In early August I was asked by the John Muir Trust to go to Wales and take some photos of a little place near Harlech called Carreg y Saeth Isaf (Lower Crag of the Arrow). I spent about a day and a half on some of the roughest, wildest (and wettest) ground I've ever walked, roaming the hill under Rhinog Fawr, and the ancient birch and oak woodlands in the valley next door.
It's a relatively small patch - directly to the west of Lynn Cwm Bychan (the slightly Arthurian lake pictured above) and the Roman Steps, in the south of the Snowdonia National Park - but a genuinely beguiling place, home to Merlin, Peregrine, Pipistrelle, Barnowl, Redstarts, Pied Flycatchers, feral goats and wild stoats - the list goes on. The hills were waist high with heather and blaeberry, with the woodland floor and understorey being maybe the most undisturbed forest landscape I have ever traveled through. That said, in places I could barely move for undergrowth - compared to the sometimes austere Highlands, the sheer abundance and variety of trees, shrubs and wildlife from crag to valley was a rude shock. I was completely smitten - it felt great to be back in the heart of Eryri.
The John Muir Trust has launched an appeal to buy Carreg y Saeth Isaf - a link to which you can find at the foot of the page, along with lots more information about the place. Iolo Williams, perhaps the most prominent Welsh naturalist of his generation, is in support of the bid, as are the Snowdonia National Park Authority and many other local organisations and neighbours. In the meantime, I am selling the images that appear here, with all profits to the Appeal. Each is limited to a run of 3 at A3 size, for £75 each - signed, numbered, and posted.
If you'd like to buy a print, let me know which via the contact page. And if you want to give more and still get a print, that's ok too - it all goes to the appeal (less the cost of printing and posting).
Carreg y Saeth Isaf is a truly bewitching place, and somewhere that lovers of wildness can access more easily from the south of the country.