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  • Nature’s Gallery – Simon Whaley
    from oak because of its durability so much so that in 1559 Queen Elizabeth I introduced legislation to protect timber being grown for naval use However with the birth of the Industrial Revolution trees were felled to produce urgently required charcoal for the fledgling iron industry Charred History Stepping into the upper confines of Cannop Brook my eyes feast on the creation called Black Dome In recognition of the charcoal industry that once flourished here 900 pieces of charred larch have been installed creatively into the leaf covered ground ready to decay and return back to its basic living organisms once more One traditional heavy user of these dedicated oak factories was Lord Nelson whose flagship HMS Victory was constructed with oak frame supports When visiting the forest he was shocked to discover that the finest timber in the kingdom was in such a deplorable state As a result 30 million acorns were planted which ironically were never used for shipbuilding Their legacy is the fresh air I breathe now surely Before they were half way through their growing cycle the prime material in warship construction had changed from oak to iron and steel Remnants of this industrial past still litter the forest As I creep closer towards the mysterious metal squeaking sound it s obvious that my path has previously served its time as a railway line And here a few steps on is a row of several sleepers each with its own memorial to this environment carved between the metal rail callipers Such was the size of the coal and iron industry here during the 17th century the Forest of Dean laid claim to the highest density of iron furnaces and forges to be found anywhere in the UK A sudden clap of air in the canopy above me catches my attention as I scan the treetops for the perpetrator Bending my knees to peer through a gap in the branches reveals the brown bulk of a buzzard launching itself into the sky Despite the occasional squeak of the unnatural clanging sound luring me to its source the wildlife here is clearly more bothered by my own presence Spring activity in the forest is both natural and man made The floor of the woods richly rewards bluebell seekers in search of some late spring colour as swathes of one of Britain s favourite flowers carpet the canopy covered ground Over 30 species of butterflies flit from flower to flower along the butterfly rides whilst March is the time when rangers and volunteers coppice areas of hazel and sweet chestnut and clear areas of scrubland Oak Stronghold Exploring the largest area of old oak trees in Britain means marvelling at sessile oaks The acorns of these oaks are short and stubby and have no stalks The other species of oak native to Britain is the pedunculate oak which has long stalks on its acorns There are some pedunculate oaks in the Forest of Dean but it s the taller

    Original URL path: http://www.simonwhaley.co.uk/natures-gallery/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Love on the Rocks – Simon Whaley
    Despite being man made they certainly add beauty to the Menai Straits The Menai Strait is my favourite place says Warren I love bridges and enjoy walking around Church Island and the Belgian Promenade which goes under the Menai Bridge and around to the town The Britannia Bridge carries the main A55 and the railway to the port of Holyhead in the north west of Anglesey within minutes Yet as far back as the Tudor period people were crossing this dangerous racing tidal flow of water by boat to reach the tranquillity of Llanddwyn Island It takes its name from The Church of St Dwynwen the remains of which can be seen on the island Dwynwen was one of 24 children of the 5th Century King of Wales Brychan Brycheiniog of Brecon and during an evening of feasting and dancing Dwynwen captured the heart of Maelon Dafodrill who wanted to marry her It s not clear whether Dwynwen couldn t marry him because of her wish to become a nun or whether her father disliked Maelon or wanted her to marry another man Whatever the reason Dwynwen found the situation unbearable and prayed for her pain to be taken away In a dream she was given a potion which when she drank it turned Maelon to ice Distraught Dwynwen began a journey to the remote Llanddwyn Island to live out her days in solitude Whilst watching some eels swimming in a well there she saw an apparition which granted her three wishes Dwynwen wished Never to have the desire to marry again That all true lovers should find happiness and That Maelon should be freed from his icy grave Over the centuries the Welsh adopted Dwynwen as their own patron saint of lovers Many crossed the Menai Straits to travel to the small shrine on the island and make an offering So much money came forth that a chapel was built in the 16th Century the remains of which can still be seen today Wander around the island which today acts as a National Nature Reserve and its maritime importance is obvious Two small beacon lighthouses were constructed to aid shipping in Caernarfon Bay and the cottages that now house displays detailing the wildlife on the island were once home to the men who used to guide boats in and out of the Menai Straits The views from here are astounding stretching from the Snowdonian Mountains in the south east to the Lleyn Peninsula in the south west and the rugged Anglesey coastline in the north west It s picture postcard material something that has caught Warren s eye He s a keen photographer and even created a pictorial calendar for 2006 I enjoy showing my photographs of Anglesey and a calendar is an ideal way of allowing someone to regularly enjoy them and the beauty of Anglesey Selling them as far a field as America Warren s been busy taking pictures for his 2007 calendar which he hopes will

