Nov 21 A meeting in Carmarthenshire – Hosted by Malcolm & Joan By Rich

Many thanks to Malcolm and Joan who kindly hosted a well attended meeting at their wood in Carmathenshire.  Everyone who attended has said what  a fantastic day they had, warmed by Malcolm and Joan’s hot soup and awed by their stunning woodland.

Thanks also go to Chris who sums up the day in the article below and to Elaine who took, as ever, some great pictures which you can view here.

SWOG Visit –  6 November 2010 by Chris Colley

On a recent bright Saturday morning I had my SWOG initiation.  As a new member I had never been on a SWOG visit, and I really didn’t know what to expect.  As it happened neither had the hosts, Malcolm and Joan Stamp, or many of the other dozen or so people who came along, so we all learnt about it as we went along.

Despite being Wales and November, the weather was kind to us. The welcome coffee was, indeed very welcome, before we set off for the woods.  Malcolm gave each of us a copy of the Land Registry map of their woods, so we would always know where we were. Malcolm and Joan are blessed with owning some 30 acres of woodland just a few yards down a lane from their house.  I can only dream of such convenience: my woodland is 30 miles from where I live, and spending time there – travelling in a 40 year-old Land Rover – is a bit of an expedition.

Malcolm and Joan’s woodland is spread along the Afon Sien, and two of its tributaries.  They have named different areas of their wood, and while most are self evident, like Riverwood, we were interested to find ourselves walking through the Left Bank towards America! There is, of course, a story behind the name, resulting from it being the furthest flung part of the woodland, and being a bit of a trek to get there.

We started off over a bridge and through a meadow by the Afon Sein, while Malcolm talked about the work they were doing to improve the woodland.  We were shown a couple of places where some wonderful pools had been created in the river by the simple expedient of dropping a tree across.

Malcolm had thought to bring a couple of torches so the braver members of the party could explore ‘The Cave’ an old exploratory lead mine.  I decided to enjoy the sun while a few members of the group made their way through the narrow entrance, and around (or was that over) a water filled shaft of unknown depth in the floor of the cave.

Some of the track was quite steep, and Malcolm had prepared for our visit by putting up some rope handrails, which made the ascent very straightforward.  Having reached the end of the woodland that ran alongside the river, it was time for lunch, and we returned to the house for a wonderful homemade carrot and coriander soup and French bread.

The afternoon trip through the other leg of the wood brought us round to the ‘summer house’ that featured in the newsletter advertising this visit. Malcolm then demonstrated how easy it was to produce useful timber within the wood using the Logosol Timberjig chainsaw mill.

The day was rounded off with tea and delicious home made cake.  I would like to thank Malcolm and Joan for their wonderful hospitality.  I thoroughly enjoyed the day, and I am sure that this won’t be my last SWOG visit.

More photos of the day, click an image to view at full size.

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