It’s not as if the south Gower coast is otherwise unremarkable; maritime grassland atop limestone rock that’s been scoured into beaches and bone caves, yielding to an expansive sea with Devon fizzing on the horizon. But Three Cliffs Bay is a bit special. The cliffs are triangles of a single promontory swimming out like a dragon to guard a bay brightly ringed by Pennard Pill, which has squirmed through the saltmarsh to reach it. At high tide, Great Tor in the west grants seclusion. But at the tide’s ebb, Three Cliffs Bay merges with Tor Bay, Oxwich Bay and Pobbles Bay, to create one vast dazzling magnitude of sand.

Read more in the January 2020 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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The Heart of Wales is a venerable line. A two (often one) carriage trundler that just escaped Beeching’s axe, the guards are courteous, request stops are frequent and trees sometimes tap on the windows; a branch line in more than one sense. The passengers, chatting in English or Welsh, aren’t in a hurry. They’ve been shopping, walking, or watching the rugby. Kerry and Wendy from Llandybie are enjoying free winter travel offered to Welsh bus-pass holders. And hikers George and Dave, are doing the Heart of Wales Line Trail.

Read more in the December 2019 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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The Greens have my heart,

Plaid Cymru my vote,

Labour my hope.

 

Please vote tactically on Thursday folks…

https://www.remainunited.org/

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A flurry of white flakes, a crunch underfoot. As winters warm, the white spotted fallow deer and sound of trampled beechnuts might be the closest you get to snow and frost. Nevertheless, December will be dark, and Newton House in the Dinefwr grounds will be cosy. In fact it’s cosy all year. Light glances off gilt frames. Staff and volunteers are cheerful. And you’re allowed, nay encouraged, to sit on the sofas.

Read more in the December 2019 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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Photograph by National Trust http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dinefwr

Ruins remember what is lost. The bereft settlements. The toppled kingdoms. Castell y Bere is no longer the example of Welsh potency it was when built by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth in 1220, shortly after he was recognised by Henry III as Prince of all Wales. Relations between the two soon soured, and Henry began a campaign against Wales he upheld even after Llywelyn’s death. Now bats make forays through the portcullis. Moths ambush the rock-cut ditch, rusty-back ferns and navelwort scale the keep, ragwort crowns the towers, and algae festers in the well.

Read more in the November 2019 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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Shakily, I transferred the data-card from the camera to my laptop, where sure enough, the footage revealed a glossy, chestnut animal. A creature who paused, sniffed the air, and arched its back, before springing lightly onto large paws. Silently, we watched our two minutes of film again and again in the dark, dinner uncooked, the stove unlit. That a creature so elusively exquisite had returned to our neck of the woods was thrilling. Pine martens rippled through our minds.

Read more in the October 2019 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

Photograph by Mark Molloy

The conurbation of Wrexham is better known for its industrial age production of coal, iron, lead and beer than for its forests and streams. But its industries, while fuelled by an abundance of limestone and minerals, were also dependent on freshwater and timber. Evidence remains. The Vale of Clywedog wriggles greenly defiant through a part of the map in which red lines and grey blocks dominate.

Read more in the October 2019 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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