Saturday, 7 March 2015

Marginal land

I had to drop a friend's birthday present off to her daughter this morning (this is my very poorly friend A, who lives about an hour from me).  On the way back, I came home the "old way" across the mynydd to Brechfa via Llidiadnenog.  Much of the land up here is marginal - some areas more marginal than others - for agricultural purposes, and keeping livestock.  Sheep are about the only ones to cope.

In the distance, better farmland, which has presumably been drained and improved with nitrates, lime etc.  Capable of supporting cattle.

Marshier land in this view.  The slightly warmer beige of the valley bottom is pretty boggy, hence the tussocky grass growing there.  Plenty of alder and willow trees help to suck up some of the moisture.  Pine trees planted on the upland for a cash crop.

A little further on, looking across slightly more fertile land, especially in the distance.  This land supports larger and more farmsteads than the uplands, needless to say.

Further on again, to the topmost of the uplands, and you can see the sour sort of grazing available to these sheep.  (Welsh Mountain sheep - see their tan tail-bottoms and a little tan on the back of the neck on the top one. )  Tough as old boots, these are (and pretty well as tasty . . .)

Settlements are sparse, and many of them support only horses now - good riding area, but poor quality grazing which gets extremely poached in the winter months.

This house has always looked desperate and down-at-heel, and when we first moved here, I think was a hippy-house.  It looks deserted here, but when I drove past is obviously still lived in.

Part of the Forestry Commission plantings.

There are small clusters of houses which just about register as a hamlet.

Finally, driving down our valley.  I was trying to show how steep it was (there is a lovely footpath coming down it - you can juyst see a slight line of it middle-top, sloping left and down.

Looking Westwards at the same spot.  Colour from the golden Hazel tassels in front, but the ash trees behind won't be green much before the end of May.

My thanks to everyone who wrote kind words about Banshee's passing.  I still well up with tears if I think of her.  Night-night Bindy-Ban . . .


  1. A beautiful drive - with dramatic views! Jx

  2. I am so glad we are not on marsh land, I suppose we are just rough pasture, it is fantastic scenery around here :-)

  3. Interesting landscapes BB, but it does look grey and COLD!

  4. We have plenty of marginal land round here too BB.
    Re the house all on its own - it must be easy when one is not surrounded by civilisation to let things go garden and maintenance wise. Perhaps that is what jas happened.

  5. Lovely photos of some interesting land. The usage changes as the tree lines and crops differ on levels of elevation-I find it fascinating not ever having farmed or needed to live off my land. We plant strawberries and tomatoes for fun, I don't know what we'd do if we had to survive off what we were able to produce for ourselves. How our ancestors did it I often wonder... Thanks so much for sharing, BB.