Cwm Nantcol, Gwynedd: Wood anemones and orchids below, willow warblers and pied flycatchers above – it’s a treat for the senses
A path slants out of Cwm Nantcol through Coed Crafnant. Among sessile oaks, migrant birds throng after exhausting journeys from Africa. The air is melodic with the velvet diminuendo of willow warblers; leaves of the trees haven’t yet opened, concealing their perpetual activity among high branches. Pied flycatchers – miniature magpies in stroboscopic dance-mode – spill down to flit along tracks and across fields by Pont Crafnant.
The wood is flower-carpeted in glorious progression through these spring months. There’s ramson, its white flowers garlic-scented, its triangular stalks delicious to nibble or gather and chop into salads. There are bluebells, of course, in such profusion the shimmer of them seems more emanation than substance.