Take the Aberystwyth mountain road out of Rhayader for about half a mile until you reach a turning to the left, across a small bridge. Around a mile up this lane, you will find a place where two fields don’t quite meet. From here, a small path overgrown with brambles threads its way downwards, quickly disappearing out of sight. Hemmed in by hedges, it’s not a place for the claustrophobic and it’s a quagmire at the best of times. After the last 3 weeks, well, it’s a stream.
The path starts to open out as it crosses the valley floor, before rising upwards to a gate, then turning steeply up the slope to a small hanging valley and the interestingly named Craig y Diawl or “Devil’s Rock”. Following the stream up the hill for a short way you can find the farm of Lluest Pant y Llyn, now a ruin.
There are very few trees on the Elenydd plateau and it seems that this small stand was planted to provide a bit of shelter from the prevailing wind. At this time of year anyone who lived up here would certainly have been glad of them.
I have something of a fascination with these trees and have spent the last year thinking about the best conditions in which to photograph them. I now think I know, and I’m quite looking forward to it.