Tag Archives: Snowdonia National Park

Back In The Magic Woods

Coed Crafnant cover 1Cover

Or at least that is how this particular woodland feels.  Nestled on the crags and ledges of a remote North Wales valley but quite close to the sea, a walk, or scramble, through this wood takes you into a different world that works on a different timescale to the rest of us.

Coed Crafnant woods 1

Centuries of timber harvesting, grazing by upland sheep and feral goats, and mining for manganese have shaped this wood.  Boulders are covered in carpets of mosses, liverworts, lichens and ferns because this is essentially the temperate rainforest, with high humidity and (relative) warmth and grazing by the wild goats has kept the under-story open, which the lichens and mosses love.

The diminutive filmy ferns
The diminutive filmy ferns growing on rock faces

This is how we’re trying to keep the wild goats out.  If we don’t they’ll eat and strip all of the saplings and young trees, and the woodland will never regenerate.  But they still manage to get in…

Coed Crafnant goat fence

And the remains of past lives can be seen in the wood.  Sheep pens, boundary walls and mine entrances…

Coed Crafnant mine adit
Old mine entrance

Coed Crafnant archaeology

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring River

Photo: Mike Alexander - scapeimages.com
Photo: Mike Alexander – scapeimages.com

Spring comes to the mountains and valleys of the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales

Back In The Mountains

Another road trip this week took me back to the mountains in glorious spring sunshine 🙂

Photo: Mike Howe
Photo: Mike Howe

 

Photo: Mike Howe
Photo: Mike Howe

Stunningly Beautiful Photographs Now Online

Many of you who follow my blog will be familiar with the beautiful photographs I often post by Mike Alexander.  I’m very proud to announce that my brother Rod has built a website called Scapeimages.com to host hundreds of Mike’s stunning photographs, where they can be bought, licensed and downloaded, or simply enjoyed by browsing through such a fantastic catalogue of work!

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s about time that Mikes wonderful work is available to the world!  Do your senses a favour and have a look 🙂

 

The Ancient Holly

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

When The Snow Comes

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

 
We haven’t had any yet but I thought I’d share this photo from Mike Alexander of a darkly beautiful winter landscape in North Wales.  The song is one I wrote having been out in the kind of muffled, noiseless, late afternoon light that only a snowy landscape can offer.  It is one of my favourite compositions because it came out straight away, with no time to be influenced by anything other than the experience itself.

Late Autumn Light

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

In the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales…

Back In The Mountains

Photo: Mike Howe
Photo: Mike Howe

This week I have been back in the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales working, although it didn’t feel like work, on an upland farm.  I was there to help advise on management and to survey the magnificent heathland that has developed on the mountain in the last 30 years.

Photo: Mike Howe
Photo: Mike Howe

There are some rare and unique plant communities growing up there now because the traditional farming practice of burning and grazing by sheep has been absent for all that time.

On the valley floor is the beautiful lake (Llyn Dinas)….

Photo: Mike Howe
Photo: Mike Howe
Photo: Mike Howe
Photo: Mike Howe
Photo: Mike Howe
Photo: Mike Howe

I only have a very small, cheap digital camera, but it’s a times like these that I wish I’d made that upgrade!  Here’s one from someone who has…

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

 

 

Tranquillity….

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

Mike A would like me to share this with you and I’m only too happy to oblige.  Llyn Dinas in North Wales, a place we’re working to help look after.

Inspirational places….

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

This is the place, according to Welsh legend, where the red dragon of the Celts fought with the white dragon of the Anglo-Saxons.  Both fell into the lake, but only the red dragon emerged, and this is why the red dragon is the national emblem of Wales and appears on the national flag.  But that’s only a story, albeit a nice one.  I have written the management plan for this place and this will hopefully help to conserve the wonderful wildlife and the cultural landscape for the future.  And it in turn has inspired some of my music.