My walk this week was organised by our local library with Geraint Owen, a geographer from Swansea University (UWTSD). Geraint gave an excellent talk at the library a few months ago and so when the opportunity came up to join him on his geology walk route for Cwm Dulais I didn’t hesitate to sign up.
The image below may not seem to have much to do with geology but there is a relationship here. I first have to admit to loving bog cotton as a plant and so when we came across it there was no way I was going to pass it by. However, in geological terms the plant is there because as its name suggests, the ground was boggy. Now wind back time several million years and consider the fact that bogs make peat which when compressed over millennia turn into coal . . . and that brings me to the starting point of our walk – the old Cefn Drum and Graig Merthyr colliery location in Cwm Dulais.
The start of my walk was a solitary one as I walked up the valley to meet the rest of the group near the site of the old colliery. The waste heap is no longer there now but is spread across the hillside of Cefn Drum. We scrambled about on this looking for evidence of ancient plant life in the stones and coal that now makes up a casual track used by motorbikes. It was higher up the hillside that we came a upon the bog cotton.
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My starting point
Meeting the group
Looking for evidence of plants
Bog cotton 2
Bog cotton detail