Crossing Oxwich Marsh towards the footbridge, the Taste of Gower walkers enjoy the sunshine and their company while I look on and enjoy the textures of the grasses and the colour of their costumes.
While the Taste of Gower walkers at Oxwich walk ahead of me I am able to take in some of the details of our surroundings both visually and aurally. Some of these details may be considered incidental or everyday things such as the seed head above, the horizontal shadow patterns of walkers legs or the vertical pattern of fence posts in perspective.
My walk this week is another Taste of Gower walk organised by Steve Lancey for the Gower Landscapes Partnership. This time we set off from the Gower Heritage Centre at Parkmill and of course returned there for tea and bite to eat later on. Steve worked hard to get everyone to sign the register and then we set off up the road to Cwm Green and the “Giant’s Grave”. This is a neolithic chambered tomb which Helen and Charlotte, from Gower Unearthed, told us all about – fascinating stuff about which you can find out more here.
The cwm was busy with many scout troops camping but from here some of the group returned to the Heritage Centre while others of us carried on through the woods behind Parc Le Breos House.
The next Taste of Gower walk will be this coming Friday 26/08/17 – details here.
Almost back at Nicholaston Farm on the Taste of Gower walk from June, the footpath moves away from the cliffs and runs through this natural tunnel. Looking around me in this more enclosed environment I naturally discovered more details rather than the open vistas of clifftop views. The shots I have chosen below demonstrate natural structure in the tunnel, natural texture in the crinkled petals of the wildflower and natural pattern on the underside of some path side plants.
Looking back on my walk this week with the Taste of Gower group at Llanmadoc, we were very lucky with the weather. We saw both sunshine and clouds over the beautiful open space of the beach at Whitford Point with the old Victorian lighthouse not quite clear of the tide. Having said that, one of the main reasons we have such a green and luscious land in Wales is the amount of rainfall we get. It is less predictable where it is going to fall these days and looking again at the dark clouds and sun bleached beach, that is why I say we were so lucky not to be rained on until the end of the walk.
My soundscape for this walk is about the same length as usual (around 4 mins) but I could easily have made it twice that length or more. I may decide to produce a StillWalks video from the photos and sounds I have collected on this walk but it will have to wait in line with the others I have not yet post produced.
Llanmadoc Walk Soundscape
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My walk this week with the Taste of Gower walkers has taken in coastal burrows, expansive beach, woodland and now marshland. Emerging from the woods we came across three people sitting in the middle of the marshland, heads bent in concentration as they hunted for and counted a particular species of snail that was said to inhabit that stretch of land.
The weather was still dry at that stage of the walk but it wasn’t long before the rain reached us and we donned our coats. The last stretch of footpath took us back towards Llanmadoc and the excellent cafe where the organisers of these walks, the Gower Landscape Partnership, paid for the tea and cakes provided.
Many of the people joining these walks come from a broad range of disadvantaged and other “hard to reach” groups. If it weren’t for the support provided by organisations like the Gower Landscape Project, many of those people would never have the opportunity to get out and walk, appreciate, benefit from and enjoy the countryside so near to them and yet so far.
A significant part of the funding that allows this and many other organisation to provide these services comes from the EU and it is unrealistic to think that if the EU funding were lost as a result of the UK leaving, it would be replaced by our own government. The same can be said for the arts.
Towards the end of our Taste of Gower circular walk at Weobley Castle on the Gower we had one last area of open field to cross before the incline back up to the castle.
My parents used to go on many walks with a group that called themselves jokingly “The Wobbly Walkers”. This was a reference to their average age I guess, but the group of walkers at Weobley Castle, which could perhaps be called the Weobley Walkers, has quite a wide age range, with people joining in from many different walking clubs and other community groups of people sometimes described as “hard to reach”.
The Taste of Gower programme of walks organised by Steve Lancey from the Gower Landscape Partnership and Mike Aspland, has done an excellent job of encouraging people to get out and explore a part of the Swansea area in South Wales that, though well known, can be hard to reach for some people. To this end there is also an excellent bus service that is specifically aimed at enabling access to this Area of Natural Beauty (AoNB) and its Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as well as encouraging walking, cycling, etc. in other areas of Swansea Bay.
My walk this week follows the first of the Taste of Gower walks for 2016 organised by Gower Landscapes Partnership. The same walk was done last year but this time round I have recorded the full walk and will present it here throughout this week.
The walk was circular, starting at Weobley Castle and farm where not only did we have the chance to look round the castle, we also got to see the lambing shed – there was a lot of bleating!
The weather was very good and the views across the salt marshes of Loughor Estuary and Burry Inlet were excellent.
Seemingly the sheep know to go in and out with the tide and it is the mixture of grasses and herbs that grow on the marshes that give the salt marsh lamb its unique taste.
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