For some time my daughter, Jennie, and I have been wanting to see what the shoreline looks like to the east of Cardiff Bay in the Severn estuary. The opportunity came yesterday when we set out on a walk, of uncertain length, in sunny, mild weather. We were accompanied by grandson Mk II (normally referred to as “Cheeky” on Jennie’s blog) who is not quite five years old but who walked most of the way with us and seemed to enjoy every minute as much as we did and we adopted a fairly slow pace for his sake.
It wasn’t the prettiest of walks although it started quite well when we left the houses behind and walked past a large sports ground, over a railway bridge and into Tredelerch Park. Here a large lake supports dozens of coots and mallards and a pair of swans. There were other walkers in the park, some of them walking dogs, but it was quiet and a pleasant open space. From the park’s small car park we crossed a couple of roads at the roundabout next to the main entrance of the Lamby Road recycling centre and then walked a short distance along Wentloog Avenue before turning off on a footpath.
If the rest of the walk lacked picturesqueness it must be said that it had a certain character, offering for much of its length a panoramic view of a major landfill site and recycling centre, separated from our path by a reen. This is a man-made waterway which acts as a drain. These are numerous in the low-lying coastal area between Cardiff and Newport. Unlike many of the others that I have seen on my cycling excursions, this reen appeared to be almost totally devoid of any form of life. Apart from two swans that we saw right at the beginning (and which may have been the offspring of the pair on the lake, driven away to make their own home somewhere else) there was no sign of living creatures.
After a long and slightly winding stroll we climbed on to the sea wall alongside the Severn, which is a few miles wide at this point, and waved at England on the other side. I don’t think anyone waved back. They probably had better things to do in England.
The sea wall was like a railway embankment minus the railway. I believe that there are plans to complete a public footpath all the way around the coast of Wales within the next two or three years. I am not holding my breath but at least this sea wall will provide a fine base for such a footpath and I hope that those responsible for the development will have the vision to make it multi-purpose. There is adequate space for cyclists as well.
The tide was out so that all we could see was several hundred yards of mud flats with the sea sparkling under the bright sun in the distance. After taking a few photographs it was time to go home.