Only an hour or so available to me last Sunday so I decided to take in another local woodland. Craig Ddu is an ancient woodland on the lower slopes of Mynydd Varteg Fawr and is skirted by a mosaic of unimproved grassland, a stream and plenty of coal spoil most of which is located on or adjacent to the stream.
The walk to Graig Ddu was via a footpath from Talywain Rugby Club. Snaking past the clubs main pitch the path emerged into an open landscape of land re-profiling and patchy tree planting schemes. A disused Rugby pitch, still with its rusting posts and clearly unused, is reverting back to rush pasture. A number of chiffchaff were in song accompanied by several greenfinch. Reaching Craig Ddu with its stands of sessile oak and beech I followed the tale tail signs of off road bikers down to an extensive area of coal spoil with its fast running stream. A couple of grey wagtail moved along the stream as I climbed a steepbut eroding tip to view Mynydd Farteg Fawr. Here the remnants of a lost farmstead could be traced by its ramshackled dry stone wall and several mature trees. A skylark could be heard in the background. Turning for home serveral more chiffchaff were singing and the warmth of a the early spring sunshine brought out a peacock butterfly.