On the day after the Ramblers Cymru council meeting in Crosskeys, I joined the Ramblers’ walk to Twmbarlwm.
We went up through the woods from Crosskeys through Coed y Darren. On the way we passed the new kissing-gate which replaced an obstruction on a public path and was won by Maggie Thomas, the Open Spaces Society’s hardworking local correspondent for Caerphilly.
- Keith Donovan, chairman of Ramblers’ Greater Gwent Group; Maggie Thomas, Open Spaces Society local correspondent; Helen Lloyd Jones, Ramblers Cymru immediate past chairman, and Tomos at the new kissing-gate.
On the way up I heard my first willow warbler of the year, and a couple of blackcaps.
The tump of Twmbarlwm is probably an iron age hill fort, with wonderful views over the Bristol Channel. Unfortunately, it is abused by motorcyclists and there is talk of fencing it – which is necessary to protect it, but is sad from the landscape point of view.
I love the way the hills extend up out of the valleys in this part of south Wales, the towns lapping around the edges; there is a close link between the open country and their surrounding settlements. There is also a great sense of history. The mines in Crosskeys were operating until the 1960s and the evidence of this industrial use is all around. These hills must have been vital lungs for the people who worked in the valleys.
Reaching the summit of Twmbarlwm
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