PONT Y CAFNAU BRIDGE
Just below the confluence of the Afon Taf Fawr and the Afon Taf Fechan rivers is the world’s oldest surviving iron railway bridge, built in 1793 – now refurbished as a footpath.
CEFN-COED-Y-CYMMER VIADUCT AND WEIR
Cefn Coed Viaduct once carried a railway over the Taff but now carries the Taff Trail. The nearby Taf Fawr weir was improved by the South East Wales River Trust (SEWRT) to improve fish passage.
Boulders were added down river to stagger the flow, and pools deepened to allow the salmon resting room and jumping depth. To encourage spawning, 500 tons of gravel were added up river. “The salmon were spawning within three weeks of us making the improvements”, says Tony Rees MBE, Chair of SEWRT.
Once they’ve spawned, some salmon will die. “But,” says Tony, “if the fish have an easy passage and spawn without losing too much energy, they have a better chance of staying healthy and swimming out to sea again.”
So, come spring, will the young salmon – the smolts. En masse they swim to the sea, like silver lightning strikes.
lives in Wales and writes about the countryside.