Monday, June 16, 2014

A Weekend in Wales June 2014

I finally got around to taking up an invitation to visit an old friend and his wonderful family at their home in Deri, South Wales. The weather turned out to be splendid which gave the lush green countryside some added magic . This was mining country , the towns and villages existed because of coal . The pits are gone and in the most part they have been replaced with nicely regenerated countryside .
The old railway lines that served the pits have been resurrected as pleasant cycle routes meandering along the valleys . Maybe I was lucky with the weather but I really did find the place very inviting and attractive . It's a shame there isn't a little bit more industrial history left to see as I'm sure the combination of quiet countryside , almost deserted cycle ways and walking routes with some local history on show could attract a lot more visitors to the area. 
The flora is quite different to the Cotswolds , youngish twisted oak woodland , manmade larch forests, bracken fields on the hill tops , bilberry shrubs and all that greenery dotted with purple foxgloves and vetch .

The first two views, one including the edge of the village and the other skipping the houses by walking a little father along the hilltop, are of a park and lakes that replace the location of the local colliery.
Without the houses one would have no idea this was once a working mine with all the associated machinery, buildings , slag and coal dust . 

as always please click on the photos once and then a second time to view at full quality 

The hills seemed to have a good number of footpaths or trails cutting through the changing vegetation , in this case a patch of bracken moorland.

An interesting piece of youngish but not recent oak woodland with trees growing close together on a steep slope all having a rather twisted feel .

There are some farms about, mostly cattle or sheep grazing the hills.

Foxgloves and a huge anthill 

Deri spreads along the valley floor ending at the location of the pit just off the right hand side of this picture

This is one of the lakes lying at the site of the mine , the amazingly lush undergrowth makes it hard to believe that just a few decades ago this was a site of heavy industry.

a stretch of the mostly deserted cycleway with one of the very scarce visible reminders of the areas industrial heritage.

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