It is supposed to have been the hottest November day in Wales, and the sun was bright and colours glowing. Time, I thought, to record a few photos of the south side of Efail Isaf along some of our footpaths.
This is footpath 59 off Heol Dowlais along the farm track to Cwm Uchaf. There is a new application for outline planning on agricultural land which would alter the feel of the path. The views go up towards Coed Hendre-Sguthan, which was recognised as a hill-fort in 2006. Behind the hillfort – which is accessed from this network of paths – are Tyn-y-Coed woods and the Garth mountain.
The outline application is on land beyond the bridge over the old Efail Isaf to Barry railway line – long gone. The footpath forks, with footpath 60 passing Cwm Uchaf. I like the views north from here, with the brick chimney of Cwm Colliery a distant marker.
The path drops down to the Nant Felin stream, where it meets Footpath 58. It’s a nice walk by Nant Felin, but not maintained, and path 97 is hard to use though waymarked on the other side of the stream.
It’s peaceful and full of birdsong as well as muddy and eroded. As Open Spaces Society often point out, councils have a duty to maintain these paths, all of them. (This needs to be taken seriously in Wales as OSS has commented on the recent consultation http://www.oss.org.uk/the-welsh-consultation-on-access-and-recreation/)
There is a cross-field path from stile to stile into the village, currently grazed by an imposing bull and some cows. He looked quite cuddly.