Saturday, 31 March 2012

Spring and gravity

Spring is in the air. Baby lambs everywhere. Birds singing their hearts out. New guests are in the cottage and for their first morning a gravity train came rolling past. It seems to start earlier each year.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Squirrel escape

I’d seen this squirrel carry nesting materials up the tree but what could it possibly be bringing down? In its mouth was a large ball of baby squirrel. I watched as it made two trips from the vulnerable Scots pine to a nearby tree with lots of ivy. Was it the buzzard circling nearby or the crows that nest in the same tree?  

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Badger Love

Late March and still no sign of badger cubs. They look pleased with the news that, unlike England, there will be no cull in Wales. Instead, our badgers will be vaccinated against TB. Another good reason for devolution.  

Monday, 19 March 2012

Is she pregnant

Above the railway one of the female goats had a kid at the beginning of March. Most of the time she stays on a steep bank surrounded by a dense expanse of gorse making it difficult for foxes to creep up on her kid.

Meanwhile below the railway there is lots of expectancy (on my part at least) but still no kids. Yesterday I was alarmed to see an expectant nanny clambering over a barbed wire fence. Or have I got it wrong and she’s not pregnant?

Monday, 12 March 2012

Blaenau 30 Campbell 30

This year is the 30th anniversary of the Ffestiniog Railway re-opening all the way to Blaenau and there will be a series of special events from 5th to 7th May. It is also the 30th anniversary of the death of Colonel Campbell who rescued Plas y Dduallt from dereliction and did much to help the railway.

The house has recently been tree ring dated to reveal that the oldest timbers were chopped down between 1559 and 1565. Much research has gone into the history and is summarised in a five page document which can be accessed here.

The appendix at the back of the Ffestiniog Railway Act of 1832 shows the property being owned by the trustees of the late William Lloyd and by the time of The Tithe Act of 1842 it is owned by the Rt Rev Lord Robert Ponsonby Tottenham from Wicklow. It remained in the Tottenham family for three generations before being auctioned in 1920 at The Queens Hotel, Blaenau Ffestiniog, when it was bought for the Tan y Bwlch estate.

If anyone has any information on the Tottenhams and why they came here I would be very grateful to hear from you. Were they railway or mining investors?

Farm buildings next to the house were used by the deviationists between 1965 and 1973 during which time an estimated 10,000 bed nights were enjoyed. These days it is known as Campbell’s Cottage and is available for holidays. We are currently booked until September but have availability for the weeks beginning 15th and 22nd June and 6th July.

Huw and Sue

Saturday, 3 March 2012

First Kid of Spring

I caught a glimpse of a solitary black headed goat on the horizon. Hidden out of sight amongst the flowering gorse was a young kid. Not sure how old it was but it kept up with Mum, moving quickly across the mountain to their castle retreat.