The day dawned damp, chilly and rather more murky than the forecast earlier in the week, so it was good to have 9 willing walkers assembled, with loppers, secateurs, gardening gloves and a couple of saws – plus sustenance for our endeavours.
From Llampha, we headed off past a little pond and over fields to the old green lane which runs down from Llampha Court towards the Alun brook. Although we had walked this many years ago, latterly it had been thoroughly impassable until Valeways had spent time on it, so in the past few months several of us had walked that way and we hoped it would not be too overgrown. Our hopes were realised and apart from a tiny bit of clipping, we were soon down the lane, admiring the old bridge at the bottom, then heading off towards the railway line to a stile cleared a few months back by a couple of us. Fortunately, this too needed little work. The challenge was ahead!
To invigorate us, we stopped at the next old bridge for coffee and nibbles, the group photo and then dug out our loppers and strong gloves etc. This next path some 100 yards long, leading up past an old barn, had also been cleared a few months back but was in need of some considerable attention, which we duly gave it.
From here we traversed a couple of lovely open fields, then over a very rickety bridge, past a second little pond and through trees, to yet another couple of stiles. We walked gradually uphill, towards the path traversing our route, and here two of us left, in order to return home to catch up on studying.
The remaining 7 of us, then crossed a lovely old stone stile, took the path at a field edge, and down to the road towards Colwinston. The plan was to lunch in the churchyard, and gradually the church seemed to get nearer, but one awful stile nearly prevented us reaching our goal. A “manual handling” course might have come in handy as we had to guide various limbs and feet over the stile, whilst holding back tricky wire. We made it over though, enjoyed our lunch in by now, lovely sunshine and then ambled back via a quiet road, and an old roadway. We did spend quite some time doing our best to improve an overgrown, unlabelled stile, before our final push on to the cars.
Thanks everyone for coming along, for working hard and enjoying the day. We can revisit this area again in the spring to keep these paths open- they are too good to let get overgrown.