Ancient Beauty

Photo: Mike Alexander

Photo: Mike Alexander

It’s difficult to do justice to the place where I’ve been working today.  Dinefwr Park in West Wales is a beautiful, historic designed landscape, laid out by the people who lived here in the 17th century.

Photo: Mike Alexander

Photo: Mike Alexander

A mixture of parkland and farmland, with hundreds of oak trees that are over 500 years old.  Today we were working out how to maintain these ancient trees for another two hundred years, and how to create the right conditions for their successors.  So we’ve been thinking very long range thoughts today indeed.

Photo: Mike Alexander

Photo: Mike Alexander

And if that wasn’t enough Dinefwr is home to a very rare breed of the White Park Cattle.  This beautiful breed can be traced back in history over a thousand years.

Ancient white park cattle Photo: Mike Alexander

Ancient white park cattle Photo: Mike Alexander

And if the trees and cattle are not ancient enough, then just under the soil here there are rocks containing thousands of trilobite fossils, aged a mere 400 million years.

Photo: Corrinne Manning

Photo: Corrinne Manning

It was a wonderful day immersed in such ancient beauty.







About Mike Howe

I am an ecologist and a composer of guitar based instrumental melodies signed to the Real Music label in California. I like to write about my work, music and nature conservation and how it all comes together. I try not to write about things I don't know much about.
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26 Responses to Ancient Beauty

  1. Gallivanta says:

    Hope you and your glorious trees are not being too badly battered by the storm.

    • Mike Howe says:

      Thanks, to be honest out here on the wild west coast weather like that is the norm at this time of year. It’s more unusual for those inhabiting southern England however, and of course that is where the media centres are, so it all gets a bit over played. Basically its stormy every week here in the winter, so no drama 🙂

      • Gallivanta says:

        Hooray! Sort of 🙂 The media would have us believe that half of the UK is being blown away.

      • Mike Howe says:

        That’s because the media are all London and Southern England centric, so if it’s happening to them it makes the headlines. If it happens out here, or up in Scotland (which it does on a regular basis) nobody mentions it 🙂

      • Gallivanta says:

        And, we have had severe gales here in recent weeks; enormous numbers of trees lost and storm damage to irrigation equipment; insurance claims in the millions….bet no one in London heard about them 😀 via the media. They may have heard about the terrible bush fires in the Blue Mountains of Australia,though, because Australia is always a bit more important than us in the world news stakes.

      • Mike Howe says:

        Yes you’re absolutely right, we’ve heard all about the bush fires in Oz but nothing about your troubles! Hope you are ok and relatively unaffected. I prefer NZ anytime, in fact I’ve always longed to visit what I believe is a stunningly beautiful country….one day 🙂

      • Gallivanta says:

        My little corner is okay, but some trees came down not too far from me during the wild weather this weekend. We are all a little tired of the wind; the farmers, especially, who have lost shelter belts that are decades old. Don’t know if you saw this post but it combines something Australian and NZ in our lovely Botanic Gardens. Apologies if you have already seen this.

  2. drawandshoot says:

    So beautiful, Mike(s)! I sometimes find trilobite fossils here, too. I love those ancient connections to the earth.

  3. Jo Woolf says:

    History, landscape, nature, AND fossils – I’m on my way down to West Wales! 🙂 What a beautiful place. Even the cattle look as if they have found paradise!

  4. elkement says:

    Haven’t you promised to publish photos of rain and grim weather – not to make us office-workers so jealous ;-)?

    • Mike Howe says:

      I know I know, I was thinking that, the trouble is rain and wind don’t come out very well in photos, and we have plenty of that now. It’s just that yesterday happened to be lovely and I couldn’t help sharing 🙂 I’ll do my best to post about grim and miserable for you soon 🙂

  5. Gallivanta says:

    Most ancient and glorious of days……and my mind is boggled, wondering how one does conserve these ancient trees for another 200 years or more.

  6. montucky says:

    Wow! What a place in which to work!

  7. What a beauiful landscape! Your descriptions accompanied by the images taken by Corrinne and Mike give a wonderful glimpse to the feel of that area. The White Park Cattle is really special, too! Somehow if gives me a home-ish feeling when I look at them.

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend and sending much love!

    • Mike Howe says:

      Thanks Steffi, it was a fabulous day and I can’t believe my luck to be involved in conserving this rare and beautiful landscape. Tomorrow it’s the turn of the only Roman Gold Mine in the UK, but that’s another story for another day! Wishing you happiness, Mike x

      • It is great when your work is an expression of what you love doing, isn’t it?! 🙂

        I am looking forward to read and see more about both Dinefwr Park and UK’s Roman Gold Mine at the given time.
        (Wikipedia says something about Dolaucothi Gold Mines in Carmarthenshire?)

        Happiness received and shared right “back” at you!

      • Mike Howe says:

        You are clever. Yes Dolaucothi Gold Mines in Carmarthenshire tomorrow, I’m writing the management plan, no pressure 🙂 The Romans came two thousand years ago and found gold in those welsh hills, and dug the most extraordinary mine shafts which are home today to half of the British bat species. What can I say, it’s good work if you’re into that kind of thing:)

      • I know you will do that job wonderfully. 😀

        It sounds like a very interesting place. So much history and home to such amazing animals.
        Enjoy the work, there and say “Hello” to the bats from me. Who knows, maybe you will find some gold, there… 😉

        Did you know that bats are a symbol of good luck in some places? (like, China, I believe?)

        (Not clever… quite unexperienced actually, yet interested in that kind of stuff 😉 )

  8. Mike says:

    Wow. The stuff of fairy tales. Glorious.

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