Monday, 15 December 2014

Springdale Farm Nature Reserve

Apologies for a gap in my blog writing – the demands of setting up a new small business (Usk Valley Promotions) have meant I’ve had little time to spend on Usk Chirps recently! However, I’ve been storing up a few photos to use in this post when I finally got around to it and todays the day!

A few miles from Usk at Coed Cwnr/ Llangeview, above the livery stables where I keep my horse Rowan (New Court Livery),  is a hidden gem of a nature reserve ‘Springdale Farm’. This area is very special to me personally as I was brought up in the valley 'Llewellyn's Dingle' which lies directly below Springdale Farm. I spent many happy hours in this valley and the surrounding woods and hills both as a child growing up and as an adult - you can read more about my old home Yew Tree Cottage in an earlier post here. I count myself blessed that I can continue to enjoy this beautiful, precious place either walking or from the back of my horse, although I now live in nearby Usk.

Springdale Farm Nature Reserve

Purchased by the Gwent Wildlife Trust in 2001 with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Countryside Council for Wales, Monmouthshire County Council and Gwent Wildlife Trust donations, Springdale Farm comprises around 120 acres of grassland and ancient deciduous woods.

In spring the floor of the woodland is carpeted with wood anemones, followed by bluebells and wild garlic. Here is my dog Dewi enjoying a walk through the wood.

The lower part of Springdale Farm is quite steep terrain so take care walking on the lower fields and through the wood as paths may be muddy and slippery. Suitable footwear for walking is recommended.

Located at an altitude of 100 -150m the top hay meadows, full of wildflowers, including wild orchids, in spring and summer, offer stunning, panoramic views across the Usk Valley towards Twm Barlwm, The Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons, Wentwood Forest and the Severn Estuary. 

Springdale Farm is a working organic farm managed using wildlife friendly traditional farming methods. The pasture is grazed by a herd of pedigree British White Cattle and a small flock of Welsh sheep, owned by Ellie and James Hawkins who live at New Court Farm (and Livery) next door.

Meet some of this year's batch of lambs with Gwynie the Border Collie and George the British White calf with Ellie Hawkins! All animals are cared for supremely!!

Visiting Springdale Farm

Vistors are welcome on the farm and in the woodland, but take care to close gates, and keep dogs under close control to respect nature and grazing livestock. In summer keep to the edge of the hay meadows to avoid treading down the grass which will eventually be cut as hay.

Car parking is available opposite the Alms Houses (please do not park in front of gateways into the fields or barn - this is a working farm and tractors need access at all times.

Springdale Farm, Llanllowell Lane, Monmouthshire, NP15 1NF OS Map Ref: ST 409995

Looking across New Court Farm and Livery to Springdale Farm above

I am very lucky to keep my horse in such a beautiful place at New Court Livery next door to Springdale Farm!

Me with Rowan!

For further information on Springdale Farm

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