feature, Henrhyd Falls and The Nant Llech Waterfalls Trail, near
Craig-y-nos Country park, BRECON BEACONS
carved Oak Gateway feature is situated
adjacent to the metal bridge on the western side of the river
Tawe where it meets the Llech
at the junction of the Ynyswen/Abercraf access paths.
Working with www.nononsense-interpretation.co.uk,
Tawe Uchaf Community Project to interprate the waterfall walk
with a Gateway feature and
Water shaped the steep-sides of the Nant Llech creating falls,
whirlpools and landslides.
The impressive Henrhyd Falls crowns this gorge, at over 90ft it
is the highest waterfall in
waterfalls of the gorge were formed near the end of the last Ice
Age. Billions of
gallons of glacial melt water carved out the valley, wearing away
the softer mudstones and
shales and leaving steps where it met harder, more durable 'Farewell
The River Llech still erodes the valley revealing the fossils
of the Earth's first trees. Their
study put young Victorian geologist William Logan on the path
to fame. His ideas
concerning the formation of these rocks helped him to be the first
to map the South Wales
Coal Fields. One of the leading geologists of the 19th century,
mountain, 'Mount Logan' is named after him.
The valley has a story to tell, follow the Trail to find six hidden
symbols to fit the shapes cut
out of this gateway.
ICON The dark water of the Llech flows down the stepped valley
to reach the Tawe
to the right of the bridge. In late summer look for spawning 'sewin'
or sea trout in the clear
Sewin - to be used at the confluence of the two rivers, highlighting
the possibility (at the
right time of year) of seeing spawning salmon and sea trout. Also
to highlight the meeting
of the two rivers, the darker peaty waters of the Llech and cloudier
pale waters of the Tawe
and their close proximity to the sea.
WHEEL ICON 'Y Ffactri' once worked to spin fleeces to cloth, powered
by the Llech.
Look for the cobbles in the path as you pass the ruins of this
once busy watermill.
Manual sheep shears and a mill wheel – representing the
use of water power at the mill,
washing, carding, spinning and cloth making.
clearing the valley's trees for timber would mark the passing
of time by the
whistles of the steam engines carrying the slate from Coelbren
ICON Sheep grazed under the trees of the valley, the bright shears
fleeces from their backs, flashed like the scales of sewin and
ICON Under the tall trees, in the shady, moist ground, grow a
remarkable variety of
rare ferns and mosses. In the rocks beneath, fossils of the earliest
trees have lain for
million so years.
Celtic Rain Forest
The fossil-rich rocks and rare plants of the Nant Llech make this
a very special place.
A rich variety of plants cloak this narrow gorge. The lack of
light at the valley floor causes
the trees to grow tall and thin, creating a high canopy similar
to the rainforests of the
Beneath this canopy in an almost perpetual shade grow a variety
of rare ferns and
mosses. This unusual diversity of plants and fascinating geology
means the Nant Llech
has been recognised as a site of Special Scientific Interest.
Tread quietly in the valley and you can see woodland birds like
wrens and tree-creepers. Dippers and wagtails are a commonly seen
hunting for insects
along the river.
ICON Water shaped the steep-sides of the Nant Llech creating stepped
whirlpools and landslides.
Farewell Rock forms the hard lip of the waterfall – coal
miners digging down to this
sandstone would say 'farewell' to any mining there as no coal
is found below it.
' Nant Llech' means 'slate' or 'slab gorge' in Welsh
LEAF ICON The lack of light at the valley floor causes the trees
to grow tall and thin,
creating a high canopy similar to the rainforests of the Amazon
basin. Woodsmen clearing
the valley's trees for timber would mark the passing of time by
the whistles of the steam
engines carrying the slate from Coelbren Quarry.