Join our Coastal Challenge


Celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Neptune Coastline Campaign by joining our TRIDENT TREK

and following our adventures as we embark on SAILS AROUND WALES

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Training with our coastal heroes

Preparations for our Trident Trek are well advanced, with less than three weeks to go before we start.

Our coastal supremo Bob Smith has been in training for a few weeks now, making sure that he can put in the miles on his epic trek along the Welsh coast without too many blisters.

The other morning he was joined by the creator of the trident, fellow-volunteer George Smith on the shores of the Menai Strait to put in a few miles in between conservation tasks at Glan Faenol.

Watch this space for more news, and go to the Trident Trek tab on this blog to find out more about how to get involved.

Monday, 11 May 2015

"I've got a great idea....."

"...I have had an idea to mark the Trust’s coastal celebration. I thought it would be good if someone were to sail round the Welsh coast calling in wherever possible at our properties and highlighting the cause.  The only problem would be who could do such a thing?  Well, I suppose I could…"

These were the words of John Whitley, when he wrote to the Trust suggesting the idea of Sails around Wales.  

John is one of the Trust’s countryside rangers, based with George and Bob at the Glan Faenol estate, on the banks of the Menai Strait.

"I'm sure we'll have a few adventures on the way...."
John on Capercaille
John learnt to sail when he was a teenager.  He joined two family friends on a voyage to the Azores and was hooked.  A more recent feat, this time with his own yacht, was to sail around Britain.  “The voyage took me two months and I experienced the sea in all its moods – from storms to wonderful peaceful sunsets” explains John.

“The trip around the Welsh coast is much shorter, of course, but I’m sure we’ll have a few adventures on the way.  You have to be ready for anything - conditions can change so quickly and our route takes us through some treacherous waters, including the Bardsey, Ramsey and Jack Sounds.”

And to keep everyone in touch with progress on social media, I’ll be joining John for two weeks.  I’ve been told that my duties are ‘deck-hand, tea maker and blogger’” 

If conditions allow, we hope to take on-board colleagues and volunteers so they can get a new perspective on the coastlines that they care for.

Why not come over and say hello when we’re in port – or give us a wave from the coast!” 

Use the 'Where are we...' tab above after 8 June to locate us, or contact us via the email  to find out more.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

New Year…new challenge..? Just don’t forget your trident!

By Lowri Roberts
Volunteer George Smith will be carving a trident that will be carried around the Welsh Coast.  Can you help?

We can’t supply a chariot or guarantee wall-to-wall sunshine but we can promise that you’ll take in miles of the beautiful Welsh coast equipped with a trident in hand and the knowledge you’re helping Neptune. 

So, what’s all this about we hear you asking? 

A Land of Lost Content...?

Posted by Richard Neale
Those happy highways where we went.... The magical garden of Plas yn Rhiw, on the Llyn Penisnula
I always love visiting Plas yn Rhiw, the charming manor and garden that lies in wooded seclusion overlooking the great sweep of Porth Neigwl or Hell’s Mouth Bay on the Llŷn peninsula. I guess that most people who visit this, our most remote Welsh coastal property, fall under its spell within minutes of arriving. 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The haunted fishing coves of Llyn

 by Richard Neale
Fishing from the rocks at Porth Ferin c.1967.  Who was the fisherman in the distance?
 I came across an old black and white photo of me the other day, aged about six or seven, fishing with my brother from the rocks at Porth Ferin on the Llŷn peninsula.  Dressed, rather comically in black oil-skins, complete with sou’wester hats, We're holding the wooden frames of hand-lines and next to us sits a bucket to hold the crabs that we’ve caught.  Over my shoulder you can clearly see a small white open fishing boat, some distance offshore, with the silhouette of a figure standing erect at the tiller.

As I pondered on when the photo was taken (probably 1967),

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Wales Coast Path Provides an Opening

It must have been about two years ago when I found myself staring at a brick wall in a woodland near Bangor.  There was nothing metaphorical about this eight foot high wall, which defiantly encloses the seven-mile boundary of the once-mighty Faenol Estate.  What made the scene somewhat surreal is that I was looking at a bricked-up doorway which had brought my walk to an abrupt halt. 

John, with the bricked-up doorway in 2012
I was in the company of my colleague John Whitley, who has looked after the 300-acre National Trust part of the estate for the last 20 years.   He was lamenting the fact that the newly-opened Wales Coast Path was not running through this doorway and along the estate’s wonderful coastline, where there was already a good path.  The reason for this was that the neighbouring landowners were not in favour of allowing the path across their land, forcing a rather unsatisfactory inland diversion.  We commented wryly on the irony that a wall once built to “keep pheasants in and peasants out”, was now keeping people in.

Imagine my delight therefore

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Welsh Coast's Woodland Wonders

Wind-pruned tree at Gallt y Bwlch. Ancient woods like these are the wildlife 'crown jewels' of Wales.  Print by friend and relative, Tina Neale

What do you see when you think of the Welsh coast?

I bet the first image that comes to your mind is a sandy beach or a bare windswept rocky headland.  These are the places that have the strongest attraction for most of us, with their powerful sense of airy openness and boundless freedom.  

            But I was reminded the other day of the importance of our coastal woods;