Countryfile Magazine - - Great Days Out -


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 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.

Julie Bro­minicks

lives in Wales and writes about the coun­try­side.

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