Return Route – Reviewing the Walk

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.

Country lane

return route

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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Hunting for Snails

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.

researchers

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.

Underfoot

Moving up from the beach at Whitford Point my walk this week with the Taste of Gower walkers meandered through the woods to continue this circular walk from Llanmadoc on the northern tip of the Gower Peninsula.

The ground underfoot was now mostly a soft carpet of pine needles and so for those walking barefoot (just one, not me), the transition from the sand of the beach would have been a relatively comfortable one. I was tempted to go barefoot myself, remembering the experience being described by Nan Shepherd and Robert MacFarlane in their books as one which puts you in contact with the ground (literally) in a way that walking in boots cannot, however sensitive and sympathetic you are to the land.

woodland path

Woodland Footpath

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Enjoying the Water

The weather was good to us during my walk this week with the Taste of Gower walkers at Llanmadoc. However, there had clearly been recent rain in the area or the tide had come high enough to fill the track ruts and Cefyn, liking water, took full advantage of the fact.

As we passed by on a dry part of the burrows next to the beach he could not resist running backwards and forwards in this stretch of water again and again. Such enjoyment was great to see 🙂

dog running in water

He also thoroughly enjoyed being down at the water’s edge once we got further along the beach where we met one or two other walkers and their dogs!

Water and Dog

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My Walk this Week – Taste of Gower, Llanmadoc

My walk this week is another Taste of Gower walk organised by Steve Lancey with the Gower Landscapes Partnership. The walk started from the village of Llanmadoc on the northern tip of the Gower Peninsula. The weather was fine and still but with storms threatening.

We headed down to the beach which took us past the woodland we would return through and the dramatic rock outcrops that are a feature of the place – worth climbing too, but not today.

Llanmadoc Walk-1

I’ll get onto the beach in tomorrow’s post but in the meantime I have included a short sound clip of a blackbird and a cockerel welcoming us on this typical Gower lane.

Morning Cockerel

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Taste of Gower Walk – Llanmadoc

StillWalks will be joining this second Taste of Gower walk for 2016 at Llanmadoc on the Gower Peninsula. I will be photographing the walk and carrying out some basic field recording. These will be displayed on the StillWalks blog a couple of weeks after the walk and before the next taste of Gower walk.