Saturday, 25 August 2012

Wern Mynach, Barmouth - how many flowers can we find?

Local to where we live, there's a great piece of open space known as "Wern Mynach".  Wern Mynach woodland is located in Barmouth town centre, not far from the football field.  A large area of the land surrounding Barmouth used to belong to the Cistercian monks from the Cymer Abbey, Llanelltyd.

There are number of places in Barmouth which have been named after the monks: Ynys y Brawd, Ffordd y Mynach, Bryn Mynach and many more. The monks would bring their animals to Barmouth over winter as the Wern's salty marshes was ideal grazing for them.

After the construction of the railway back in 1886, small lakes were formed at the site, and the land was given to the residents of Barmouth for their recreation by Mr Davies from Bryn Mynach. A football pitch was built on the site, and the rest of the land was made a landfill site.

In 2005, the Barmouth Environmental Conservation Group took over the site, and with funding from Cydcoed and help from Gwynedd Council and volunteers this urban green site was created. 
Hundreds of trees were planted on the site recently, including oak, apple trees, mountain ash, broom and willow. The combination of wild flowers, old trees, the fruit of the thorn and the mountain ash attracts a wild range of flies, birds and animals.
The Wern Mynach area had a total revamp - the work involved the local community coming together and clearing the site, dealing with invasive species, and planting trees and a wild flower meadow.  Local school children also were very busy setting up bird boxes and planting trees and bulbs. 

A professional artist was commissioned - Wern Mynach has a green oak sculpture by Jony Easterby of the tall ship once built in Barmouth.  We call this "the pirate ship" and my children love playing pirates, baddies and sea monsters in and around it.

But the purpose of this visit was not to catch the pirates but to see how many different coloured flowers we could find... so here goes...

We found many more flowers than expected and so it proves if you look closely, you will find lots of secrets and surprises!  We often go for a walk along the paths at Wern Mynach - blackberry picking in early September is a favourite of my children... anything that gives us all a bit of fresh air and wears the children out is good for me!

The background historical information has been taken from the Gwynedd Council website here.