Sunday, 26 March 2017

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Beacon Hill

09.03.17  Cefn Nedd (SO 185 965)

Cefn Nedd (SO 185 965)

Cefn Nedd forms a neat triangle of land enclosed by minor roads above and to the south-east of the Afon Hafren (River Severn).  The name of Cefn Nedd is more strictly applicable to the uppermost enclosed field where the summit of the hill is situated, with the name deriving from the Tithe map, whilst the name usually given this hill in listings; Goron Ddu, is confirmed from local enquiry to be applicable to the lower slopes of the hill that overlook the Afon Hafren, this is where the name appears on the current Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger map.

As I parked my car on the side of the road next to the field enclosing the area of the bwlch, a farm vehicle approached, I flagged it down and talked with a local farmer for ten minutes or so, he confirmed where the name of Goron Ddu applied to, and had no objection to me taking a series of data sets in the fields next to the minor road close to the outskirts of Llandyssil.

The first data set I took was close to where the 119m spot height appears on Ordnance Survey maps, to do so I placed the Trimble on the roof of my car and measured a 1.46m offset to the road.  Over the next 90 minutes I took a further five data sets from the area of the bwlch, with the majority of these on the broad valley to valley traverse.  During this process the land remained quiet with just an occasion passing car and a distant farm vehicle chugging up a country lane breaking the silence.

The first data set at the bwlch

The third data set at the bwlch with the village of Llandyssil in the background

The fourth data set at the bwlch

The sixth data set at the bwlch

Packing the Trimble away I walked back toward the car happy in the knowledge that I judged most if not all eventualities for the position of this hill’s critical bwlch had been surveyed. 

As the weather was proving glorious with thick blue skies above and warmth cascading the land, I dispensed with my fleece.  It was a day to savour with the heralding of spring and new growth showing green in hedgerows.

I drove up the lane toward the summit of Cefn Nedd and parked beside the entrance to Coed y Wig.  An old green lane heads toward the hill from here and I followed it to two gates which give access to the upper field.

I passed this beautifully sculptured tree on the ascent of Cefn Nedd

The summit of Cefn Nedd consists of closely cropped grass close to the slopes of a wooded copse, the views northward down the Severn Valley toward Cefn Digoll and the Breiddin are expansive with both floating above the plain below.

Gathering data at the summit of Cefn Nedd

The Trimble set-up position at the summit of Cefn Nedd

After five minutes of summit data were gathered I headed back to the two gates and the old green track, a farm vehicle was approaching the green lane from the field opposite and not wanting to miss an opportunity for place-name research I waved and headed toward it.  I chatted with its occupant; Alan Harding for quite some time, he also confirmed the land where Goron Ddu is situated and gave me a number of names for local hills.

Alan Harding

After thanking Alan for his time it was only a short walk back to my car, on my way down toward it my mind wandered as the greened fields shone in front, a delicate patchwork of curves smoothed with years of grazing and interspersed with bordered and stunted trees giving slight variety to the land.  It had been a good few hours in the sunshine and enthused me to get out again the next day with the Trimble.

A greened patchwork

Survey Result:

Summit Height:  207.2m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 18524 96503

Bwlch Height:  118.1m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 19564 95699

Drop:  89.1m (non Subhump status confirmed)

Dominance:  42.99% 


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