The best way to get there is to go to the southernmost of the two roundabouts in Johnston on the A4076 (the second if coming from Haverfordwest and turn west AWAY FROM NEYLAND on the A477 (right if coming from Haverfordwest). Turn right at the crossroads into Tier's Cross. The hall is next to a United Reform Church opposite Stoddart's Tyres. Note that the road from Haverfordwest forking off at Merlin's Bridge, although it seems the most direct from there, is narrow, windy and best avoided!
Because it is the only time available, it will be IN THE AFTERNOON on a TUESDAY, 30th November at 2pm.
This meeting will be a largely social affair, with a discussion looking back on our last season and sharing ideas for where we might like to go and what we might like to do in 2022. I will arrange speakers for subsequent indoor meetings. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available, but for obvious health reasons in present circumstances, can people please bring their own cups, mugs or other drinking receptacles? Given that the venue is indoors, it would be considerate of all attendees if they gave themselves a CoVID-19 Lateral Flow Test (available free from chemists) the day before, as I have done before every Group meeting thus far. Please also wear a face covering when moving about the hall, although obviously this can be removed when seated to talk and to consume comestibles.
Could I ask everyone attending to put £1, one pound, in the kitty towards hall hire and refreshments?
There will be no meeting in December (it would fall on Boxing Day!) , so this will also be our Christmas Social.
There will be a meeting in January, also at Tier's Cross Hall, at 2pm on Tuesday 25th January. As I promised when we went to West Angle Bay in August, I shall give an illustrated talk on the natural history of rocky shores. Details of the February meeting will be revealed in due course. One thing we will discuss at the November meeting is when we wish to emerge from hibernation, in March or April, so there may or may not be a March indoor meeting.
It would be appreciated if people told me they were coming, but you can just turn up on the day. I shall send out a reminder nearer the date, but as it is an indoor meeting, short of a climatic catastrophe the weather on the day should not frustrate us, so there won't be the usual eve of meeting go/no go e-mail. Obviously, if restrictions are imposed preventing us having the meeting, I shall update everyone accordingly, but let us hope not. I have done my bit and had my booster!
I look forward to seeing everyone on the 30th. Steve
Steve Brady Pembrokeshire U3A Natural History Group Leader
Autumn is a good time to spot migratory shorebirds, and one of the best places to spot them is The Gann, an estuary near St. Ishmaels, which is itself near Dale. S
To avoid high tide impeding our walk we shall meet an hour later than usual at 11.15 for 11.30 a.m. at the car park by the path to Monk's Haven.
We shall walk along the Coast path from Monk's Haven to the south bank of the Gann Estuary, then along the Estuary and back. If conditions permit, we may venture along the boardwalk to look at the other side of the bay toward Dale.
The Coast Path is very three-dimensional - it goes up and down a lot. It is also muddy. The latter is true also of the Gann estuary path, whilst some of the walk is along a stony beach. Those preferring an easier pace can go direct to the Gann estuary from where we are meeting. I shall give directions if required. Stout and mud-resistant walking footwear is called for. Also BRING BINOCULARS if you have them (I will bring a spare pair or two).
We shall meet at 11.15 for 11.30 (note time!) at the FREE car park at Monk Haven. Head for St Ishmael's off the B4327 Haverfordwest-Dale road. Follow the route in green on the map below, which avoids St Ishmael's Village. Follow the signpost to Monk Haven. This leads down a steep lane. At the bottom is the entrance signposted "PRIVATE ROAD - Footpath only" to Monk Haven) - turn sharp right before passing between the concrete posts and you are in the Free Car Park. No toilets.
This Car Park is also marked on the Walk Map below. The route in orange is the one we shall follow. Those wishing to avoid the Coast Path section can go from the car park against the direction of the arrows to the Shortcut in blue, which they follow to await the rest of us. We shall walk along the Estuary and back. We may then cross the river, if possible, for a look on the Dale side.
After the walk we can repair to St Ishmael's renowned Nursery, marked "Coffee Here Afterwards" where coffee, cakes and other refreshments are available, as well as a selection of interesting plants and other gardening impedimenta. And Toilets!
In order to have an idea of numbers, participants, and for Health and Safety reasons, please let me know by midday Tuesday 26th October if you are planning on coming, if you have not already done so. I will need your e-mail address and a contact phone number, in case we have to postpone due to weather or other last minute issues. I shall issue a final go/no go email to those who have registered by 5pm Tuesday 26th.
See you on the 27th, I hope!
Steve Brady, Natural History Group Leader
P.S. I expect this will be our last outdoor walk of the season. Information about our indoor meetings during the Winter will be available shortly.
September is when our local grey seals have their pups, so we shall be seeking them out this month on the Coast Path between Trefin and Abercastle.
Tipped off by member Pete Hall, Jennifer and I reconnoitred our intended route yesterday, Tuesday 14th , and saw several baby seals on the beaches, with one attendant mother watching from offshore, plus choughs, ravens and a peregrine falcon. It is likely there will still be baby seals when we go there at the end of this month.
