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30 March 2014
Man made devastation

 Craig Gwladus at Pensycnor in Cilfrew

Report by Mike Davies

Situated on a wooded hillside offering spectacular views of the lower Neath Valley, the park is a must see for those who enjoy walking way-marked forest footpaths at Craig Gwladus at  Pensycnor in Cilfrew Neath, just off the A465.
 Craig Gwladus Park closed from 17th December 2012 for approximately 6 months. This closure was necessary to allow for the clearance of the Larch trees affected by the Phytophthora ramorum disease



It now looks as though  the area has been hit by an atomic blast --total devastation.
I understand from one local that the Rhododendron has also been cut down, along with Cherry Laurel, and the area is soon to be sprayed with Herbicide (this has not  been made clear to the public as this goes to print), which will kill everything in the woods, bird life, wildlife, --everything.

The Larch lap trees also include the nesting trees for the Grey Heron at the park. The Herons have been arriving here for more than 20 years; I have personally photographed their arrivals and departures. For the last 15 years, it's been a very educational, interesting, and enjoyable experience.  The nesting trees had a stay of execution for the  for the breeding season in 2013 but soon after the nesting trees came down; they were the last trees standing. The trees are just left on the ground---, if diseased why were they left and not taken away?

There are around 4/6 pair of herons which arrive in late January and stay until the breeding season usually ends approximately around late July and they usually have 2 young to a nest.

The following letter has been posted on the Neath Guardian by Greta G on 25 March 2014

"The herons did return to nest and sat looking in disbelief at the carnage and the loss of their habitat. But just days before the herons return, the wondrous sight of 12 red kites flying in the sky over March Hywel Estate brought people out to wonder at such a spectacle.

Perhaps nature is resilient but lets hope that these magnificent creatures will not have their habitat destroyed by a council which appears to not have an ounce of sense in the whole place."

Thank you for your input Greta , this is very reassuring,  that indeed nature and habitat will over come this devastation of man and disease, perhaps not in our generation, but for generations to come and will enjoy what nature has provided.

View the film "Devastation of Craig Gwladus park Cilfrew Neath"
The opening scenes I dedicate to my beloved companion "Robbie"

Thank you for watching.

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