Gold Under Bracken – The Beauty of Our Landscape, More than Skin Deep

The January meeting of the North Ceredigion Local Group saw a fantastic  number of 70 people attend. They came along to hear local group member, Richard Hartnup. Richard worked for many years for the Soil Survey of England and Wales.

Gold Under Bracken book coverNow retired Richard has been leading popular walks interpreting the Welsh Countryside to groups of interested people, and recently published a book Gold under Bracken  which looks at soil types as a means of appreciating Welsh landscape features.

This lavishly illustrated book brings a new perspective to our landscape and what is happening underneath our feet.

The origin of the name is explained by the author in this extract from the Daily Post article on the book. “It is a common sight to see the lower, deeper soils of the ffridd covered with bracken, giving way to gorse on the upper, convex slopes where soils are shallower over rock.

Bracken is so common in Wales that the Welsh word for it, rhedyn, is also the general word for fern.

It is the Manod soil which inspired the title of my book, Gold Under Bracken, taken from the Welsh proverb: “Aur dan y rhedyn, Arian dan yr eithin, Newyn dan y grug” (“Gold under bracken, Silver under gorse, Starvation under heather”)”

Richard developed the concept of appreciating our landscape through the soils fully in his talk which showed some magnificent shots of the Welsh landscape. The discussion which followed was brought to an end with a vote of thanks from Dave Purdon.

The next meeting of the Ceredigion Local Group will be at 7-30 pm in Lecture Theatre A6, on Monday 6th February when Bert Moore and Pauline Bett of the Cwmtydu Bay Wildlife Organisation will be talking about Grey Seals in Cardigan Bay. A warm welcome is extended to all; further information is available from Dave Purdon on 01970 871012