Waun Lefrith

Last updated
Waun Lefrith

Waunlefrith.JPG

Waun Lefrith from Picws Du
Highest point
Elevation 677 m (2,221 ft)
Prominence 15 m (49 ft)
Parent peak Picws Du
Listing Nuttall
Coordinates 51°52′47″N3°44′57″W / 51.8796°N 3.7492°W / 51.8796; -3.7492 Coordinates: 51°52′47″N3°44′57″W / 51.8796°N 3.7492°W / 51.8796; -3.7492
Naming
Translationmilk bog(Welsh)
Geography
Location Carmarthenshire, Wales
Parent range Brecon Beacons
OS grid SN825217

Waun Lefrith is a top of Picws Du and is also the westernmost of the Carmarthen Fans or Bannau Sir Gaer, a group of peaks within the Black Mountain (Y Mynydd Du) of the Brecon Beacons National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog). It lies within Carmarthenshire, Wales. The summit plateau of the mountain reaches a height of 2221 feet above sea level. Picws Du and Fan Foel are the other, higher summits of the Bannau Sir Gaer / Carmarthen Fans. [1] The glacial lake of Llyn y Fan Fach dominates the panorama to the north of the peak. Beyond the lake to the north lies the Usk Reservoir and then the Cambrian Mountains on the horizon. Swansea Bay and the Bristol Channel are visible to the south across the undulating dip slope of the mountain. The Tywi valley lies to the west, with Llandovery and Llandeilo as important market towns nearest to the hills.

Picws Du mountain in United Kingdom

Picws Du is the second highest peak of the Carmarthen Fans in the Carmarthenshire section of the Black Mountain in the west of the Brecon Beacons National Park in south Wales. The highest peak is Fan Foel immediately next along the ridge and it is a subsidiary summit of Fan Brycheiniog. Picws Du falls within Fforest Fawr Geopark and its prominent summit is marked by a large Bronze Age round barrow at a height of 2457 feet above sea level. Waun Lefrith is the other, lower summit of the Bannau Sir Gaer / Carmarthen Fans situated to the west. The peak overlooks the glacial lake of Llyn y Fan Fach in the cwm below. As the peak sits on the edge of the escarpment on a ridge which juts out into the valley below, the views from the summit are panoramic and extensive. The views to the north are especially impressive when the weather is clear, looking towards the Cambrian Mountains, Mynydd Epynt and Brecon. Swansea and the Bristol Channel can just be seen on the horizon to the south, across the gently falling dip slope. Pen y Fan and Corn Du are distinctive landmarks seen directly to the east across Fforest Fawr.

Black Mountain (range) mountain range at the west of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

The Black Mountain is a mountain range in South and West Wales, straddling the county boundary between Carmarthenshire and Brecknockshire and forming the westernmost range of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Its highest point is Fan Brycheiniog at 802 metres or 2,631 ft. The Black Mountain also forms a part of the Fforest Fawr Geopark.

Brecon Beacons National Park national park in southern Wales

The Brecon Beacons National Park is one of three national parks in Wales, and is centred on the Brecon Beacons range of hills in southern Wales. It includes the Black Mountain in the west, Fforest Fawr and the Brecon Beacons in the centre and the Black Mountains in the east.

Contents

Geology

Waun Lefrith is formed from the sandstones and mudstones of the Brownstones Formation of the Old Red Sandstone laid down during the Devonian period. Its southern slopes are formed from the hard-wearing sandstones of the overlying Plateau Beds Formation which are of upper/late Devonian age. It is those rocks which form vertical crags along the top edge of the scarp. The northern face of Waun Lefrith was home to a glacier during the ice ages which gouged out the cwm in which Llyn y Fan Fach now sits. This empties via the Afon Sawdde into the River Towy. The southern slopes drain via the Twrch Fechan, the Nant Menyn and Nant Lluestau into the Afon Twrch and so into the River Tawe. [2] Large moraines occur to the east of the summit at the base of the scarp, and below the prominent peak of Picws Du as well as those damming the Lake.

Old Red Sandstone assemblage of rocks in the North Atlantic region

The Old Red Sandstone is an assemblage of rocks in the North Atlantic region largely of Devonian age. It extends in the east across Great Britain, Ireland and Norway, and in the west along the northeastern seaboard of North America. It also extends northwards into Greenland and Svalbard. In Britain it is a lithostratigraphic unit to which stratigraphers accord supergroup status and which is of considerable importance to early paleontology. For convenience the short version of the term, ORS is often used in literature on the subject. The term was coined to distinguish the sequence from the younger New Red Sandstone which also occurs widely throughout Britain.

