Penyfan; Wye Valley

Penyfan…. not the mountain in the Brecon Beacons but an area near the river Wye in Monmouthshire.

If you park near the Bigsweir bridge and then walk along the road to Whitebrook, you will have a field and the river Wye on your right and some steep sided woodland on your left. After a couple of hundered meters you will see this sign on your left hand side and a steep little path goes up through the woods.  Nice woods, ancient I would guess as there are wood anemones, bluebells, yellow archangel and lots of other woody flowers.

Soon though you come out of the woods and cross several fields, they are pasture, too steep for arable and populated by sheep and some horses. I also saw two Roe Deer on my visit at the end of April 2018.

As you get higher up the views obviously become more and more impressive. These fields contain some majestic Oak trees and other species.

The path is easy to follow with styles between each field. Eventually you re enter the woods, here they are more dense, they look younger to me but the path is kept well clear and is easy to follow. Eventually you come out onto a small road and there is a seat to have a rest on. You will probably need it as it is quite steep but it is not that long. There are some impressive house near by. I did not venture along the road so am not sure exactly what lies further on. There is a sign there indicating that  Bigsweir is back where you came from, but you would know that as that was where you parked!

In terms of wild flowers apart from the three I have mentioned I also saw, Three nerved sandwort, Wood Speedwell, Red Campion, Wood sorrel, Ramsons, Lesser Cellandine.

I also saw quite a few Swallows, Jay, Buzzard, Chaffinch,  Chiffchaff, Blackcap, and of course the two Roe Deer.

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