    Original URL path: http://www.simonwhaley.co.uk/love-on-the-rocks/ (2016-02-17)
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  • What Lies Beneath – Simon Whaley
    about in Scotland What makes the Llangorse Crannog so special is that it is the only one in England and Wales It s a sensible location for a small community yes community there would have been several structures on this small island Sheltered from the east south and west by the Brecon Beacons and protected like a castle moat its waters were well stocked with fish even then provided a good source of food Crannogs that were located close to the shore often had artificial walkways connecting them to the land However boats were also used and the museum in Brecon has a simple dug out canoe that was discovered in the lake in 1925 and is thought to date back to 800 AD Channel 4 s Time Team visited the crannog here in Llangorse during its first series back in 1994 and evidence they uncovered suggested that it was built in phases They believed that it was built by the King of Brycheiniog Local fiefdoms were common around this time and this may have led to the downfall of this particular crannog When a Mercian Abbot Ecgberht was assassinated it was the King of Brycheiniog who was blamed by Aethelflaed Lady of the Mercians Records dating back to the 12th century suggest that she sent her army in to destroy the island in 916AD A sailing boat catches a light breeze and floats purposefully across the water With a wintry sun on the occupant s faces we wonder whether they are aware of the secrets and history this lake has to offer Leaving the hide we press on past the lakeside Llangasty Church built by the founder of the Sunday School movement before looping around and retracing our steps back to the car park It s not possible to circumnavigate the lake on foot because the south eastern shoreline is protected as an important wildlife habitat and entry is not permissible And whilst Llangorse is a popular lake for boating on landing on the crannog is prohibited because the site is now a scheduled ancient monument It seems then that there are still some aspects of Llangorse Lake that remain secret to most of us even today Why not follow in our footsteps this month and explore Llangorse Lake See Route 1 for more details Please note that this route floods after heavy rainfall and always take care when walking close to any water s edge For details of other watery walks check out routes 2 and 3 in Whitchurch Shropshire and near Trefriw Snowdonia Route 1 Llangorse Lake near Brecon 6km 3 ¾ miles Moderate OS Explorer Map OL13 Brecon Beacons National Park Eastern Area Start Llangorse Common Car Park Grid Ref SO128 272 There s plenty of parking here but the walk starts from the near the toilets With your back to these walk directly ahead across the common horses roam freely here on a good grass path towards a concrete footbridge Cross over this and pass through a gate into a field Please note that any of the fields on this route can have livestock in them at any time Bear diagonally left across the field to a small kissing gate beside a larger metal gate Pass through into the next field and continue in the same direction to another kissing gate at the end of a stone wall Go through this and continue along the path in the same direction with the lake s reed beds on your left Cross over a gated bridge then turn left through another kissing gate onto a path diagonally left across field Pass through a gate on a short boardwalk section into the next field and cross to the next gate Pass into another field with better views of the lake on your left Go though another kissing gate To visit the hide turn left here Bear right through larger gate and follow the left hand edge bearing left where signed onto a long boardwalk section Go through a kissing gate into some trees then through another gate into a field Continue along the left hand field edge taking another kissing gate into the final field Follow path towards church Go through kissing gate to join a track Turn left to reach seating area by lake edge To continue walk follow track past church where it becomes a lane Continue gently uphill to junction with another lane Turn right and follow this with care to the track on your right to a property and some camping Turn down here passing stile on right dropping gently Turn left just before Private property sign cross stile and keep to the right of the field Take stile on right into orchard and drop down to a stile Cross this and then drop down some steps cross over a track and take stile into next field Good view of lake here Follow left hand field edge to a junction of paths Turn left to rejoin path used earlier Pass through gate and follow same path back to car park Points of Interest 1 This route has good views of Pen y Fan the highest peak in South Wales 2 The hide is part of Llangasty Nature Reserve It s ideal for watching wildfowl and waders on Llangorse Lake 3 Llangasty Church and many other buildings here were built by Robert Raikes who is also known as the founder of Sunday Schools Route 2 Brown Moss near Whitchurch 1 6km 1 mile Easy OS Explorer 241 Shrewsbury Start Brown Moss Main Car Park Grid Ref SJ 593395 From the main car park with your back to the lane cross over the old ditch and follow the main path as it gently bears round to the right through wooded areas then around to the left Continue along this main path to reach a track beside a black and white property Turn left passing a small pool on your left and follow the main path which

