Garnwen’s Gourmet Goats

The rocky top of Garnwen

Cilwenin seen from the top of Garnwen. Photo credit Ann Hughes.

The photo above was taken from Garnwen, a rocky outcrop at the Fishguard end of Dinas. This was one of my favourite places, as a child on holiday in Dinas. I loved running over the rocks to the top where I could get a good view of the surrounding countryside

Aber Bach

Aber Bach seen from the top of Garnwen – Dinas Cross. Photo credit Ann Hughes.

and making, what I thought was a perilous climb down the back of the hill to a narrow ledge where I considered myself perfectly hidden from any seekers. I shared this childhood delight with Ann Hughes,  today’s Guest Contributor, who was more observant than I was.

Garnwen is the home of a rare white violet called “viola lactea”. When I was a child, I always wondered why some of the violets were so pale and my explanation was that they had bleached in the sun! It was only in the 80s when a friend who is a botanist took an interest in our pale violet that we were told what it is. At the time we had clumps of milky white flowers but since then the land has been grazed by goats and I couldn’t find any on this visit that are completely white. You can see, however that they are very pale compared with ordinary violets and most of them are hybrids of the two. Another characteristic is that the leaf is longer and narrower. Only one other site has been identified in Dinas and that is near the viewpoint on Dinas mountain.


Searching for Viola Lactea on Garnwen. Photo credit Ann Hughes


Viola Lactea or a hybrid? Photo credit Ann Hughes.

Violets in Dinas Cross.

Very pale violets. Photo credit Ann Hughes.

I like the linguistic confusion of ‘white violet’. It led me to think of other possibilities – ‘green orange’ ‘yellow pink’ ……

About bookvolunteer

I'm passionate about books, about Oxfam and about making the world a better place. When I'm not filling the shelves in Oxfam Wilmslow, I might be found reading the books I've bought in the beautiful surroundings of North Pembrokeshire.
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2 Responses to Garnwen’s Gourmet Goats

  1. simon682 says:

    The landscape and the sea look so inviting in this spring weather; the violets are rather special.

  2. cilshafe says:

    Fascinating. I will look out for these.
    The idea that goats eat anything is a myth. They consistently eat what you don’t want them to eat, not what you do.

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