GIANT HOGWEED WARNING
Just a reminder to walkers, especially now it seems summer has finally come, to be wary of Giant Hogweed when you are out in the country especially if you have your children with you. The picture below shows a young girl who suffered 2nd degree burns after coming into contact with Giant Hogweed
Short walks around Wenvoe
5km (3 miles)
1 Starting at the Church gate. Go up Walston Road and into Clos Llanfair to the end and pass through the kissing gate. Keep straight ahead and turn right when you reach the road. Follow the road around to a footpath between 50 and 51 Burdons Close. The path leads to a stile into a field. Cross the field diagonally heading for the electricity pylon to pass it on your right to a stile beyond and you are now on Burdonshill.
2 Turn right to reach a stony track at the top of the hill. Pass through the kissing gate ahead. You are now on the golf course, keep close to the righthand hedge to reach a footpath post; descend right to a kissing gate (can be muddy here if wet) Turn left to reach a stony track.
3 Turn left going downhill through a gate past the Goldsland Farm Orchard to reach Goldsland Farm. (This is a working farm cattle and machinery are moving around at times, keep to the public path)
4 Turn right and left to pass around the barns and continue along the drive to the junction. Turn left. Follow this road passing through the golf course and the entrance to the club. Continue past the Walled Garden and the Bothy houses to reach the main road. (The road opposite the Bothy will take you back to the top of Burdonshill).
5 Go left past the garage and Style garden centre and either continue to Old Port Road and go left back to the church or take the first turn left into Goldsland Walk and take the footpath in front of No 18 to re-join your outward path at the kissing gate.
25TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION
About 20 people met at Marco’s coffee shop in Porthkerry to celebrate 25 years of Wenvoe Walkers. We enjoyed a good catch up, drinks (and cake for some) and chocolates. A photo album let us all see how much we had changed over the last 10 years! Two short walks of 1hour and ½ hour duration were done by most of us. Thank you to Jackie Custance for making it happen.
We are all very grateful that Bert Bates and John Custance founded the group, to Ian Moody who co-ordinates the walks on offer and to the many people who have offered walks in the intervening years, who are too many to mention but you know who you are. Thank you all.
On a fine day we met in Llancarfan to do a figure of eight walk taking in Moulton (to the west) in the morning and Penmark (to the south) in the afternoon. The idea was that we would return to Llancarfan church at lunchtime to look at its medieval paintings.
We set off up a fairly steep hill, passing the primary school with its colourful posters – one example was ‘Slow Down don’t race’ with a picture of a car hurtling downhill. At the top of our climb, we glimpsed the channel in the distance.
Walking through Moulton we took a small country lane and found a well-preserved stone bridge at the side of the road over a stream. Soon after, we passed an imposing house, Trewallter Fawr, which is thought to date from 17thC and has windows dating from that period. It is Grade II listed and painted dark red like one of the farmhouses at St Fagan’s. It was once used as Sherlock Holmes’ house when BBC Cymru Wales filmed Sherlock.
Returning to Llancarfan a few people got down into the stream to see if they could spot any otter spraint i.e., otter faeces. This is one place in the Vale where it has been seen.
Then we went to the 13thC St Cadoc’s church. Medieval paintings were discovered when a rotten roof timber was being replaced and colour was found under it. In 2013, restoration work removed twenty layers of whitewash to reveal the paintings. Pictures on the walls allowed people who could not read to follow Christian teachings. St Cadoc’s pictures are likely to date from the late 15thC and were probably only visible for about 70 years until Henry VIII’s removal of church images from about 1536. St George and the Dragon and the Seven Deadly Sins cover one area. The Deadly sins are usually: Superbia/Pride, Invidia/envy, Ira/Anger, Avaricia/Avarice, Accidia/ Sloth, Gula/Gluttony and Luxuria/Lust but at St Cadoc’s there is no Envy. Two sins both called sloth, the first a dramatic suicide and the second a lay-a-bed called Somnolencia are present instead. Opposite the deadly sins, St Cadoc’s 15thC artist has created the Seven Works of Mercy or Virtues. Three and a half of these are now revealed but it is suspected that three more are lost to time and later inscriptions.
The pictures are impressive, all the colours shown are original and have not been enhanced by the restoration. Well worth a visit.
