SN5986 : Cliff and foreshore beneath Moelcerni

taken 6 years ago, near to Llangorwen, Ceredigion/Sir Ceredigion, Great Britain

Cliff and foreshore beneath Moelcerni
Cliff and foreshore beneath Moelcerni
Almost from the start of my involvement with Geograph, I have pondered the status of SN5886.

Lying some 2 km north of Clarach Bay on the Ceredigion coast, beneath the hill of Moelcerni, the square was marked ‘all at sea’ by Geograph, but current mapping showed foreshore tantalisingly close to its south east corner. Given that the OS map only to the Mean Low Water Mark, surely the SE corner of the square would be exposed as ‘land’ at lower states of the tide? The earliest national grid map, the 1953 6” sheet, did show the MLWM just crossing the SE corner of the square, with a couple of small ‘islands’ of un-described form. However, the ‘more accurate’ 1974 25” map shows the MLWM just outwith the corner of the square. Examination of imagery didn’t help because the state of the tide is not known when it is captured and, anyway, it is impossible to know if one is looking through water when viewing it.

Time goes by and I occasionally re-checked the status of the square but it was unchanged. If it were possible to get into it, would this not have been achieved by now by one of those intrepid geograph-ers who specialise in capturing the more arcane squares? The only way to establish the status was, of course, to visit the site. On checking the local tide times, a suitably low tide was shown for 15:04 on Weds. 6th April.

Parking at the free car park at Clarach Bay GR SN5866884037, I walked 2 km north along coastal path to Wallog and then onto the beach there GR SN5897785691. I arrived just after 14:00 and so had a bit of a wait to see if the theory was correct. Actually, I was able to just get into the square almost immediately but only by a couple of metres – not enough to satisfy myself that it was captured, given GPS inaccuracies. After about 15 minutes more of the sandy foreshore was exposed and I was able to get 8 metres in from the east and 47 metres from the south margins. With an indicated GPS accuracy of +/- 2.5 metres, I was satisfied that I was indeed ‘in the square’ and submitted the ‘first’ photo from that location. From my GPS log I find that my furthest ‘encroachment’ was GR SN5898886050 and I left the square at 14:35 – about half an hour before the lowest state of the tide.

All that remained was to retrace my steps back to Clarach Bay, with the satisfaction of having answered the question I had been pondering for several years – that it was indeed possible to get into SN5886 without swimming or taking off my boots and socks. To anyone who wishes to follow, check the tide tables and a second visitor point could be yours!

See other images of The taking of SN5886
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright John Lucas and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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Grid Square
SN5986, 50 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 6 April, 2016   (more nearby)
Friday, 8 April, 2016
Geographical Context
Coastal  Geological interest 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SN 5911 8616 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:27.3101N 4:4.4913W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SN 59049 85976
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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