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Members of The Glamorgan Smallholders recently met up for a field trip with a difference. As with other communities the smallholders have also been affected by the last two years of Covid-19 restrictions and it was wonderful to be able to have the opportunity to meet as a group and to enjoy a sunny day at the coast.

The title of the walk was 'What's REALLY under your feet?. A walk through the pastures of time” and how it affects farming in the Vale of Glamorgan. The membership of the Glamorgan Smallholders is very diverse and many members have had previous careers before settling on agriculture, be it full-time, part-time or just having an interest in rural life in Glamorgan.

The introduction walk started with a social breakfast meeting before the group moved on to Barry Island with Vicky Phillips. Vicky is a Geologist, who has a wealth of experience working in the international oil industry both inland and offshore before settling back in the Vale as a lecturer. Although not her normal student base, the Smallholders made an interested and enthusiastic group.

Vicky Philips said, “The Glamorgan Heritage Coast has an abundance of geology that is highly visible so makes the ideal venue for the beginner. The natural place to start was the cliff face, Whitmore Bay, Barry, where the rock sequence is clearly exposed and is easy for the first time observer to see and understand how it formed.”

Rebecca Williams said, “I had no idea just how old and how fascinating our coastline is. Having someone talk us though the geology of the land and explain how the rock formation was created and just how long ago it happened was mind blowing. How many people just walk past and have no idea just how old the coastline is?.” 

The group continued out to Friars Point where Vicky explained about the formation of the bay.

Vicky added, “I had arranged the walk as a taster and was delighted at the response from the group. They were so enthusiastic and inactive we could have done a day easily. 

The plan is to revisit the coast later in the season at another location to see the geology there and compare it with what we know already about the land we farm.”

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