Fforest Ganol

Back to Oliver Rackham’s Ancient Woods of South-east Wales. This rather undistinguished hedge-bank up in the woods on the other side of the little valley from Castell Coch

turns out to be part of the forest boundary bank of Fforest Ganol. This is at about OS Grid Ref: ST 14187 83090. Th field boundary turns south here, but the forest boundary bank continues westward under the trees.

The bank is clearer and more substantial to the east

It virtually disappears once you reach the cleared field

but with the eye of faith you can still see it.

Further down towards the stream, these are the hornbeam stools that Rackham spotted

Hornbeams are unusual west of the Chilterns – Rackham says they were briefly popular as planters’ trees in the C19 but that the size of these stools suggests they are older.