There’s something magical and otherworldly about ancient woodland, and Ty Coed Canol in West Wales is no exception. Woodland has come and gone on this site since the Ice Age, and it is today prized as one of Britain’s richest sites for lichens, with over 400 species having been recorded on the 170 acre site.
The gnarled and twisted trunks and branches of the ancient sessile oaks (some of which are 800 years old), clothed with velvety moss and accessorised with polypody ferns, together with the strewn boulders – draped emerald green with moss and lichen – are straight out of the enchanted woods of fairy tales or Enid Blyton.
When walking through this mystical landscape it’s impossible not to think of the people who might have walked the same paths in the preceding 6000 years. Those who grazed their animals here, foraged for firewood and food, sheltered from the elements, and studied the abundance of life that the trees and rocks support.
So come for a walk with me through Ty Coed Canol, and marvel for yourself at this most ancient of landscapes.
And do let me know if you spot fairy folk in any of the images; because I refuse to believe that they’re not there somewhere!