Archives for posts with tag: Julie Brominicks

The ponds welcome rain with a gentle hiss. A drop lands on a water lily leaf and rolls to the centre where more raindrops accumulate and enlarge until, too heavy at last, they slide into the water through the slit in the leaf. I am watching a frog watching me. Despite being overcast, it is luminous, poetic even, under the trees by the lily ponds…

Being both popular and environmentally sensitive, Llynnoedd Bosherston (Bosherston Lily Ponds) in the western extremity of Sir Benfro (Pembrokeshire) is one place that to visit, deserves careful and imaginative planning. The ponds are special, forming one of very few hard water mesotrophic lakes in Wales. They are spring-fed, so lucid, but artificial – created by the Cawdors of Stagbwll (Stackpole), in testament to that period zest for water features. Weirs were built across three adjacent valleys to slow the water’s flow to the sea, and the resultant ponds stocked with lilies and fish. But it is the underlying limestone which is responsible for the concentration of calcium carbonates which encourage the growth of the stoneworts that are sensitive to nutrient enrichment. The combination of natural ecology and human intervention has resulted in a biodiverse-rich site (12 species of bat, 40 species of dragonfly, 30 species of butterfly) – that requires continued stewardship. 

Read more in the May 2022 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

 

‘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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Clutched in the calcerous grip of the Great Orme and Little Orme headlands is Llandudno, where a seafront crescent of palm trees and grand icecream-block-like hotels seems to continue the colours of the Ormes’ vegetation-cloaked limestone pavement.

Mountains brood inland, and behind the hotels, sheltering from the mountains and the sea, bistros hunker beneath ornate arcades. But the brave pier, wave-raked and salt-assaulted, marches boldly into the bay.

Read more in the August 2017 issue of BBC Countryfile Magazine

Bare and wind-bitten, the flat missile-pasture of Castlemartin Firing Range with its red flags and fences and grassy scents gives suddenly to craggy carboniferous cliffs and the tang of ocean. These are muddy limestone cliffs, assaulted and salted by sea – solid rock, though many have toppled like church walls, to the beach.

Read more in the March 2016 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

St Govan's Chapel

Photo by Stuart Cambell Argue

Snowdonia is a mountainous, wild place. Trees grow thick in deliquescent valleys but on exposed slopes they are stunted and bent. Rain clouds gather above purple mountains. Wind shrieks around the peaks and moans in the valleys. Small family farms are dotted about the hills. They produce sheep meat and beef – the slopes are too steep and the soil too thin to grow crops. Farmers hoik stones from the soil and build them into walls. Wind is a constant element of their existence. And recently, on a small scale, they have begun to farm it.

Read more in November BBC Countryfile Magazine

Windwall

Photography by Giles W Bennett http://www.gileswbennett.org.uk

Between Anglesey and mainland Wales, sea water is sucked and funnelled by the tides twice a day, east to west and west to east. Whooshing and slooshing, the Menai Straits is constantly churned and oxygenated, creating a nutrient-rich soup. The mud too is calorific, and at Traeth Lafan 2500 acres of mud and sand are exposed at low tide. It’s a haven for waders and water birds. In winter tens of thousands of them gather here; red breasted mergansers, goldeneye, redshanks, curlew, widgeon, mallard, teal, dunlin, knots, little grebes, great northern divers, gulls, oystercatchers and great crested grebes.

Read more in November BBC Countryfile Magazine

Puffin Island

The Cambrian Mountains catch clouds and store rain in their blanket-bogs. The rain tumbles and gurgles into black mires, hurrying streams, and crashing cascades. Stone walls and tree trunks are lush with liverwort and mossy citadels… For centuries the rain was a necessary element of the mining industry – providing water which powered the machinery…

Read more in the November edition of Country Walking Magazine

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Photography by Giles W Bennett

Especially it is Moel Siabod with its distinctive almost Fuji-like profile, which dignifies the arena where club-moss, royal fern, sundew, butterwort and bladderwort thrive, bats flit and snipe drum.

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Read more in the June issue of Countryfile magazine