Scoured and stacked like castle walls, a phalanx of honey-coloured cliffs guards the coast. Below them are curved overlaying platforms of wave-cut rock, cracked into paving by movements of the earth. Loose stones collect in the cracks so that seen from the cliff-tops, the shore resembles a Zen garden raked into swirls.

Read more in the July 2018 edition of Country Walking Magazine

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‘There is a part of the river just above the falls which balloons slightly so that its edges are shallow and clear, disturbed only by wavelets even while the main channel is turbulent white-water. Here at the edge a grey wagtail works its way up the stones of a miniature waterfall, its yellow under-plumage contrasted by green moss, poised and apparently undisturbed by the river’s tumult.’

Read more in BBC Countryfile Magazine, July 2018

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The garden belongs to this landscape. It’s a conversation with the rocks, the tussocky bog and the blue clay from which it has been coaxed. Bold exotics are accommodated among natives that creep and drift in by rhizome and seed. Most particularly it is a place of power and pause beneath the omnipresent contemplation-demanding gaze of Garn Fawr, the largest of the Mynydd Dinas carns.

Read more in the June 2018 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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‘Hen harriers cruise the marsh, goshawks power in from nearby forestry to swipe an occasional lapwing, grasshopper warblers trill like shrill violins over the grassland and spring migrants raise broods in the woods. This is a landscape reminiscent of the later Mesolithic Age. Appropriately then, having made Britain their home 10,000 years ago as oak and hazel woodlands replaced the tundra pines, lesser spotted woodpeckers are resident.’

Read more in the May 2018 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

Photograph from http://ceredigionbirds33.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/lesser-spotted-woodpecker.html

 

‘At dusk, light from the illuminated campanile, spills onto wet cobbles, is absorbed into blue and rose walls and twinkles off small panes of glass. Waves lap the stone quay and white sand, and behind the turrets and domes, enveloping the rocky peninsula is a dark woodland that conceals a labyrinth of tracks.

Portmeirion is an illusory place, full of magic, colour and light, its buildings intermingled with water, trees and rock where you are easily lost, if not physically in the woods or the piazza, then at least in your imagination.’

Read more in the April 2018 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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‘Accustomed elsewhere to cold snowy winters, here the climate is unpredictable and predominantly wet, with ill-defined seasons. Spring, like the rest, is often wind-whipped, veiled in cloud and doused in rain. Nevertheless, it is distinguished by the flowering of the arctic alpines. The first of them is purple saxifrage, which flowers even under snow when there is any, in fragrant cushions on basalt rocks around the streams that flow into the llyn.’

Read more in the April 2018 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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‘Without the auks, you can see the Precambrian rock is bent from the earth’s movements into grimaces and smiles. Rust-red, blue-grey and yellow, it has a strange toughened texture, somewhat akin to partially melted plastic. Scanning it for birds, there appear to be none. And then, there’s a slight movement, barely a blur, almost imagined. A rock pipit, perfectly camouflaged, has emerged from a crevice to feed off the cliff surface.’

Read more in the January 2018 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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