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‘Dusk. Straining our eyes across the water one last time, we see a sandpiper step calmly in front of our tent. We see its creamy plumage and the almost-blue-white of its wing-stripe before it takes off, leaving just the echo of its whistle and whirr of its flight. We are looking for beavers, kind of, while not expecting to see any, or minding that we don’t.’

Read more in the April 2019 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

Photography by Mark Molloy https://www.framefiller.co.uk/about.html

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‘Connecting land-locked river-hugged Shrewsbury with coastal outward-looking Aberyswtyth, the southern branch of the Cambrian Railway cleaves its way between the hills,  enabling you to view some of the art displayed in the market towns through which it passes. An art journey which could itself be described as also advancing from insular to international, local to global…’

Read more in the March edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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‘The building is comfortable, the grandeur gentle, the atmosphere relaxed, unlike the highly-charged excitement of some city galleries. Hikers, holiday-makers and art connoisseurs mingle. The art is tribute to the diversity of Welsh talent. Pieces such as ‘Three Mastered Schooner and Lighthouse Scrimshawed on an Ostrich Egg’ by Carwyn Jones who draws inspiration from the nautical folk traditions of Porthmadog, and James Naughton’s luminous, discreet landscapes, sit harmoniously in the Victorian setting. In spirited contrast are Siận McGill’s bold acidic acrylics, and Ruth Jên’s colourful, cryptic prints of Welsh Ladies. The windows are large, they invite your gaze out to the bay. ‘

Read more in the March 2019 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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‘Above the falls, the Berwyns, bare and blasted, hold snow for longer than anywhere else in Wales. It’s easy up there to envisage the Ice Age in which the falls were created and the valleys gouged. Easier to imagine the frozen tundra of frigid winds, stunted shrubs, horses, Arctic foxes, lemmings and steppe pika that replaced the glaciers, than the forest which replaced it.’

Read more in the January 2019 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine.

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‘The church is small and stoic with rubble-stone whitewashed walls, the squat bell tower not unreminiscent of a Mediterranean chapel. Turfy ground between the church and its surrounding enclosure slopes to the top of the drystone walls, perhaps to let the sheep out but not in, though they tend to use the open gate. You can hear them munch the grass encroaching over the paving slabs. They rub against the graves, some of which are neat and spruce, while others are splintered into shards.’

Read more in the December 2019 issue of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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Deep in Snowdonia lies a lake across which an island once floated. In folklore this is not unusual. St Brendan’s Isles drifted around the globe for centuries, and seven of Britain’s canonised saints apparently floated to our shores on a sod. But in this case the island was real, and unusual enough for Edmund Halley the astronomer to swim out and see for himself in 1698. He described a piece of turf broken loose from the bank and buoyed up by the lightness of “broad-spreading fungous roots on its sides.”

Read more in the November 2018 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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St Bride’s Bay. Cormorants roost on Stack Rocks and large vessels wait for anchorage in Milford Haven. Behind the rugged red and grey cliffs, bent sometimes into extraordinary caves, broken sometimes by sandy bays, is a hinterland of undulating pasture and isolated farms. In 1977, this was the setting for an episode of modern folklore.

Read more in the November 2018 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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