Hensol Forest, 16th October

Nine of us met at the Village Hall and drove to the main carpark on the edge of Hensol Forest. We were privileged to have the added company of Richard’s daughter, Leigh, who was visiting from Connecticut.

The first part of the walk took us through an area of old beech trees before joining the road towards Hensol. The footpath took us across Gareth Bale’s personal driving range on the north side of the forest then past where Tom Jones used to live. We joined the Ystradowen to Welsh St Donats Road and had our coffee break in a field, until some boisterous young bullocks moved us on. Mags had brought along some very tasty homemade boiled fruit cake.

The footpath eventually brought us into the church yard in Welsh St Donats, whereupon we joined the Pendoylan Road bringing us back to the other side of the forest. A delightful place was found for our picnic lunch on the side of the lake in the forest.

From there it was just three kilometres back to the cars, but on the way, we detoured into the forest searching for fungi. Anne found some Turkey Tail and we all tasted the gills of a slightly spicy fungus.  After a brief discussion about Slime Mould, we re-joined the path and discovered some Ink Caps, a Florette and some Dead Man’s Fingers.

Total distance just under 6 miles and the weather and company delightful.