Monday, 3 March 2014

ancient forest at borth


There has been a lot of press coverage recently about the ancient forest at Borth which has been exposed by this winter's storms. Borth is one of our nearest beaches, so a plan was hatched to go and visit this weekend as the tides were perfect.
The forest dates back to the Bronze Age, around 4000 - 6000 years ago. It contains the tree stumps of pine, oak, alder and birch. They have been preserved in a thick layer of peat, which is normally buried under the sand.


It feels like an alien landscape with the tree stumps rising out of the sand. The mixture of materials was so very strange to see: wood; peat; clay; pebbles; sand; shells; seaweed.


It's incredible to see bark; birch still recognisable after 4000 years. 


Underneath the peat was a layer of clay, which was slowly washing away before our very eyes.


This area is steeped in myth and legend and it's not hard to see why. The ancient forest is connected to the story of Cantre'r Gwaelod - The Lost Land of Wales. One version of the story goes that the land was protected by a seawall. The opening and closing of sluice gates in the wall was supervised by two Princes. One of them, Seithenyn, who was renowned for his heavy drinking, forgot to shut the gates one night and consequently the kingdom was flooded. It is said that the church bells of Cantre'r Gwaelod will ring in times of danger.


The boys occupied themselves with metal detecting and sand castle building, while I took a gazillion photos. The ancient forest was attracting a lot of photographers, at times all getting in each other's way.


For once a beach trip for us that didn't consist of piercing winds or torrential downpours. A great day to fill your lungs with sea air and greet the arrival of spring.

1 comment:

  1. Breathtaking. Beautiful photos - but heart stopping too to see roots and stumps from so very long ago.

    There will be a link box for Tree Following posts on Loose and Leafy tomorrow (March 7th). It'll stay open for seven days.


Comments are welcomed - thank you!