Fforest Ganol

by Brian Scott September. 11, 2020 373 views

An introduction to the forest

No, it's not a typo Fforest is Welsh for forest, the Ff sounding more like V.

Historic place name

The forest area is just outside Cardiff city, to the North of the M4 and is part of several forest areas around the hills. It is actually within walking distance of me in Caerphilly.

There is a main path, on the higher side of the hill but, dirt bikes are slowly but surely eroding more and more "paths" despite this being an SSSI.

SSSI in Wales

The larger forest area to the left is Fforest fawr which is beautiful too but, is FAR busier and caters to families with children, with nature trails and wood sculptures, sorry, not for me, although I often use some of the lesser trails to allow a loop walk between the two as the main car park is in Fforest fawr.

A typical Forest Ganol walk.

A typical Forest Ganol walk.

There is a wonderful forest cafe at the lower end of the walk, a perfect break with tables outside under umbrellas, it IS Wales after all.

Throughout August, the mushrooms and toadstools have been out in abundance, making the walk interesting, looking out for them, taking photos. Covered in another article.

The Forest Fawr end of Ganol is a steady climb on a well defined path which can get muddy.

I'm kind of surprised that the bikes are allowed to carve out new trails in an ancient forest that is designated SSSI.

There is so much to see or, just stand and soak in the silence.

There's a disused woodman hut, which I'm hoping will be left alone and not further destroyed, it would make a perfect place to set up a camera for bird shots. This forest boasts Hawfinches, Brambling and many more common birds.

Woodmans hut - a perfect window for a camera.

Woodmans hut - a perfect window for a camera.

The drop down from the main path is pretty steep but, there is also a diagonal path, which cuts back before reaching the lower path.

The Forest cafe makes a perfect rest place before the trail back ..... up the hill!

Either way, it's uphill from here, the choice is, slow and steady or steep and quick.

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