Cirque An amphitheatre-like valley formed by glacial erosion

A cirque is an amphitheatre-like valley formed by glacial erosion. Alternative names for this landform are corrie and cwm. A cirque may also be a similarly shaped landform arising from fluvial erosion.

Llyn y Fan Fach reservoir in the United Kingdom

Llyn y Fan Fach is a lake of approximately 10 hectares on the northern margin of the Black Mountain in Carmarthenshire, South Wales and lying within the Brecon Beacons National Park. The lake lies at an altitude of approximately 1,660 feet (510 m), immediately to the north of the ridge of the Carmarthen Fans. It is the smaller of two lakes within this mountain massif: the slightly larger Llyn y Fan Fawr is about 2 miles (3.2 km) to the east.

Access

Llyn y Fan Fach lake beyond Picws Du Llyn y Fan Fach (1323880314).jpg
Llyn y Fan Fach lake beyond Picws Du

The entire mountain is open country and so freely accessible to walkers. The most popular path of ascent is that from the car park at the foot of the water board road running steeply up to Llyn y Fan Fach and over which lake the mountain looms. It lies to the east of the small village of Llanddeusant. However, the road is in very bad condition for car travel, and poorly signposted. The ridge running up to the peak starts at the dam on the lake (where there is a small refuge hut or bothy) and rises west up the hill before turning along the edge of the cliff above the lake. The walk along the escarpment gives excellent aerial views of the lake, although some care is needed in poor visibility or cold weather.

Llanddeusant is a community in the Black Mountain (range) of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Carmarthenshire, Wales. It is about 5 miles southeast of Llangadog.

Bothy permanent basic shelter for temporary use

A bothy is a basic shelter, usually left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge. It was also a term for basic accommodation, usually for gardeners or other workers on an estate. Bothies are to be found in remote mountainous areas of Scotland, Northern England, Northern Ireland and Wales. They are particularly common in the Scottish Highlands, but related buildings can be found around the world. A bothy was also a semi-legal drinking den in the Isle of Lewis. These, such as Bothan Eòrapaidh, were used until recent years as gathering points for local men and were often situated in an old hut or caravan.

Escarpment Steep slope or cliff separating two relatively level regions

An escarpment, or scarp, is a steep slope or long cliff that forms as an effect of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas having differing elevations. Usually scarp and scarp face are used interchangeably with escarpment.

The high level route of the Beacons Way from Llangadog to Abergavenny runs over Waun Lefrith whilst the low level route runs along the foot of its northern escarpment to the small glacial lake of Llyn y Fan Fach. Most of the upper part of the mountain is covered with peat bogs, but the footpath is protected at some points by stone pavements. The path follows the edge of the escarpment, giving panoramic views in all directions. The footpath from Llanddeusant avoids the parallel tarmacked road to the dam, rising along the ridge which leads directly to the summit.

Beacons Way

The Beacons Way is a waymarked long distance footpath in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales. It is a linear route which runs for 95 miles (153 km) east to west through the National Park, and passes many of the most important landmarks and mountain peaks in the mountain range. It also includes many of the towns in the park as well as popular attractions such as Carreg Cennen Castle near Llandeilo at the western end of the path.

Llangadog village in United Kingdom

Llangadog is a village and community located in Carmarthenshire, Wales, which also includes the villages of Bethlehem and Capel Gwynfe. A notable local landscape feature is Y Garn Goch with two Iron Age hill forts.

Abergavenny town in Monmouthshire, Wales

Abergavenny is a market town and community in Monmouthshire, Wales. Abergavenny is promoted as a Gateway to Wales. It is located on the A40 trunk road and the A465 Heads of the Valleys road and is approximately 6 miles (10 km) from the border with England.

As in all mountains care is needed when the weather is poor, when visibility falls due to mist, fog or driving rain and snow. Navigation can become difficult when landmarks disappear, and especially dangerous when walking along the edge of the escarpment. A prismatic compass and local map are essential companions to aid route finding. There are relatively few walkers on the Black Mountain, even when the weather is good and clear, so the walker must rely on his or her own resources to complete a circuit.

