14 May 2021

Magnificent May in the Restored Landscape

Angharad Phillips

May is one of my favourite months of the year, with spring well and truly here. The long dark days of winter now seem a distant memory and the natural world is a hive of activity with birds in full song and flowers and trees bursting into life. The swallows have returned to the Garden after their long journey and it’s a joy to see their daring flying escapades.

For the past four years, I have been working on the landscape restoration project which has restored a Picturesque Regency landscape consisting of 2 lakes, cascades and the creation of a 350 metre long dam. These features are all linked by a network of paths and six new bridges. Last but not least we also have a waterfall which has been fully restored and sitting above this iconic feature is a bridge where you can feel the thunderous roar of the water at your feet as it takes its dramatic journey down into the valley below. These built heritage structures are all set within a special wooded valley where the natural heritage does what it does best and forces you to take in the beauty that surrounds you.

Take a stroll down through Fairy Wood where a large fairy town has appeared, follow the meandering path through a wooded glade.  Get ready for your first tantalising view of Llyn Mawr which is the largest of the Garden’s necklace of lakes. You will pass one of my favourite veteran trees, a magnificent beech whose branches gently skim the water below.

Next on your walk, you will see the first of our spectacular new bridges named the Horn Bridge and at this point you can cross this bridge and walk across the 350-metre-long dam and take a shorter route back over the second steel bridge which will take you back towards Waun Las. Watch out for the swallows here, as they skim the water in their search for food.

At the Horn Bridge you can also carry straight on as the path takes you into woodland and at this time of the year, it’s the bluebells that are the stars of the show.

This path meanders to Llyn Felin Gât with the hand-crafted rustic bridge capturing your attention. Carry on to this path to the waterfall and you will pass vast swathes of bluebells and the sea of blue is breath-taking and the smell intoxicating. On this path you will also see the formal tiered cascade and after heavy rain the water dramatically bounces as it makes its energetic journey to Llyn Felin Gât. Watch out for your first glimpse of the waterfall too!

May is ‘National Walking Month’ and there are miles of paths around the Garden’s 568 acres for you to explore. Come and discover our extraordinary restored landscape, you won’t be disappointed!