“Where are we going Mummy?” piped up C from the back seat of the car.
“On an adventure, is that Ok?”I ask.
“Yes, that is Ok” she said, nodding
JoJo giggled in agreement.
It is 6pm and far too warm to contemplate starting the bedtime routine. Instead we can fit in one quick outing before the sun sets. Down along the country lanes we go, passing the imposing gateway to Picton Castle, after which the road narrows considerably to almost become a single track lane. The trees arch overhead, forming a canopy of green as we reach our final destination.
Picton Point is the where the eastern and western Cleddau (pronounced cleth-aye) rivers meet. These rivers are quite special, and stretches of both have been afforded SSI status. Apparently they are one of the best rivers in the UK for Otters. They also provide sanctuary for various species of Lamprey, as well as the European Bullhead. Along the length of these two water courses, some 74km in total, exist several Special areas of conservation, with habitat for Marsh Fritillaries and Southern Damselflies.
We started our exploration from under the boughs of an ancient sessile oak, stooped so low the bottom branch has been propped up.
There is a waymarked walk along the banks of the Cleddau , left heads back inland , but C chooses to turn right along the path to the rope swing.
The tide was out. On the water, two kayakers quietly paddle along the estuary. Other than that our only company is wild. I can here an oystercatcher in the distance, and jackdaws overhead. Seaweed crackles and pops underfoot as we make our way along the shore.
Gnarly tree roots protrude from the bank and dangle above us, reminding me of when Frodo hides from the Ring Wraiths.
We trip trap over the boardwalk, a deep muddy tributary to the estuary beneath our feet. On all sides reeds rustle, and dragonflies flutter past their wings whirring mechanically. I think I saw a red darter, I can’t be sure as the light was dim and my camera too slow.
Finally we reach the swing. I settle JoJo on the floor, where she amuses herself with the shale. The rope dangles from the branches of an oak, thick and strong.C wanted a go, but at the same time was just a little bit afraid. She soon conquered her fear, she may be small but she is fierce!
I stood and admired the view, out across the millpond calm water to Landshipping. Boats clinked, bobbing on the incoming tide. A small black bird, probably a Shag, flew low and straight over the water.
A gaggle of Canada geese flew past in V formation, honking loudly as they go.
By now the light was beginning to fade so we retraced our steps, stopping to marvel at the piece of seahorse shaped deadwood.
Picton point is a real hidden gem in Pembrokeshire’s crown of natural beauty. I find it is somewhere to go when the world becomes a little too fast. Here you can metaphorically press the pause for just an hour or so, and watch the comings and goings of riparian life.