08 March 2016

It’s a sign: Wales, part one

My previous blogs about signs in different countries around the world have always proved popular so, from my first six months’ living in Wales, here are a few of what this country has to offer.

Which way? I had a map and even I was confused by this one. A number of public footpaths intersect at this point in the leafy greenness of Long Wood, in the Forest Farm Nature Reserve, near Cardiff, which is not really surprising, as these broadleaf woodlands are ancient and people have probably been walking these paths for hundreds, if not thousands of years.   

Sometimes I think urban and state authorities get a little carried away with their signage requirements. The danger sign at left may once have been a good idea but is now in the middle of quite a dense patch of trees and scrub so no one is going to be swimming or paddling anywhere thereabouts. And, though I’ve been across the stream pictured in the photo on the right after several days of heavy rain, the little bridge has still been useable and I’ve never seen the water high enough to be called deep.

One of the many things I like about living in Wales is the Welsh language – not that I know more than a few words, mind you. It’s difficult enough to pronounce the few I do know, never mind learning a new language at my advanced age. But I like to see it being used, and most signs are bilingual. You may think it’s a bit mean asking people not to feed the birds but this is near a wetland reserve where, I assume, they don’t want to encourage a huge influx of scavenging gulls.

How considerate is this? Kudos to the team at Cardiff’s beautiful Bute Park for providing hot thirsty dogs with their very own access steps at several points along the old canal, though I’m thinking most dogs would quite like to just run and jump!

I don’t have a smart phone so I can’t read the QR code on the sign above but that image looks like a snake to me and, though there are only 3 snake species native to Britain and I would quite like to get photographs of them, just the idea of one of them hiding in the long grass is more than enough to warn me off. Signs like this, pointing out the locations of birds, butterflies, orchids, etc are common in the nature reserves here.

I’m not exactly sure what the sign at left is all about. Maybe it’s indicating where the cycle lane begins for north-bound cycling traffic. What I like about it is the Welsh word for north which I thought, at a quick glance, said google!

If you liked these Welsh signs you might also enjoy these: signs in Peru, in Cambodia, in England part one and part two and part threeand in New Zealand.    

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