Tag Archives: pines

A walk to the wishing well – Crochan Llanddwyn

Legend has it that the pool in Newborough Forest known as Crochan Llanddwyn (Llanddwyn’s crock or pot) used to be a wishing well. And more than that, it used to be a fortune telling well, where young lovers would go to learn what the fates had in store for them.

Crochan Llanddwyn: now overgrown by weeds and trees, but popular with newts

Crochan Llanddwyn: now overgrown by weeds and trees, but popular with newts

Crochan Llanddwyn - the old wishing well

Crochan Llanddwyn – the old wishing well

These days, as you can see, it looks a little inauspicious and uninviting. The pool is very neglected and overwhelmed by weeds and algae, and forestry workings have obliterated its original form. Nevertheless, it is still in a lovely place. The pond itself is a good place to see newts. Further along the forest track there are mature Monterey pines (Pinus radiata) which are a favourite place for red squirrels.

Pine trees laden with cones, near Crochan Llanddwyn

Pine trees laden with cones, near Crochan Llanddwyn

You can make a nice circular walk either from Newborough itself, or from the first car park (known as Cwnhingar) along the forest toll road. And maybe it is still worth making a wish as you pass the pool…

The grid reference for the Crochan Llanddwyn is SH40986478 (click here to see the location via gridreferencefinder.com)

The grid reference for Cwnhingar car park is SH4077464097 (here’s the map link). To find the pool, head out of the back of the car park on the main track (through the barrier). Turn right when you meet another track and just keep on that track.  When the main trail sweeps up to the left, keep straight on: you’ll be beside the big old pines then and Crochan Llanddwyn is just a little further on.

Update – April 2014

Many of the trees that had grown in and around the pool, and the ones that had fallen over it, have been cleared and now you can see the pool much more clearly. It looks a bit raw at the moment, but later in the year, it will look beautiful again.

Crochan Llanddwyn after its clean-up, April 2014

Crochan Llanddwyn after its clean-up, April 2014

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Newborough: a forest of many trees…

Approaching Newborough Forest from the Malltraeth Cob

Approaching Newborough Forest from the Malltraeth Cob

That seems like a silly title – of course a forest has many trees, but what I meant in particular is that Newborough Forest contains many different kinds of trees. It isn’t “just a pine forest”, although it certainly has lots of pines. It also has a diverse range of other species of trees too, including a wide range of broadleaves. Eagle eyed tree spotters can look out for:

Corsican pine – Pinus nigra ssp laricio. This is the tree most often planted and represented over 90% of the canopy in 2010 – management operations mean that percent is now somewhat lower.

Other pines to look out for (including some relatively unusual ones) are:
Maritime pine – Pinus pinaster
Macedonian pine – Pinus peuce
Lodgepole pine – Pinus contorta
Weymouth pine – Pinus strobus
Monterey pine – Pinus radiata
Bishop pine – Pinus muricata
Virginia pine – Pinus virginiana
Japanese red pine – Pinus densiflora
Jeffrey pine – Pinus jeffreyi
Scots pine – Pinus sylvestris
Stone pine – Pinus pinea

And, it isn’t just pines. Other conifers include:
Sitka spruce – Picea sitchensis
Norway spruce – Picea abies

Caucasian fir – Abies nordmanniana
Grand fir – Abies grandis
Noble fir – Abies procera

Monterey cypress – Cupressus macrocarpa

Western hemlock – Tsuga heterophylla

Western red cedar – Thuja plicata
Japanese red cedar – Cryptomeria japonica

Japanese larch – Larix kaempferi

Yew – Taxus baccata

And, there are also lots of broadleaves, more in some areas than others. They include:
Cherry – Prunus avium
Birch – Betula spp
Holly – Ilex aquifolium
Hawthorn – Crataegus monogyna
Sycamore – Acer pseudoplatanus
Rowan – Sorbus aucuparia
Ash – Fraxinus excelsior
Walnut – Juglans regia
Oak – Quercus petraea
Holm oak – Quercus ilex
Hazel – Corylus avellana
Apple – Malus
Crab apple – Malus sylvestris
Poplar (balsam) – Populus X
Elder – Sambucus nigra
Tamarisk – Tamarix
Willow – Salix
Alder – Alnus glutinosa
Elm – Ulmus
Spindle tree – Euonymus europaeus
Horse chestnut – Aesculus hippocastum
Sweet chestnut – Castanea sativa
Himalayan cotoneaster – Cotoneaster simonsii (one of the targets for eradication by the Forestry Commission as they consider it too invasive)

And that is by no means an exhaustive list. Happy tree spotting!

Newborough Forest tree spotting checklist (this is a pdf listing of most of the trees in the forest, that you can download and print. 283KB)