    Original URL path: http://www.simonwhaley.co.uk/what-lies-beneath/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Brown Clee Hill – Simon Whaley
    Fundraising For A Community Project Ten Teatime Tales Best Walks in the Welsh Borders The Bluffer s Guide To Hiking 100 Greatest Walks In Britain The Little Book Of Alternative Garden Wisdom The Bluffer s Guide To Banking The Freelance Photographer s Project Book Chapter 18 100 Stories For Queensland Photography Greetings Cards Short Stories Read Short Stories Writing Courses Writers Resources Info for Writers Competition Judging Links Brown Clee Hill By simonwhaley On 5 June 2015 In Walking The June issue of Country Walking has my route exploring Brown Clee Hill in Shropshire It s a 6 5 mile route with some fantastic views View the video for a hint of what s available from this route For those of you with Trailzilla access the route code is TZID 26505 Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on LinkedIn Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Like this Like Loading Country Walking Previous Head and Shoulders Next Business of Writing Get Help Through Business Synergies Comments are closed Welcome Click on the photo to find out About Me More links NEWS Free Downloads Mindful Moment Search this site Recent Updates A Positively Productive Review 15 February 2016 Frozen Flow 15 February 2016 Teme Twister 14 February 2016 Slowing Up 13 February 2016 Weaving Water 12 February 2016 Publications Amateur Photographer BBC Countryfile BBC Midlands Today BBC One o clock News Best of British Country Border Life Country Walking Cumbria Daily Telegraph Discover Britain Ezee Writer Freelance Market News Great Walks Australia Holiday Cottages Lakeland Walker Outdoor Photography Outdoor Pursuits That s Life Fast Fiction The Author The Independent

    Original URL path: http://www.simonwhaley.co.uk/brown-clee-hill/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Pointing Country Walking Magazine In The Right Direction – Simon Whaley
    A Community Project Ten Teatime Tales Best Walks in the Welsh Borders The Bluffer s Guide To Hiking 100 Greatest Walks In Britain The Little Book Of Alternative Garden Wisdom The Bluffer s Guide To Banking The Freelance Photographer s Project Book Chapter 18 100 Stories For Queensland Photography Greetings Cards Short Stories Read Short Stories Writing Courses Writers Resources Info for Writers Competition Judging Links Pointing Country Walking Magazine In The Right Direction By simonwhaley On 27 April 2015 In NEWS Walking Check out the May 2015 issue of Country Walking magazine for an interesting piece of the delights to be found on the area covered by the Ordnance Survey s Sheet 201 Explorer Map Knighton Presteigne which includes a little quote from me and one of my photos Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on LinkedIn Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Like this Like Loading Country Walking Previous Ideas and The Complete Article Writer Next Business of Writing Don t Avoid The Diversion Comments are closed Welcome Click on the photo to find out About Me More links NEWS Free Downloads Mindful Moment Search this site Recent Updates A Positively Productive Review 15 February 2016 Frozen Flow 15 February 2016 Teme Twister 14 February 2016 Slowing Up 13 February 2016 Weaving Water 12 February 2016 Publications Amateur Photographer BBC Countryfile BBC Midlands Today BBC One o clock News Best of British Country Border Life Country Walking Cumbria Daily Telegraph Discover Britain Ezee Writer Freelance Market News Great Walks Australia Holiday Cottages Lakeland Walker Outdoor Photography Outdoor Pursuits That s Life Fast Fiction The Author

    Original URL path: http://www.simonwhaley.co.uk/pointing-country-walking-magazine-in-the-right-direction/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Sign of the Times – Simon Whaley
    no matter how muddy their boots The economic credit crunch has hit British public finances hard Local authorities have made huge cuts to their budgets including footpath and rights of way maintenance However Walkers are Welcome towns have volunteers who regularly check paths to ensure they re passable and not overgrown They also identify and carry out any maintenance work required This means that you re more likely to have a trouble free walk within the area Walkers are Welcome towns produce information leaflets and guides to help visitors explore the local area and get the most from their visit These can be found in the local tourist information centre retail businesses and some accommodation establishments helping you to explore the new area with confidence Many towns organise an annual walking festival Join in and you won t have to worry about map reading Instead you can enjoy being led round by a knowledgeable local while taking in the views The scheme benefits everyone walkers local businesses and even the locals who benefit from better maintained footpaths As a result there are now over 110 Walkers are Welcome towns across Britain stretching from the most south westerly Hayle in Cornwall to the most northerly Unst in the Shetland Islands Unst joined the scheme in 2011 and according to Chas Hollis of Unst Walkers are Welcome they ve already seen benefits Walkers are coming in greater numbers as visitors go back to their walking clubs and spread the word Unst is the northernmost island in the Shetlands and its tourist season is short May to September Embracing new visitors is vital for improving the community s economic survival The scheme is successful is because it is community led Communities who want to get involved have to demonstrate to the Walkers Are Welcome national scheme there is sufficient local support Once a community has expressed an interest a mentor is allocated to help steer them through the initial process of establishing themselves as a Walkers are Welcome town Only those communities who can offer great walking opportunities can apply That means that when you visit a Walkers are Welcome town you can be assured of some great scenery This illustrates another benefit Britain is blessed with some fantastic national parks which offer wonderful walking opportunities However the businesses and rights of way network within the national parks are already geared up to catering for walkers so there s little need for the scheme in the national parks although any town can apply if they meet the criteria no matter where they are located However as a result it s the towns and communities outside of the national parks that are keen to join Therefore visit a Walkers are Welcome town and you ll be exploring some of the quieter lesser known but just as scenically beautiful areas of Britain One of the newest scheme members is Ironbridge a World Heritage Site that is recognised as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution Set

