question and I can only wonder what expression I had on my face to prompt it.

Local viewpoint

This viewpoint looks over my local landscape to the Loughor Estuary and the Gower Peninsula. As with the other local hills, it is a great place to climb to if you feel the need to rise above things rather than explore the more enclosed environment of the forest. Continue reading