Access statement for Alma House

Public Transport links to Alma House
The nearest bus stop to the cottage is just under 600yards away on the Cardigan - Carmarthen road by way of a minor road and a surfaced public footpath which crosses the river Teifi via a footbridge. The path is steep between the footbridge and the road to the cottage. Buses from Carmarthen railway station run to Carmarthen bus station where a regular service, the 460 or 461 run to the bus stop which lies between the villages of Llechryd and Cenarth. The same buses can be used to visit the shops in Cardigan, Cenarth and Newcastle Emlyn.

Taxis
The local taxi service is excellent, and I can recommend “Home James” who provide a reliable, trustworthy service, phone 01239 612190

Communications
We have Wi-Fi access but currently there is no mobile phone access in the house although various points around the property provide mobile reception. We provide a telephone with a land line which receives incoming calls and allows outgoing calls to the emergency services.

Provisions
Tesco deliver to the village so it’s easy to order your shopping prior to arriving at Alma House.

The nearest shops are 1.53 miles away in Cenarth, the nearest Aldi, Coop and Tesco supermarkets are 5.1 miles away in Cardigan, the market day is Saturday. There’s a Coop supermarket and CK’s independent supermarket in Newcastle Emlyn which is 4 miles from the cottage, market day there is Friday.

Entrance
There is off road parking for up to three cars on a concrete drive at the side of the property 12 feet wide by 48 feet long (3.6m x 14.6m). The drive slopes up from the road for the first 18 feet (5.5m) after which there is 22 feet of level parking with immediate access to the side entrance to the cottage. There is another 8‘ (2.4m) of driveway continuing from the level section which leads up to the lower garden.
The side access to the cottage has a 36” wide (91cm) doorway suitable for wheelchairs as has the door to the ground floor bathroom and the entrance to the kitchen dining room.

Ground floor
There are steps leading down from the kitchen dining room to the lounge which are 30 inches wide (76cm), the steps have one handrail. There’s a futon in the rear of the lounge which can sleep two.

A 33” (84cm) wide door leads from the dining room into the conservatory, there’s a step down into the conservatory and a 33” wide (84cm) door from the conservatory opens onto a smooth concrete path by which the lower garden can be accessed via a slope with a handrail.
All of the ground floor’s floor surfaces are tiled.

The bathroom has a conventional bath, a shower, hand basin, footbath and WC, there are no grab rails.

Bedrooms
Bedrooms are accessed by a carpeted stairway 30” wide (76cm) which has 9 steps and a handrail. The stairs meet in the centre of a hallway 36” wide which leads to the two bedrooms which each have 33” wide doorways. There is a double bed in the one room and two single beds in the other. There’s plenty of space for a cot in each bedroom. There’s over 39” (1m) space either side of the double bed and more than that around the single beds.

Gardens
We have a large garden which is completely enclosed by fencing and a gate fastened by a sprung bolt. The spring is quite strong and a small child would find it difficult to open the gate.

The garden is on two levels. The lower, smaller garden is directly behind the cottage where there is a level lawn about 20 feet long by about 15 feet wide accessible by 4 steps about 4 feet (1,2m) wide with a handrail or a wide concrete slope. There’s a picnic table on the lawn and 2 narrow steps about 2 feet wide (60cm) without a handrail which lead up to a patio with bench seating and a marble topped table.

The main garden is accessed by 4 steps about 4 feet wide with a handrail which leads on to a large lawn surrounded by shrubs and fruit trees. The lawn is about 100 feet by 40 feet, some of it is level, most is gently sloping and there’s another picnic table offering views over the surrounding hills, fields and woods.

A large paddock leads off the lower garden by way of a field gate, the paddock is lightly managed. The paddock is mainly covered in wild grasses and flowers with the occasional nettle or briar that escapes the light touch.

