Neath Valley Waterfall Walk
Weather: A fine but cloudy morning in prospect, following a stormy few days.
Location: Top of the Neath Valleys in South Wales, about 20 miles inland, and on the lower slopes of the Brecon Hills.
Walk: A pleasant 2hour stroll on a basically good path, but slippery with mud and fallen leave - definitely boot country today.
Walking with: Ann and the two dogs (Layla & Holly)
3rd February 2002
This was a walk chosen for several reasons.
The time of year meant that there was chance of good views of the river and the falls due to the limited leaf cover. The weather was fine after a few very wet and stormy days, so there should be lots of water in the river, and we hadn't been there for some time. . . .how many more do you want ??
Here the bridge at Pontneddfechan, the river rather wild and muddy.
This area had a very industrialised past, but has now only ruins remain. The local council and the Manpower Services Commission volunteers had made good the footpaths a few years back, in order to encourage visitors, but nature was having a good go at reclaiming it back.
Part of the track nust have been the he old railway and the stone sleepers were still in evidence.
Her the familiar two holes for securing the rail to the stone.
The Old Corn Mill - not much remains now, but it used to produce flour for the local farms,
and took advantage of the plentiful water supply close at hand for its power.
The river was far from placid today. Not a good place for dogs to swim !!
Several mine addits were visible, and they produced silica from about 1820 onward. These were an important source of employment locally. Silica was used to produce high quality fire-bricks, used world wide for lining iron and steel furnaces, lime kilns, and also for domestic fireplaces I understand.
Running repairs - a new gatepost.
An alternative, if slightly wetter way, to enjoy the valley.
Spring is in theair - new Catkins start the season off.
. Here the damp valley conditions allow the fern to grow within the extensive tree moss, without ever
touching the valley floor. In Oz they would call it "Rain Forest"
Fast flowing streams often need bridges to get cross then as they cascade their way downhill.
Impressive cateract here, but it didn't even warrent a name of its own.
Scwd Gwladys - the Lady Fall
Named after the fabled daughter of a Brecon king of the 5th Century.
The next fall half a mile up river (Scwd Einon Gam) was names after her lover Einon, but they had a sad and unfullfilled love afair, and they never really got together, bit like the waterfalls really!
A torent today, but after a dry spell, you can walk under the falls, behind the water, on the rock ledge.
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The following a a few photos from an old album ( Jan '97 ) when, after several weeks of frosty weather, the river levels fell, and the falls froze up.
Hidden somewhere in the lower right corner is my daughter (blue hat / pony tale)
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