Llampa and Castle upon Alun, 30th April

Lead: Robbie

Five of us met at the villge hall at 10.00 and drove to the Clapper bridge at Castle-on-Alun and set off across the bridge and up the hill over the railway line to the Ewenny/Wick road, then towards Llampha and down the bridleway back to the road, following the lane back down to the ford and stepping stones over the river. The wild flowers were magnificent with Graham pointing out the Green Alkinet on the roadside. The fields were awash with oil seed rape.

30 april

On crossing the ford, we followed the track under the railway line and towards the old limestone quarry where we stopped for a coffee break. This quarry is clearly where a lot of clay pigeon shooting takes place. There was no further obvious footpath as we meandered our way up the side of the hill amongst the birch and oak wood. Graham, our resident plant identifier, pointed out the Tooth Wort (Lathraea), an aptly named plant which is a parasite living off the roots of other plants and completely devoid of chlorophyll.

We descended steeply back down to the river Alun and followed it along past the 50-yard shooting range, which is clearly well used, until we reached another rather run-down shooting range. The whole area is obviously a very popular spot for shooting! On reaching the main St. Brides/Ewenny road, we turned left and climbed steeply up onto the Common where the views were magnificent. We crossed the Common and dropped down on the other side back to the cars. Total distance 4 miles and time two and a half hours.