We lunched in the churchyard and had a look around the graveyard. One large grave has a stone inlaid in the ground beside it with the engraving ‘Entrance’! Then we continued our walk, heading towards Penmark.
Building work at one house we passed left a toilet on display in a shell of an extension! A blue plaque let us know that, at Bryn Iolo, Iolo Morgannwg (Edward Williams), the founder of the Gorsedd of the Bard was born here on 11 March 1747.
Now we came to a junction where we were to turn right down a lane only to find a notice stating that the path was closed due to an unsafe bridge (the walk had been checked out the day before and this sign appeared overnight) so we had to take a diversion on the road adding about a mile to the walk.
On arrival at Penmark we found the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. North of the church are the remains of Penmark castle. A 13thC wall overlooks a 30m deep ravine above the River Waycock. The castle is unrestored and includes a turret and two-storey tower.
Although I have focused on the buildings and things of interest we found on this walk, we spent most of our time crossing farmland and walking lanes and narrow roads. We saw plenty of animals including cows, calves, sheep, goats with large horns and at one house some very noisy dogs. Near the end of the walk, we spotted some belted Galloway cattle with their wide white belts in the middle of black coats. Returning to Llancarfan we stopped at the Fox and Hounds for (expensive) refreshment.
Walk 8.5 miles, 900ft. Map 151
Thursday October 7th. A circular walk based on Barry waterfront and Barry Island. About 5.5 miles. Meet 1pm by the Village Hall.
25 YEARS OF THE WENVOE
In 1996 a chance remark to Bert Bates from two village ladies at a coffee morning, who asked the question ‘Wouldn’t it be good to have a walking group as we don’t like walking by ourselves?’ The seed of a local rambling group was sown.
Bert asked John Custance, who was a Ramblers Leader, what he thought of the idea and together they decided to hold an open evening to gauge the amount of interest in the proposal. 15 people attended and discussed ideas. It was decided that it would be an informal group of people who shared a common interest of walking together.
In the past 25 years the group has probably walked every ridge and a vast majority of countryside footpaths within a 50 miles radius of Wenvoe with various leaders. They have walked local long-distance trails, had weekends away and walked abroad. One year a group of over 30 villagers and friends spent a splendid week walking in Corsica.
Within a few years of its formation the group settled into two sets of walks on offer. Bert offered a monthly Thursday afternoon walk, mainly locally of around 5 miles, and different leaders have led Saturday walkers ranging over hills and dales with a variety of distances and difficulty.
Over the years many friendships have been formed amongst the walkers. Regrettably some of our friends have passed on and others now find their health curtailing their enthusiasm for walking.
After sounding out some of the original participants of the group it was thought it would be nice to have Walking Groups’ Silver Jubilee Reunion with a chat over coffee and a short stroll, for those who can manage it. We will meet at Marco’s Coffee Shop in Porthkerry Park, Barry on Thursday 14th October at 2.15pm.
If anybody would like a lift please contact Jacky Custance on 07858 555302
As the nights draw in, as the clocks go back, as the blue skies are replaced by grey clouds, as the drizzle is replaced by rain, as the shorts are replaced by waterproof trousers…….it is easy to think that your walking days are over for this year! Since COVID restrictions were lifted earlier in the year, the Living with Cancer Strollers at Cosmeston, Carers walk at Barry Island and Stress Buster stroll at the Knap have welcomed new members and everyone has been enjoying the benefits of being outdoors.
Anita Sethi, who wrote a book about walking along the Pennine Way, Britain’s oldest long distance footpath, has written: “Walking does wonders for well being and I walked until I could feel my limbs, the bones in my body, my heart beating, telling me I’m alive. When walking, I feel the emotions of anxiety and depression shift and lift…”
The walking groups do not tackle the 431kms of the Pennine Way, but there is no need to walk huge distances to feel the benefits of walking….in all weathers. So grab those walking shoes, a waterproof coat and bobble hat and join these strollers. ALL are welcome…come rain or shine!
STRESS BUSTER STROLLERS
Anxiety and stress can affect anyone at anytime. Walking can help improve a person’s mood and overall well being. The first stress Buster walk set off from Romilly Park in bright sunshine and the strollers were treated to a superb display of sunflowers, fabulous coastal views and a cool woodland walk. This was followed by coffee or ice cream in a local cafe. Join us if you want a gentle stroll in good company, on the last Tuesday of every month,