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Guest Diary - The Wild Side - Isla Hampson

Children playing in the stream

One morning, we rose excitedly for the adventure that lay ahead. The kids enjoyed choosing what sandwiches to take, not forgetting water, snacks and suncream. I grabbed my camera and we headed straight out of the farm and onto the old roman road, leading up into the mountains. As we climbed the old stony road, under an archway of blossoming gnarly trees, we talked about how people used to travel, the animals that were driven across the hills into the markets to be sold. Treasures were found along the way, bones, wild flowers, walking sticks. We made sure to close the gates, learning the country laws as we went!

Leaving the track we stepped out into the vastness of the mountains. Cribyn rose steeply, with Penyfan shimmering majestically alongside. It was hot, too hot to climb a mountain today. So we took the path that skirted Cribyn, leading down to the mountain stream that lay hidden in cool trees. I knew the delights that lay ahead, waterfalls, bubbling pools, mossy stones, flat rocks on which to sit and ponder. I was able to gee on the tiring hot kids, promising it would be worth it!

As we dropped down off the path, the kids had to contend with a muddy section, “No, not my shoes, its muddy!” We all helped each other, holding hands and discussing mud, when suddenly we reached the clearing, and the stone circle with seats made out of rock, and a fire place, and a bubbling stream and oh! the look of wonder on their faces!

After an apprehensive approach to the stream, the kids were soon knee deep, lost in finding water creatures, building mossy homes for their collections, chatting and playing, discovering, inspecting, constructing.

It took a great deal to pull them away when the time came to go home. As they walked back along the track, their steps were confident, enlivened, no longer strangers to the wild, but familiar, learned and part of it.

©Isla Hampson Playing in the stream

Children playing in the stream