Coast & Country crew to film for the series recently.
Ifan the director had hatched a plan for presenter Ruth and I to walk some of the coastal path and explore some of the wildlife - the birds, wild flowers and lichens that make Mynydd Cilan so special - along with some of the local mining history. The weather most definitely was not on our side, with a strong wind coming off the Irish Sea to add to the thick mist and persistent drizzle.
The beauty of being on a peninsula in the Irish Sea is that although you do cop some weather, it often changes fairly rapidly, and we were in luck. The mist started to lift and had cleared by the time we reached the trig point, revealing the sweep of Hell's Mouth and Bardsey Island sitting off the western tip of the peninsula.
First stop was one of the old manganese mines that dot the western flanks of the headland. They were most likely 'trial' mines and not worked extensively, unlike the buildings of the old lead mine nearby which suggest a more intensive operation. The old engine house, and the name of the houses alongside - Cornish Row - hint at the use of Cornish mining expertise.
Mynydd Cilan is one of the best sites for the chough in north Wales, a bird for which Wales is really important; three quarters of the UK's population of this rare bird call it home. We were hoping to film the choughs, and other species such as peregrine, stonechat and linnet, but thanks to the gale force wind, they weren't playing ball for Mark the cameraman; we decided to focus on the plants and lichens.
It was a long day, but a good day nonetheless. A real eye-opener for me was seeing the crew going about their work with such professionalism, they did an amazing job in some pretty adverse conditions. Hopefully tonight's programme will inspire a few people to get out and look at some of the wild plants and lichens on the Welsh coast, and not worry too much about the weather!
- Dave Lamacraft will be appearing on ITV Cymru Wales on Coast & Country on Friday 6 December at 8pm. For more details visit the website here.