A recent trip around the Dyfi Estuary area organised by the Dyfi Biosphere Tourism Association and supported by Tourism Partnership Mid Wales gave us an insight into developments and new projects in this fascinating area.
The Ceredigion Museum
The old Edwardian theatre in which this impressive collection is housed is worth a visit in itself, so it’s worth making time to have a look at the interesting displays which give a great insight into the history of this part of Wales. The museum is in the same building as the Tourist Information Centre near the seafront. Throughout the year, lots of events are organised to appeal both to locals and visiting families. See the Ceredigion Museum website for details.
Bringing back our village shop
Tre’r Ddôl is a village just to the east of Ynylas and overlooking the Cors Fochno bog. Having formed a group named Cwmni Cymunedol Cletwr, local people have invested much time and effort to inject new life into this conveniently-situated roadside services building on the south side of the A487. Thanks to the many volunteers who support this community-run enterprise, Cletwr Services is now a thriving café and shop selling fresh local vegetables, newspapers, milk and various health food products. Fuel is no longer sold here but is available nearby.
Vale of Rheidol Railway
Many people might imagine that the railway goes from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge non-stop, but this is a misconception. In fact, there are 5 intermediate stations which have been restored over the last few years as part of the Station Restoration Project, funded through the Rural Development Plan (a Welsh Government initiative) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
You can get off at one of the stations: Rheidol Falls, Rhiwfron, Aberffrwd, Nantyronen and Capel Bangor and do a walk, before returning to your point of departure on a later train. Maurice Kyle has brought out a new book ‘Railway walks in the Vale of Rheidol’, in which he details 26 walks starting from stations along the route. It has colour maps and photos and is currently only available from the railway shop. There are also leaflets available at booking offices and 6 of the walks are featured on the railway’s website. As the author is independent, the railway does not accept responsibility for the condition of the walks so those venturing out on any of the routes do so at their own risk. More information is available on the Rheidol Railway website, but for timetable details a call to the very helpful staff may be of assistance in planning your trip. Phone number: 01970 625819
14 churches and chapels along the A44 in North Ceredigion
This project aims to open churches to the public in order that visitors should be able to experience these buildings from new perspectives. A visit to one of the participating churches will give you a chance to learn about the lives of local people in today’s communities as well as the social history of past generations. There is so much more to churches and chapels than their primary purpose as places of worship; the buildings themselves can be appreciated for their architecture and craftsmanship as well as being centres of peace and tranquility in which to pass an hour or so during an active day out exploring the beauty of the countryside surrounding them. Find out more on the Peaceful Places website.
Dyfi Osprey Project
This was among the highlights of the visit, as it is such a wonderful initiative on the part of the Montgomery Wildlife Trust who have just had success for the fourth year running in attracting a pair of ospreys to their strategically positioned nest on the Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve. A pair of chicks hatched in early June and their progress is being monitored closely as is the behaviour of the parent birds, Glesni and Monty.
The male bird is displaying some unusual traits in that he is willing to take turns at feeding the chicks and even allows his partner some time off to do a spot of her own fishing! The type of fish caught by the ospreys gives an important insight into the populations of the different species, which is another fascinating aspect to the project. The fabulous new wooden observatory is equipped with telescopes to view live proceedings at the nest site. Staff at the reserve are obviously very enthusiastic about every aspect of Cors Dyfi, and I was grateful to our guide, Kim, who was informative on a range of subjects including lizards, plants and birds.