Winter Wander December 2017

Winter wander Dec 17.jpg

I walked out this morning to ‘beat the bounds’ of our smallholding. My BBC weather app gave little encouragement for a December walk in Wales- somewhere damp between low cloud and chilling wind. But it’s pointless letting weather forecasts dictate the day here, there are, more often than not, pleasant surprises along the way.
My steps soon brought me to the steep dingle and our stream that runs through. You can walk here when you stay at Drovers Retreat. Victorian labour first tamed the brook into a concrete channel during the building of the Elan Valley pipe-line to Birmingham, at the turn of the last century. Remnants of disused sheep dipping paraphernalia lie to the side while branches and leaves slip down creating weirs of rotting foliage. I have yet to meet a child under 80 who does not delight in messing about in a babbling brook. Before long my sleeve was wet from pulling out sticks and clearing the flow, I was warm and happy and half an hour had passed. Stretching my stiffening back I looked up at the beautifully engineered bridge, now nestling in our land. Once it supported pony and trap on the old main route to Knighton but the Austin 7 would have been one of the last cars to negotiate this corner. So much history to unearth and wonderful landscape to explore! Come and play – whatever your age and whatever the weather – it’s a very special place.