Dinas Island

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Dinas Island showing Pen-y-fan, its highest point, and Dinas Head. Also shown are the small settlements of Cwm-yr-Eglwys and Pwllgwaelod. Inset: location within Pembrokeshire
Dinas Island, showing Pwllgwaelod beach on the extreme right

Dinas Island is a peninsula located in the community of Dinas Cross between Fishguard and Newport, Pembrokeshire, in southwest Wales. It reaches a height of 466' (142m) above sea level at Pen-y-fan, marked by a triangulation point. Dinas Head is strictly the northernmost part of the promontory, where the cliffs meet the sea, but the name is sometimes loosely used to refer to this highest point.[1] Dinas Island is contained within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the headland is under the care of the National Trust.[2]

Dinas Island is a promontory partially detached from the mainland - hence its name; on its landward side it is bordered by a swampy valley cut by meltwater overflow from a glacial lake, melt water freed from reservoirs in the Prescelly Hills by the dwindling ice.[3][4] This was the same Ice Age melt-water that formed the Gwaun Valley further down the coast.[5]

Plant cover on Dinas Island is typical of a windswept cliff environment, with gorse, bracken and bramble, scrubby trees of hawthorn, blackthorn and hazel, and small oak and ash where there is shelter from the wind. There are also coastal wildflowers such as ling, scabious, thyme, heather, thrift, pennywort, foxglove, and orchids. Bluebells bloom in spring on the eastern slopes.[5] Feral goats at one time inhabited the headland until they were destroyed in 1947.[6]

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path, an 186 national trail, runs for 3 miles around the peninsula, offering extensive views across Fishguard Bay towards Strumble Head to the south-west, and across Newport Bay to the north-east. This section of the path can be accessed from Pwllgwaelod at its south-western end, and from Cwm-yr-Eglwys at its south-eastern end. Both these locations can be reached from Dinas Cross on the A487, and offer parking and public toilets. A path, suitable for wheelchair access, links the two.[7][8]

Pwllgwaelod is served by the "Poppit Rocket", a bus which follows the coastline from Fishguard to Cardigan, Ceredigion in the north.[9]

Much of Dinas Island is given over to sheep pasture, and Dinas Island Farm - jointly owned and run by the National Trust and the Perkins family,[10] and accessed from Pwllgwaelod - currently farms 1600 Lleyn ewes plus 400 followers on 600 acres. In 2012 it won the Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year Award and a National Grassland Management Award.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Visit Pembrokeshire website
  2. ^ Britain Express - Dinas Head
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms, Volume 1, p.374, by Eric C. F. Bird
  4. ^ The Geographical Magazine, Volume 42, Michael Huxley, 1969
  5. ^ a b BBC website - Dinas Island
  6. ^ Pembrokeshire Coast,1973, by Dilwyn Miles
  7. ^ Visit Pemprokeshire website
  8. ^ Description of walk
  9. ^ Pembrokeshire County Council website
  10. ^ "Farm facts | DINAS ISLAND FARM, near Newport, Pembrokeshire". Farmers Weekly. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  11. ^ Dinas Island farm
The coastal path on Dinas Island, near Dinas Head

External websites[edit]

Coordinates: 52°01′37″N 4°54′14″W / 52.027°N 4.904°W / 52.027; -4.904