In meteorology, visibility is a measure of the distance at which an object or light can be clearly discerned. It is reported within surface weather observations and METAR code either in meters or statute miles, depending upon the country. Visibility affects all forms of traffic: roads, sailing and aviation. Meteorological visibility refers to transparency of air: in dark, meteorological visibility is still the same as in daylight for the same air.

Mist phenomenon caused by small droplets of water suspended in air

Mist is a phenomenon caused by small droplets of water suspended in air. Physically, it is an example of a dispersion. It is most commonly seen where warm, moist air meets sudden cooling, such as in exhaled air in the winter, or when throwing water onto the hot stove of a sauna. It can be created artificially with aerosol canisters if the humidity and temperature conditions are right. It can also occur as part of natural weather, when humid air cools rapidly, for example when the air comes into contact with surfaces that are much cooler than the air.

Fog atmospheric phenomenon

Fog is a visible aerosol consisting of tiny water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. Fog can be considered a type of low-lying cloud, usually resembling stratus, and is heavily influenced by nearby bodies of water, topography, and wind conditions. In turn, fog has affected many human activities, such as shipping, travel, and warfare.

Wildlife

Red kite in flight showing distinctive tail feathers Red Kite, Spain.jpg
Red kite in flight showing distinctive tail feathers
carrion crow in flight Carrion crow in flight.jpg
carrion crow in flight

There are numerous different species of bird in the area, and they include the red kite, common buzzard, kestrel, carrion crow, common raven and jackdaw as well as the skylark, to name a few of the most obvious residents. The kestrel and buzzard are widely distributed, but the raven is restricted to the higher mountains. The red kite survived in this area and was the last refuge of the species thanks to the lack of shoots for game birds. It has now been reintroduced to many parts of England and Wales thanks to campaigns run by the RSPB and Forestry Commission, for example. There are several game birds such as pheasant and red grouse. There is a wide distribution of mammals such as field voles, foxes and badgers as well as many songbirds. The skylark is plentiful due to the extensive rough pasture present below the main peaks which allows ground nesting of the species. Pied wagtails are common near the streams and torrents running from the hill tops.

In biology, a species ( ) is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, morphology, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined. While these definitions may seem adequate, when looked at more closely they represent problematic species concepts. For example, the boundaries between closely related species become unclear with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, and in a ring species. Also, among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, and each clone is potentially a microspecies.

Red kite species of bird

The red kite is a medium-large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards, and harriers. The species currently breeds in the Western Palearctic region of Europe and northwest Africa, though it formerly also occurred in northern Iran. It is resident in the milder parts of its range in western Europe and northwest Africa, but birds from northeastern and central Europe winter further south and west, reaching south to Turkey. Vagrants have reached north to Finland and south to Israel, Libya and Gambia.

Common buzzard Species of bird of prey

The common buzzard is a medium-to-large bird of prey which has a large range. A member of the genus Buteo, it is a member of the family Accipitridae. The species lives in most of Europe and extends its range into Asia, mainly western Russia. Over much of its range, it is a year-round resident. However, buzzards from the colder parts of the Northern Hemisphere as well as those that breed in the eastern part of their range typically migrate south for the northern winter, many culminating their journey as far as South Africa. The common buzzard is an opportunistic predator that can take a wide variety of prey, but it feeds mostly on small mammals, especially rodents such as voles. It typically hunts from a perch. Like most accipitrid birds of prey, it builds a nest, typically in trees in this species, and is a devoted parent to a relatively small brood of young. The common buzzard appears to be the most common diurnal raptor in Europe, as estimates of its total global population run well into the millions.

Related Research Articles

Fan Brycheiniog mountain in the United Kingdom

Fan Brycheiniog is the highest peak at 2633 feet in the Black Mountain region of the Brecon Beacons National Park in southern Wales. There is a trig point at the peak and on the edge of the escarpment, and nearby, a stone shelter with an inner seat. It is just inside the county of Powys, formerly Brecknockshire, the Welsh name of which gives the mountain its name. It is also within the Fforest Fawr Geopark designated in 2005 in recognition of the area's geological heritage. The views of the moorland and open country to the north are spectacular when the weather is clear, and reveals the isolation of the range, especially when compared with the more popular Pen y Fan range to the east.

Usk Reservoir reservoir in Carmarthenshire, southern Wales

The Usk Reservoir is located in the upper Usk Valley, at 1,050 feet (320 m) above sea level, and is located in the counties of Carmarthenshire and Powys, in southern Wales. The boundary between the counties runs through the reservoir.

