A glider gliding by

On this beautiful autumn morning I received this message from one of the Black Mountain gliders who actually took my up in his vintage ‘Snoopy”, uplifting !


Hi Pip,

I was flying yesterday above the WL and note that there are signs of green growth. Other pilots have noted it as well.

Looks like all the work is making progress!

Well done!


Robbie Robertson & Snoopy

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Wool and lines

So yesterday I was visiting the offices of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

One member of staff is still making string nets with her teenage daughter and friends.

The bale of scoured wool donated by the British Wool marketing Board is now on the hill being used as part of the restoration work on the highest point, Waun Fach, in the Black Mountains.

And I received these images and message from Mark Fisher of the Black Mountain Gliding Club



I was flying on Sunday 28th, and managed to get a couple of pics of Pen Trumau, the line is very faint now to the naked eye….

 I only took 4 pics, it was difficult to get anywhere near that hill due to the NE wind, and the associated sinking air on that side of the mountain!

all the best

Mark’s words about the faintness of the lines reminded me of when the first Woollenline was drawn. The sudden realisation that once we make a mark there is no way we can take it back. Whilst this carries responsibility it is also a deeper reminder of what it is to be human, we all create our own individual marks that can inform some one, somewhere and at some time.

The wool lines on Pen Trumau keep changing

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Iolo Williams

Last July Iolo Williams joined us on Pen Trumau with a film crew to make a series about the Beacons.

I am unsure if they will include the footage but have just received these screening dates from aden Productions who made the series, so despite my absence of television some of you will get to enjoy this and I will catch up on the computer.


I have got transmission dates for the series we filmed this year. It’s called Iolo’s Brecon Beacons and the episode are likely to be shown on the following dates, around 7:30pm on BBC1 Wales:

Episode 1 Winter 11/01/16

Episode 2 Spring 18/01/16

Episode 3 Summer 22/01/16

Episode 4 Autumn 25/01/16

(time and dates are pretty much certain, however it may still change between now and January)

Thank you all for your help with this series. It’s been a tough yet rewarding year working on this project, and I hope you all enjoy the series.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you all.


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So I first began to think about work with peat, wool, people and all the possibilities in March 2009, now six years have passed.

In that time some extraordinary things have happened. Besides learning a lot and losing countless nights’ sleep I have discovered a real respect for not having answers, of admitting  fallibility,  a willingness in others to support ideas with unknown outcomes and the confirmation that practical action changes thinking.

In the pages of this blog are stories, comments, pictures and films that bear testimony to the enduring nature of human spirit. Making Woollenline has inspired me!

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Drawing Woollenlines

Here is the link to Drawing Woollenlines , my filmed drawing of some of the many lives that made Woollenline possible.

I wanted to capture voices and images of the very different people who have given time and energy to explore a way of healing the pen Trumau peat scar.

The ever present wind is well  represented being the most consistent element in the work!


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Gentle rain

I have walked up to Pen Trumau three times in the last month, yesterday being the third. I also had two conversations with different people in and around Brecon both of whom had been up to have a look recently. 

Both commented that they felt that there was little signs of growth on the scar.

When I first saw Pen Trumau scar there was little vegetation growing on the scar except the three islands of cotton grass and some isolated mature tumps. The main body of the peat was completely devoid of life. Yesterday when I looked back towards the woollen lines  the grey wool is now greenish with algal growth and fringed with the spreading ( but nibbled) cotton grass plugs that we have been planting since 2011.

For me this is a miracle.

Human beings in the 21st century move fast. Writing this I am using the amazing technology that we have developed. But once in a while it might be worth considering how life on earth began. How life moved slowly out of the water to colonise the land. How the elements both fight and nurture growth.

If you have never visited Pen Trumau it will be difficult to imagine just how tenacious life must be to survive the violent forces of weather.

Our work over the last 5 years is also testimony to effort and hope, perhaps it now needs patience.

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A late midsummer walk

On Monday 13th July I am walking up onto Pen Trumau with a small group. We have a few wool sausages to peg in place to assist in the erosion control and may well plant seed but mainly it is a walk to engender some reflection on the past 5 years’ efforts.

We will also be accompanied by one pack pony carrying wool and one rider to lead the pack pony.

We are starting at Taly Maes Farm gate where there is very limited parking as it harvest time and there will be tractors moving around both at our start point and up the road. So please let me know if you would like to come so I can arrange lift shares from Crickhowell to avoid the need to aggravate traffic problems in the valley.

There will be tea on returning but as always please bring your own food and plenty of water and waterproof clothing. Pen Trumau weather is hugely unpredictable!

I will send location and times to individuals who respond rather than posting them on this blog.


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