We shall walk from the access to the Coast Path SW of Trefin to Pwll Whiting, which should take about one hour, although we are in no hurry. We shall then walk back. For those interested, a short further walk from Pwll Whiting via Longhouses (which I found has no parking!) will bring you to the 5,000-year-old Neolithic dolmen of Carreg Samson, which is worth seeing if you have not already. There are no loos on or near the path. The Ship Inn in Trefin may or may not be open for refreshment afterwards. I shall check nearer the date when the position will be clearer. There is also a café in the village which should be open.
The Coast Path is very three-dimensional - it goes up and down a lot. Stout walking footwear and a basic degree of fitness (nothing more than those of you who have come on previous Natural History walks have shown!) are called for. Also BRING BINOCULARS if you have them (I will bring a spare pair or two).
We shall meet as usual at 10.15 for 10.30 at the parking place (free this month!) by the Ty Gwyn turnoff (signposted as "Unsuitable for Motors" so do not go beyond the parking space!) SW of Trefin village. To get there turn off the A487 St. David's to Fishguard road just SW of Square & Compass on the Trefin turn-off. See map attached.
In order to have an idea of numbers, participants, and for Health and Safety reasons, please let me know - by replying here if you don't have my e-mail - by midday Tuesday 28th September if you are planning on coming, if you have not already done so. I will need your e-mail address and a contact phone number, in case we have to postpone due to weather or other last minute issues. I shall issue a final go/no go email to those who have registered by 5pm Tuesday 28th.
Our next activity will be exploring the rock pools at West Angle Bay on Tuesday 24th August. In order that the tide will have exposed a worthwhile area of the rock pools, we shall meet an hour later than usual, at 11-15 for 11.30 am, by the Pay and Display Machine in the Beach Car Park.
This is a notable site for interesting rockpools, and includes a number of rare species such as two kinds of cushion star. When reconnoitring the beach yesterday with Jennifer we were lucky enough to find one, albeit the commoner Asterina gibbosa rather than the rarer A. phylactica.
Because of the nature of the site the plan is to do something slightly different from our usual walk. We shall head down from the car park to the beach, a few yards away, and proceed to the best areas of rockpools, which we shall explore, sharing anything we find. Obviously this involves a degree of scrambling about on rocks (mostly flat but sometimes slippery so please take care) and in rockpools. I would suggest robust waterproof beach sandals or the like and shorts or other garments which will not get wet. The tide will be going out so more and more pools, with different fauna and flora, will come into our purview.
If you have nets, guides to seashore flora and fauna etc please bring them.
We shall continue to explore the ever greater array of habitats revealed until low tide at about 2.30pm. However, people are free to leave earlier than that if they wish. Or participants may choose to take a break for lunch at the Wavecrest Cafe beside the car park by the beach https://www.wavecrestangle.co.uk/ and then re-join us (or we may all decide to take a lunch break together). Picnicking is an alternative. There are also free toilets there. Finally there is a nice sandy beach suitable for bathing if anyone fancies a dip!
Getting there is simple - follow the B4320 from Pembroke through Angle village. The orange X marks the car park by the beach, which is signposted from Angle.
The good news is that there is ample parking at the beach. The bad news is that it is not free - £3 for 3 hours, £5 all day. The machine takes coins only.
If you are interested and do not already get information from the Group by e-mail, please reply to this post with your name and contact details and I will get back to you.
Our next walk will be a week on Wednesday, 28th July, at Dowrog Common, near St. David's, meeting as usual at 10.15 am for 10.30. The walk should take a couple of hours.
Jennifer and I have reconnoitred the site, which is well endowed with interesting flowers and dragonflies.
Dowrog comes from the Welsh Dŵriog, watery, and I suspect for most of the year much of it is. When we went it was pretty dry, at least mostly, and the trails were walkable. The site is flat, and is a mixture of dry heathland, wet heathland and bog. I would advise stout, waterproof footwear. There are no toilets or nearby refreshment facilities. I attach a link to a PDF produced by the local Wildlife Trust, which provides interesting information although the map is not overly forthcoming on the location of paths. https://www.welshwildlife.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/DowrogCommon.pdf
The site is on a side road a couple of miles up the A487 from St David's, on the left if coming from St David's. If doing so, you pass the turnings on the right for Dr Beynon's Bug Farm and then St David's Country Cottages and it is the next turning on the left. If you come to the "Civic Amenity Site" (i.e. town dump!) sign on the right you have come too far! If coming towards St Davids on the A487, the turning is the first on the right after the Civic Amenity turn on the left.
Go up the narrow lane until you reach a cattle grid and a sign announcing Dowrog Common Nature Reserve. There is a small car park space there we shall use as an overflow if needed, but carry on up the road, over the little stone bridge over the River Alun, to the car park by the 2nd cattle grid, where we shall meet up.
Maps of the meeting point and route are available in the July U3A Natural; History Group Newsletter just posted on this Forum.
In order to comply with CoVID-19 regulations limiting participant numbers, and for Health and Safety reasons, please let me know by midday Tuesday 27th July if you are planning on coming, if you have not already done so. I will need your e-mail address and a contact phone number, in case we have to postpone due to weather or other last minute issues. I shall issue a final go/no go email to those who have registered by 5pm on Tuesday 27th.
I look forward to seeing you a week on Wednesday.
Steve Brady, Pembs U3A Natural History Group Leader