Sunday, October 21, 2012


Rhodri at Rhaeadr Ddu
AGMs can be stuffy formalities but I really enjoyed the Snowdonia Society’s. Eighteen of us met at the Ganllwyd village hall for a pre-meeting walk led by Rhodri Wigley, the National Trust’s ‘ranger’ for Meirionnydd. Autumn colours, warm sun and blue sky brought out the best in the woodlands above Dolmelynllyn. 

Much work has been done in recent years leading up to last year’s 75thanniversary of the property being in National Trust ownership. Among the many buildings on the estate is Nant Las, a romantic one bedroom self-catering cottage which used to be the observatory. Below it, the pond has been renovated with a new concrete outflow to channel stormwater onwards to the river below. I’d noted the work when driving past on the main road and had wondered what was the point of the boulders in the otherwise smooth outflow. They are intended to provide breaks in the current for exhausted salmon making their way upstream; until now the bottom of the outflow was the highest point they have reached.

The restoration of the bee bole wall posed some discussion. Could there really have been 46 skeps (wicker basket type hives) in this many alcoves? Air traffic control would have been a bit like Heathrow. Here’s some footage of the stonemason at work re-building the wall in 2011.

Sadly the restoration of an old tree we passed is beyond the miracles of the National Trust and the colony of tree lungwort will perish when it eventually falls. 

Tree lungwort
I had looked at the front of Dolmelynllyn Hall many times and admired the elaborate first floor bay window but never realised until Rhodri explained that is was built with the uprights of a four poster bed, its headboard and footboard.  

After lunch in the village hall we held our AGM with the only sticky point being an exchange of views on developments at the Llanbedr airfield. More tea and cakes were followed by an enjoyable talk from John Lloyd Jones titled ‘A farmer’s view of Snowdonia’.

Who's been sitting on MY bench?

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