Fields
All of our fields are designated as Special Areas of Conservation, an ecological notch above Sites of Special Scientific Interest, our visitors are allowed full access to about four acres of pasture and woodland. They’re just across the road from the cottage and accessed by two field gates which must be closed behind you. The fields are bordered by three water courses, a small stream, the Nant Morw, a small river, the River Cych which gives the village its name and the River Teifi, a large river. All waters are potentially dangerous so caution is advised particularly in times of flood.

The fields have no paths constructed in them, but tracks are visible. There is a small orchard and a wood which we own adjoining the fields which is entirely enclosed by fencing and accessed by a gate. No animals graze this area. While the grassland is a great place for a picnic they do occasionally hold sheep, so make sure that you don’t come into contact with their droppings. If you do happen to then ensure you wash your hands with soap before eating.

We have fenced off our furthest field and deliberately allowed the natural vegetation to thrive there - our first orchids appeared in 2011. A track alongside the river bank in this field leads along the river bank to 4 rough steps and a stile. A right turn offers access to a footbridge across the River Teifi which leads to a disabled fishing platform and a turn to the left takes you up a moderately steep concreted footpath with two handrails which leads onto the road which returns you to the house.

Access to Fishing

The fishing season on the Teifi below Lampeter Bridge for sea trout, brown trout and salmon commences on 1 April and ends on 17 October.

The fishing is accessed from the river bank and by wading. The wading is over gravel and considered to be good, take a staff with you to gauge the depth of the water and exercise caution, there is some deep water on this stretch. Avoid wading in floods at all costs. In general it’s advisable to wear a wading jacket with a buoyancy aid, especially if you fish at night for sewin. Be careful to avoid overhanging riverbanks which may collapse under your weight.

Footpaths
We have a very good network of public footpaths in the area, two paths begin in close proximity to the cottage.

The first footpath begins less than 50yards (50m) from the cottage. If you leave Alma House and turn to the left the first field gate on your left is marked as the beginning of a footpath which takes you up a moderately steep hill through pasture land into woodland at the summit of the hills.
The second public footpath is a bridleway which begins around 100yards (100m) to the right of the cottage. Cross the bridge over the stream, the Nant Morw and turn right into a wide pathway after passing the house next to the bridge. The path is well maintained and easy to walk and gently climbs up along a wooded valley following the Morw into woodland and then up through the woods to a secluded lake about a mile from the cottage. Paths lead from the lake to an old mansion house, through its stable yard and onto a tarmac road where another public footpath leads back down to Abercych exiting onto the road close by the cottage.

Eco-friendly features
We work hard to protect the environment in the river and on the land and take pride in our achievements.

• We supply Ecover cleaning products and supply individual hand soaps rather than using plastic dispensers.
• Encourage recycling by providing separate containers and food composting facilities.
• Manage the entire 5 acre holding organically without the use of pesticides or weed killers.
• Encourage invertebrate life with bug hotels.
• Provide guests with bird food and feeders to encourage wildlife and have installed nest boxes throughout the property.
• Have an on-going in-stream habitat improvement programme in the three watercourses which border our holding by creating habitat for juvenile fish and aquatic invertebrates with the introduction of brash bundles.
• Have planted an orchard and continue to plant fruit trees and fruit bushes year on year to reduce pollution, take up carbon dioxide, provide habitat for wildlife, hold water and reduce soil erosion provide pollen and nectar for bumblebees and other pollinators,
• We protect the riparian habitat with the introduction of fenced buffer strips along water courses.
• We've created invertebrate and fish friendly habitats by creating channel diversity with the introduction and retention of large woody debris.
• We've fenced off 20% of our riparian pasture to create a wildlife reserve with mixed woodland and wetland habitat. Since its creation we've seen a huge boost in reptile and amphibian populations and regularly see toads, slow worm and grass snakes as well as an interesting diversity of invertebrates with the added bonus of the appearance of new species of wild flowers including orchids and marsh marigolds.
• We raise native trees from seed gathered locally and have an ongoing hedge building and riparian tree planting project.