Fan y Big hill in United Kingdom formerly categorized as a mountain

Fan y Bîg ( is a subsidiary summit of Waun Rydd in the Brecon Beacons National Park, in southern Powys, Wales. It is 716.6 m high and is often hiked as part of the Horseshoe Walk, a traverse of the four main peaks in the Brecon Beacons.

Corn Du

Corn Du is a mountain immediately to the southwest of Pen y Fan and the second highest peak in South Wales at 873 m, situated in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The summit itself is marked by a well structured Bronze Age cairn with a central burial cist like that on nearby Pen y Fan. The two summits are visible from great distances owing to their height above the surrounding moorland, and are famous landmarks. The views from the peaks are also panoramic and very extensive, the Black Mountain and Fforest Fawr being especially obvious to the west. Mynydd Epynt is visible to the north behind the county town of Brecon, and other parts of the escarpment to the east.

Fforest Fawr area, Wales

Fforest Fawr is the name given to an extensive upland area in the county of Powys, Wales. Formerly known as the Great Forest of Brecknock in English, it was a royal hunting area for several centuries but is now used primarily for sheep grazing, forestry, water catchment and recreation. It lies within the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Afon Twrch river in United Kingdom

The Afon Twrch is a river which rises in the Black Mountain in south Wales. It forms the boundary between the counties of Powys and Carmarthenshire and, downstream of Ystradowen, between Powys and Neath Port Talbot county borough.

The Nant Gwys is a river flowing off the Black Mountain in Powys, Wales. Its tributaries Gwys Fawr and the Gwys Fach flow south from Banwen Gwyn and Bwlch y Ddeuwynt respectively and join forces to form the Nant Gwys proper which then flows for about 5 km / 3 mi to its confluence with the Afon Twrch at Cwm-twrch-Uchaf.

Fan Hir mountain in United Kingdom

Fan Hir is a peak at the eastern end of the Black Mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park in southern Wales. It is a subsidiary summit of Fan Brycheiniog. It falls within the county of Powys and is also a part of the traditional area of Fforest Fawr. Its Welsh name means "long peak", a fitting description, particularly if seen from the east when its steep eastern face is seen to advantage. It is about 2.5 miles or 4 km long and faces east. Its summit is 2490 feet above sea level. Fan Hir is separated from its higher neighbour to the north-west, Fan Brycheiniog by a col known as Bwlch Giedd, where a path rises from Llyn y Fan Fawr via a stone staircase.

Llyn Cwm Llwch lake in the United Kingdom

Llyn Cwm Llwch is a small lake or pool in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Powys, Wales. It is between 1 and 2 acres: much smaller than the two glacial lakes in the west of the Black Mountain (range): Llyn y Fan Fawr and Llyn y Fan Fach. It is of glacial origin, occupying a rock hollow beneath the peaks of Pen y Fan and Corn Du in the central Brecon Beacons. It is drained by the Nant Cwm Llwch which empties into the Afon Tarell, which itself enters the River Usk at Brecon. Tommy Jones' obelisk, a memorial in granite to a young boy who died near this spot in 1900, overlooks the lake.

Fforest Fawr Geopark

Fforest Fawr Geopark was the first Geopark to be designated in Wales having gained membership of both the European Geoparks Network and the UNESCO-assisted Global Network of National Geoparks in October 2005. The Geopark aims to promote and support sustainable tourism and other opportunities to improve the economy of the area whilst safeguarding the natural environment. Its aims largely coincide with the statutory duties and purpose of the National Park within which it sits.

River Sawdde river in Wales, United Kingdom

The Afon Sawdde is a river in the county of Carmarthenshire, Wales. For most of its course it flows through the Brecon Beacons National Park and Fforest Fawr Geopark.

Tair Carn Uchaf hill in the United Kingdom

Tair Carn Uchaf is a hill in the Brecon Beacons National Park in the county of Carmarthenshire, Wales. Its summit sits atop a plateau-like ridge at 482 metres (1,580 ft) above sea level and is marked by one of the three huge cairns which give the mountain its name.

References

  1. Nuttall, John & Anne (1999). The Mountains of England & Wales - Volume 1: Wales (2nd edition ed.). Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Cicerone. ISBN   1-85284-304-7.
  2. British Geological Survey 1:50,000 map sheet 213 'Brecon' & accompanying sheet explanation