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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



‘I see seaweed – bladder wrack, waving below the glassy surface of the Menai Strait as I glide across it. Trees are reflected and an egret shifts its position on the barnacled rock. There’s something about the combined watery tranquillity and concentration necessary for stand up paddleboarding that makes it particularly mindful – the balance required to remain upright, repeated in the mind.’

Read more in the July 2019 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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Photography by Dan Struthers

The small, stony and seal-frequented coves of Cwm Tydu and Cwm Silio are hugged by low cliffs whose strata is twisted into smiles. Characteristically for Ceredigion, a sliver of maritime grassland is sandwiched between the coast and a landscape of pasture, small farms and villages cleft by wooded river valleys and scored by scant narrow lanes which make driving here in summer inadvisable.

Read more in the June 2019 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine



‘Tŷ Hyll, or ‘the Ugly House’ is named for its colossal crudely cut, yet lovely stones. Of uncertain origin – either brigand’s hide-out, duke’s folly, or tŷ unnos (home built in a day to secure ownership), what is certain is that it’s now a cosy tearoom selling fresh-baked delights and very, very good tea. It’s run on behalf of the Snowdonia Society – a charity aiming to protect the beauty of Snowdonia National Park whose volunteers help with tasks such as path maintenance or mammal surveys, and who here at Tŷ Hyll have created a pollinator-friendly garden and a bee-room, and regularly host workshops such as herbal tea making or birch tree tapping.’

Read more in the May 2019 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine


‘Caroline had already briefed me, on the drive from Fort William station, with her plans to regenerate wildlife whilst farming cattle in the uplands. “Conservationists use livestock to get some of their aims achieved” she’d told me, “and farmers are happy to be wildlife-friendly as long as they get paid for it. But the key is to genuinely integrate wildlife and farming. Then you can bring back species you’d never expect. And make money.” Combining elements of rewilding and agriculture, she’s named her approach ‘wilderculture.’’ Read more in the May 2019 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine


‘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


‘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