Those of you with very good memories - and an interest in bracken? - may remember that I posted (Bracken/undergrowth problem? Take this with you) a picture of a bracken cutting machine that I encountered on Bryn Arw GW/SW-026 (a small outlier of the Sugar Loaf) in July this year.

Since then we had heard that the bracken cutting had continued and that a message had been cut in both Welsh and English to promote the tree planting scheme that will soon be starting. This message can be seen from the A465 Hereford to Abergavenny road but an even better view is obtained from the very popular GW/SW-016 Ysgyryd Fawr on the other side of the road. Since the National Trust enlarged the car park (with parking meter) it is even more popular and recently we had to visit midweek on a very cold day to allow for social distancing.

Owing to the strong cold wind we avoided the popular route straight up the ridge (and straight into the wind) but turned right on going through the wall and followed the public footpath on the the eastern side with lovely views. This meant that it was not until we finally climbed up

to the trig point and looked over to the West that the view over to the Black Mountains in the distance with the Sugar Loaf to the left and the smaller Bryn Arw on the right appeared.

Looking drectly across to the side of Bryn Arw the message became readable if not totally clear as it is dficult to read the ‘.org’ after ‘TREES’.

A better picture, along with details of the planting scheme, can be found at Keith Powell, the driver of the machine pictured above, is the instigator of the scheme to plant c100,000 trees on the 64 hectares of common land on the side of Bryn Arw. This has been funded by the Welsh Government and the scheme will be developed in partnership with the Woodland Trust. The website states : ‘Ground preparations began in mid-July. The plant will take place over the planting season, November 2020 – March 2021.’ Unfortunately, a lockdown in Wales has been announced to commence on Friday 23 October at 6pm and to last until 9 November so, if you wish to read this message it may be necessary to drive past (or even better, activate GW/SW-016) by Friday or wait another 2+weeks and hope they haven’t started the plant (assuming they have some trees already on site…) and thus destroyed the message.

The charity Stump Up For Trees is aiming to plant a million trees in the Brecon Beacons and would, of course. welcome any donations you might care to give. I did check that the planting would stop sufficiently far down the hill to ensure that the trees would not interfere with my SOTA activations in the future so, bearing this in mind, I’d better ‘Stump Up’ sometime soon!



What a great idea!

In the southern Black Forest we also have massive problems with bracken. The autochthonous vegetation is strongly reduced and the biodiversity suffers.

Great campaign

73 Armin

The BBC featured this on the Welsh news a few weeks back.

“Daw eto ddail ar fryn” is something like (please correct me) leaves will come again to a hill. Far more poetic than the English phrase and referencing a saying “Daw eto haul ar fryn” (sun will come again…) popularized over the lockdown. Sadly recent events have spelt instead “Daw eto cymylau ar fryn”. :cry:

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No need to worry - the Conservative & Unionist Party Policy will for sure keep their promise from the 2019 General Election Campaign - 30 million trees to be planted every year until 2025!

It may be worth a letter to your local MP, especially the Tory ones, to remind them of their election promise.

73 Phil

PS That was just for England, the devolved parliaments have to fund trees from their own budgets…