An image from the 2013 satellite courtesy of Google Earth

Peter Williams sent me this image which although difficult to scale does show the whole scar and our combined impact on it at a macro level as seen from a satellite last summer 2013.

Google Earth image 2013

Google Earth image 2013

Then there is the work of the hand in preparing seed for what the satellite cannot show

National Park Warden helping to prepare seed to sow on the Pen Trumau peat scar

National Park Warden helping to prepare seed to sow on the Pen Trumau peat scar

And the results of all that effort at the micro levelA green line beginsUnless you have been on the mountain you cannot know how hard it can be to move around in the wet, wind and slope yet for those of us who have made the trip these little green shoots mean more than words or pictures can express.

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Saturday 8th March, Woollen sausages making in Bristol

Join us in Bristol at the Create Centre to build a cardboard city and explore views , thoughts, ideas and information about climate change, and if that is not enough make some more wool sausages for Pen Trumau and eat cake!

Here  are details, arrive on foot or bicycle and have free home-made cake. Alternatively you can make a donation to the Somerset Community Foundation Flood Relief and still enjoy cake.

Add your voice to those we here all too often and who may not really have all the answers. Often  answers can be staring us in the face but it is questions we need to ask.

Create Climate Change Conversations

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Climate change week

As a start to try to bridge the gap between rural and urban environments we are taking Woollenline, or at least some of the components of it to Bristol as part of a Climate change week event, come and join us to create

Climate Change Conversations @ Create Centre
Saturday 8th March 2014 12.00 – 4.00 pm

Explore climate questions, viewpoints & ideas with related  activities  for all the family.

Work alongside artists, architects, inventors, scientists and friends to build a cardboard city whilst exploring ideas to embrace climate change. Add your voice to those of the ‘gods’, people we hear everyday with their own particular take on the subject.

• Create woollen sausages to help repair a fire damaged peat bog in mountains of the Brecon  Beacons one place where water and carbon are naturally stored(see ;
• explore ‘good bog , bad bog’ bags and hear what is happening on the devon moors from the Exmoor Mires Project ( see
• Meet Heulwen and Mr. Chips the sunshine electric van and biodiesel cars from  Talybont on Usk Car Club and explore low carbon transport with the Eco Travel Network

How to find us: The Create Centre is in one of the three large red brick warehouses in Cumberland Basin, halfway between Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain. Click here for map and travel info.

Arrive in a sustainable manner and enjoy a slice of cake! All donations for refreshments will go to current flood relief

For further information email

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I guess that rain is pretty much uppermost in everyone’s mind at the moment. Certainly here we are generating full power with our micro-hydro electric scheme and have done for the past month ( so not all bad.) However I was sent the cutting written by George Monbiot about the floods in Somerset and  it set me thinking how hard it is to understand all the repercussions of our actions.

The mountains of Wales are quite different to the Somerset levels but nonetheless they do share important and relevant properties. Where  ground is permanently wet and waterlogged and there is an absence of oxygen decay of plant material is slowed to the extent that peat may form. If conditions allow  plants, that contribute to the development of peat, mostly mosses to go on growing  peat can accumulate.

On Pen Trumau it is the loss of a stable covering of vegetation and a change in hydrology that is preventing the scar from full recovery. All we can hope for is to halt the continual loss of this valuable water and carbon store.

In Somerset the issues  about peat are different but worth thinking about

Woollenline has always been about action and people but I wonder how many of us keep in mind just how important these water storing systems are and how they work. The January 11th  New Scientist  article about the geological origin of peat may help


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A break in the clouds

After days and days of rain when it seemed that we might need an ark, I finally ventured up onto Pen Trumau today to introduce the Woollenline to two more hardy explorers.

It was a beautiful day although, true to form, Pen Trumau had its own weather system where the clouds came down and allowed only tiny glimpses of the mountain. Despite the exertion of the walk my companions were pleased to have made the effort both to have the experience for themselves and to witness the efforts of all those who have come before to bring wool and plants in an effort to heal this huge scar.

The good news is that the grass seedlings from seed sown on midsummer day are still there albeit looking tousled by the rain and wind. The rain however has washed through erosion channels deepening them in a way that inspires the need for further action, although exactly what needs thinking about.

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Travelling on a train

On my way to London via Bristol I had a message to tell me the news !

The award, nominated by Huw Price at Brecon Beacons National Park ( also a fine photographer)  is testimony to power of Woollenline to draw us together. Well done everyone!

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On Friday 18th October it was  a full, Hunter’s moon! chosen specially to celebrate the numerous strands of Woollenline with a party, the first occasion when a cross section of the huge number of people who have been involved came together.

We extended the work on the mountain by bringing people together in a convivial space through the magnificent table conceived by artist Kirsty Claxton and made by designer Gil Chambers. Working with Alison Kidd, psychologist enabled both Kirsty and I to reposition the work on the mountain so that everyone involved could take ownership of it so somehow the party was held by everyone.

Here is one image of it before guest arrivedReady for guests This is the second car load of furniture for the party, all handmade from recycled card and newspaper under the instruction of Hilary Williams.IMG_20131018_100523_1


And guest enjoying food brought by everyone to share, and what a feast is  was!Enjoying the party

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