Gorging on Garlic


This weekend I have been exploring various parts of Gwent, enjoying the spring sunshine ( a rare thing at the moment). I've been doing forest bathing and enjoying the colours of spring , fresh greens, the purple of blue bells and the bright white of Ramson flowers. The Ramson has also filled my nostrils with the wonderful smell of garlic. I love the taste of Wild Garlic which is the alternative named used to Ramson. It is best eaten raw. At this time of the year I do some foraging and gather just enough to add as a garnish to salads. You can eat the whole plant including the flowers and bulb. I like to eat it with goat cheese and crackers.

Whilst visiting Lasgarn Wood in Abersychan and gorging myself on a a few mouth fulls of garlic I heard calling above my head the wonderful melody of a Wood Warbler in full song. I looked up into the treetops and up in the canopy was the Wood Warbler.

These birds are summer migrants. They winter as far south as the Sahara Desert in Africa so this bird has probably not long arrived in Gwent ready to establish a territory and find a mate. Wood Warblers are not a particularly common site these days so it was nice be serenaded by one in a local wood.

Further North of lasgarn I have been also walking the hills of Gwent in Blaenavon and the Blorenge. The uplands are now alive with birds returning to breed. It was wonderful to see the Wheatears are in good numbers with males and females now present. Many can be found on the old stone walls that border the fields and common-land throughout the area.

Wheatear( Male)

Wheatear ( Female)

I've also been spent sometime walking the Clydach Heritage Trail in Gilwern and found a new waterfall that I have not photographed previously in the gorge. The Forgehammer Bridge spans the River Clydach where it spills over into quite a large plunge-pool. The banks of the river are steep and sheer in places but where the river levels out Wild Garlic was growing forming a thick carpet and looked fabulous.

Ramson aka " Wild Garlic".

Forgehammer Birdge

The plunge pool

The whole area is beautiful. The paths along the gorge are bordered by swathes of Wild Ramson flowers and the accompanying waft of garlic which I adore.

The River Clydach sweeps down the gorge.

 Listening to the water rushing quickly over the falls into the pool below was very relaxing and refreshing and gave me a real feel good factor.

The pictures of the waterfall were taken with my DJI Air2S drone. Had to be careful of the trees but the area was very quiet.

In terms of birding my highlight was watching a pair of Dippers from a distance.

Gwent has truly magical places to enjoy if your willing to go out and gorge on some garlic :)

I will finish this post with my image of the day. Its a multi image picture edited in black and white showing the bridge and the waterfall - a very different perspective that cannot be obtained with conventional means.


  1. Lovely, Blair. I haven't been to Clydach Gorge for many years.

    I hope you don't mind if I point out that the common name for wild garlic is ramson, usually in the plural as "ramsons" . But not a ransom. Kidnappers usually want more than a few wild garlic plants to release their hostages.


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