Sadly for us that day, it seems to be a very late spring, with the recent frosts holding back the new season's growth. Even with the help of Poland's Vegetative Key to the British Flora, we only made around 50 records, but consoled ourselves with the thought that, unlike last year, there should still be plenty to see later in the summer.
|Meirionnydd Nats at Tywyn on a cool and blustery March day|
|Mediaeval peat-cutting on Tywyn Beach|
The dunes were disappointing with almost none of the expected early ephemerals to be seen. Only the vivid green of the Sea Mayweed, Tripleurospermum maritimum, broke the monotony of Marram Grass, Ammophila maritima, bare sand and the litter left by earlier visitors. However, we were enchanted by the "drowned forest" in the intertidal zone just south of Tywyn and the peat beds with the mediaeval cutting marks clearly showing. I've been reading it all up on a very illuminating report: [Smith, 2004] which explains the time scale over which the sea level rose and fell after the ice sheet had gone.
Stace, C A, 2010 New Flora of the British Isles, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Smith, G. 2004, Tywyn Coastal Protection Scheme, Archaeological Assessment, Report No 555, Gwynedd Archaeological Trust. Accessed on line 06 04 2015