Cwm Nash and Monknash, 23 September

Lead: Helen

After the torrential downpour during the night it was a very pleasant bonus for the 7 Wanderers to meet in sunshine at WVH, although we all came prepared with waterproof jackets.

From WVH we took the path through Monks Wood and then across the road taking the path towards the coast path. Some of us kept stopping to pick the blackberries that were prolific in the hedgerows. We were all saddened by the poor condition of the gypsy horses and the outrageous number that were in a field (we estimated a good deal more than 50 horses in a single field) with little grass and no evidence of additional food. Little wonder the poor horses keep escaping.

On reaching the coast path, Graham spotted a large black bird sitting some distance from us and got out the binoculars. The bird took off after a few minutes and was identified as a raven (we later saw a pair of them circling above us).   Turning south-east along the coast path we all enjoyed the sunshine and the splendid views and a brisk breeze. One of the stone stiles on the path was challenging as it was set high up and it was a stretch to get up and down but we all got over it without incident.

On our descent down to Cwm Nash we observed a group of people with wheelbarrows, ladders and hard hats at work on the rock face. Curiosity got the better of us and some of us walked round on the beach to see what was happening.   The group were archaeologists and were plotting and excavating a number of shallow graves containing human remains on the cliff edge.   They informed us that all the remains found so far have been male and they do not yet know why these people were buried here. One theory is that they were Catholics and at the time there was no Catholic burial ground other than at Neath and so they may have been buried here which is not far from a holy well. The other theory is that they are the bodies of seamen from ships that were lured in by locals and ‘wrecked’ on the rocks. Several people in the group recalled that in recent years there was a service to inter other ancient human remains found here. We did not envy the archaeology team the task of pushing their wheelbarrows full of kit back up Cwm Nash path.   Close by there were a large number of wasps that seemed to be nesting in the mud of the rock face entering through numerous small holes.   We had our group photo taken by Graham while we were stopped here.

23 sept

We walked back up Cwm Nash towards Monknash and Broughton looking forward to a coffee stop at the Heritage Camp site – but unfortunately it was closed so we had to move our stop to the Plough and Harrow. While we were sitting in the gardens having our drinks the rain started and so we got our waterproofs out and walked quite briskly back to Wick. A total of 5.4 miles and a very interesting and enjoyable walk.