Waterfalls Through the Seasons

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

I mentioned in my post “The Old Road to Nowhere” earlier this month that I would be doing more conservation management planning work at a magnificent place in North Wales this week, and so I have.  It’s a place called Dolmelynllyn (I can’t even begin to explain here how you should pronounce that, you need to hear it) and I wanted to share with you one of the best features of the estate – the magnificent Rhaeadr Ddu waterfalls (The Black Falls), and once again I am very lucky to have Mike Alexanders photographs for the purpose (the 2 Mikes work closely on a lot of these projects!).

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

The impressive falls have a drop of around 60 feet and take their name from the slab of black rock over which the water cascades.  They are surrounded by our version of a rain forest, the Atlantic Oakwoods.

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander – Wilsons Filmy Fern

The relatively warm, wet microclimate has provided perfect conditions for some of the rarest ferns, mosses and lichens in the whole of the UK, making this an internationally important site for nature conservation.  The woods are also fabulous habitat for the relatively rare lesser horseshoe and brown long-eared bats.

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander – Lichens growing on trees

The seasons bring changes to the waterfalls, from gentle, deeply relaxing summer flows to raging torrents in the heavy rains of autumn, to the occasional deep freeze of winter….

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

If you keep climbing up the winding path alongside the falls, and make your way up through the woodland, you eventually come up on top where you are rewarded with a wonderful view of the whole estate.

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

I hope that the work we are doing here will ensure that it remains intact and beautiful for thousands of people to enjoy into the future, and for the special wildlife to continue to thrive.

 

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