We shall not cease from exploration,
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T. S. Eliot
In search of a little respite from the constant traffic crescendos outside my house on Allensbank Road, and a little less serious cycling, I headed out past Rhiwbina to Wenallt Woods. I parked the bike at the bottom of Wenallt Road, locking up to a road sign or someother forgotten construction and took the nearest path into the woods.
Within minutes, an emulated sky of bluebells had appeared under the canopy of beech trees, which date back to at least 1600AD. The Cardiff Council managed pocket of ancient woodland consists of Oak, Hazel and Beech. There is a red circular walk that can be followed from the car park, but I chose to meander around its abundant pathways watching squirrels breaching out of the sea-blue floor.
“..such things are wild. Seeing them, you are made briefly aware of a world at work around and beside our own, a world operating in patterns and purposes that you do not share. These creatures, you realise, that live by voices inaudible to you.” – Robert Macfarlane.
The evidence of play; dens and rope swings, took me back to my childhood of wading through my local brook, extricating ancient remains and plunging from tree top to river. For me, it’s important to find wildness outside of our man-made environment. Wenallt Woods is perfect for this and a stone’s throw out of Cardiff, can be easily accessed without a car.
The Wild Places, Robert Macfarlane;
Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees, Roger Deakin.