Sunday, 2 April 2017

Burry Holms

Burry Holms feels old and remote. It’s easier to get on to than The Worm, but the views are not as spectacular. A long walk from Llangennith through the dunes, then north along the beach, a gentle scramble over the rocks and I’m on the grassy tidal island and as usual I’m the only one here.

Human history goes back millennia on this tiny piece of land, and although I see few signs, I can sense it. The few remains of a medieval church, now mostly overgrown, are a sure sign that this was once an important place.

The weather is still cold and there’s a bitter easterly wind. In some years I can be here without a jacket; this spring’s weather has felt more like January and I’m wrapped up with sweaters and a Barbour jacket. Underfoot there are few spring flowers, but when the soil finally warms up, the island will be covered in thrift and sea campion. At the westerly end I look out over the vast expanse of Carmarthen Bay, Pembrokeshire and the Atlantic. It’s wild out here. White spray flies back from the tops of myriads of waves, it feels raw and I sense the power of the sea.

Seabirds fight the currents flowing quickly out of the estuary. Cormorants and scoters make light of the rough conditions and the gulls seem to revel in the wind, alighting occasionally on the sea to take a morsel of food. There are no boats out here, any wanting to get across to the safely of the little harbour at Burry Port will have to wait for the tide, or maybe another day when the sea is kinder.

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