    Original URL path: http://www.simonwhaley.co.uk/sign-of-the-times/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Morville – Simon Whaley
    Community Project Ten Teatime Tales Best Walks in the Welsh Borders The Bluffer s Guide To Hiking 100 Greatest Walks In Britain The Little Book Of Alternative Garden Wisdom The Bluffer s Guide To Banking The Freelance Photographer s Project Book Chapter 18 100 Stories For Queensland Photography Greetings Cards Short Stories Read Short Stories Writing Courses Writers Resources Info for Writers Competition Judging Links Morville By simonwhaley On 7 September 2014 In Walking Morville Country Walking OCt 2014 The October 2014 issue of Country Walking carries a 5 5 mile route around Morville in Shropshire not far from Bridgnorth offering walkers an opportunity to visit three churches and Upton Cressett Hall described by Sir John Betjeman as a remote and beautiful place For those with access to Trailzilla the access ID is TZID23450 Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on LinkedIn Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Like this Like Loading Country Walking Previous Circumnavigating Dinas Head Next Writing Magazine The Business of Writing Software Solutions Comments are closed Welcome Click on the photo to find out About Me More links NEWS Free Downloads Mindful Moment Search this site Recent Updates A Positively Productive Review 15 February 2016 Frozen Flow 15 February 2016 Teme Twister 14 February 2016 Slowing Up 13 February 2016 Weaving Water 12 February 2016 Publications Amateur Photographer BBC Countryfile BBC Midlands Today BBC One o clock News Best of British Country Border Life Country Walking Cumbria Daily Telegraph Discover Britain Ezee Writer Freelance Market News Great Walks Australia Holiday Cottages Lakeland Walker Outdoor Photography Outdoor Pursuits That s Life Fast Fiction The

    Original URL path: http://www.simonwhaley.co.uk/morville/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Bishop’s Wood – Simon Whaley
    Project Ten Teatime Tales Best Walks in the Welsh Borders The Bluffer s Guide To Hiking 100 Greatest Walks In Britain The Little Book Of Alternative Garden Wisdom The Bluffer s Guide To Banking The Freelance Photographer s Project Book Chapter 18 100 Stories For Queensland Photography Greetings Cards Short Stories Read Short Stories Writing Courses Writers Resources Info for Writers Competition Judging Links Bishop s Wood By simonwhaley On 16 June 2014 In British Travel Walking Bishop s Wood published in the July 2014 issue of Country Walking The July 2014 issue of Country Walking magazine carries my 8 5 mile route around the Shropshire South Staffordshire border offering walkers the opportunity to visit White Ladies Priory Boscobel house and the famous oak tree For those with Trailzilla access the ID is TZID22405 Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on LinkedIn Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Like this Like Loading Country Walking Previous Selfie used in The Independent Next Writing Magazine The Business of Writing Rights Comments are closed Welcome Click on the photo to find out About Me More links NEWS Free Downloads Mindful Moment Search this site Recent Updates A Positively Productive Review 15 February 2016 Frozen Flow 15 February 2016 Teme Twister 14 February 2016 Slowing Up 13 February 2016 Weaving Water 12 February 2016 Publications Amateur Photographer BBC Countryfile BBC Midlands Today BBC One o clock News Best of British Country Border Life Country Walking Cumbria Daily Telegraph Discover Britain Ezee Writer Freelance Market News Great Walks Australia Holiday Cottages Lakeland Walker Outdoor Photography Outdoor Pursuits That s Life Fast Fiction

    Original URL path: http://www.simonwhaley.co.uk/bishops-wood/ (2016-02-17)
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