#RideMore 2 & 3, Deeper into Kenfig National Nature Reserve.

Surf Kenfig

The plan back in January was simple, #RideMore this year. It isn’t going well. I have managed three surfs this year, all of which have been at Kenfig Sands. My first surf was #RideMore 1 at Sker Beach, you can read about that here.

To Sker beach

#RideMore 2 was also at Sker Beach which is at the southern end of Kenfig sands. Kenfig sands is a massive beach which runs along the coast of Kenfig National Nature Reserve. It is almost two miles long. Walking to Sker is a good mile too. Here is the beach in all its glory.

Sker Beach

It is a rocky beach but has consistent surf. It has similar surf to Rest Bay but doesn’t have the problem of crowds that Rest has.  Just like Rest Bay it is tide dependent and often gets too high on the rocks to surf at high tide.

Sker, Kenfig Sands

As you move up the beach from Sker, Kenfig Sands gets much less rocky. So for #RideMore 3 I headed further along the coast.

Kenfig Sands

Unfortunately that is a massive hike to undertake. You do get to take in the natural beauty of Kenfig National Nature Reserve as you walk. Moly is keen for me to say that it is orchid season and you can see a range of orchids at Kenfig. If you are lucky you may see a rare Fen Orchid. Here is a Southern Marsh Orchid Molly spotted further down the coast in Newton, Porthcawl.

Molly spots a Southern Marsh Orchid

Orchids aside, there is a haul road that runs along the coast from Sker Beach that can be used to access any point on Kenfig Sands, it all depends how far you want to walk. Kenfig is a massive sand dune ecosystem so dunes often block your view of the beach.

IMG_20160506_145323-01_wm

Luckily National Resources Wales has been doing some serious dune rejuvenation works in the area, digging through some of the larger dunes. This gives great points to access the beach. I went in here.

Kenfig Dunes

I caught it when the tide was too high, but it was surfable. It was steep like a French shore break. I would like to try and surf there several hours either side of high tide. The steepness of the beach at high tide meant that in about twenty metres you went from neck deep to ankle deep. Not good for your board, or body, seeing as I sprained my wrist in the shallows. An injury that has really set back my plan to #RideMore.

Kenfig DimExcuses

I am into three weeks of RICE (rest, ice, compression & elevation) and hope to be back in the water next weekend. In the meantime there is always orchid spotting.

Tongue Out Molly

The plan is to hike even further down the beach next time, DimExcuses.

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#RideMore 1. First surf of the year, Sker beach 20th May 2016.

Surfing Kenfig

Shockingly I haven’t surfed this year before today!  A cold spring and just a busy life has kept me out of the sea. Back in January several us decided that we should try and surf, ride and snowboard as much as we can this year. Replacing the #Mentro21 challenge where I set out to surf 21 times last year, this year there is no target, just an attempt to #RideMore.

Kenfig NNR

So today I did get in the water at Sker beach, Kenfig, Bridgend. This involves a half hour walk in a wetsuit from Kenfig National Nature Reserve Centre to the beach. So I can’t take any photo at the beach. So you just get these few shots at the reserve centre.

Kenfig Dunes

The weather was cloudy and surf a messy 2 foot on a incoming high tide. The water is warming, but a winter suit, boots and gloves meant the surfing was a hard slog, especially if you are rusty from a winter off. I basically had an hour long kicking from the sea broken up by three good rides. Plenty to build on as I get into my quest to #RideMore. I had better get back out there quick, DimExcuses.

Mentro 14, Sker gets Scarey. Kenfig, Bridgend 17th July 2015.

Keeper of the Dunes

What a strange day, today was in this unusual July. The weather didn’t know what it was doing and the surf didn’t know what it was doing. Very unsettled and changeable. With a big swell and some onshore wind it wasn’t going to be nice surf anywhere so I went in at Sker Beach, the far end of Kenfig Sands within Kenfig National Nature Reserve. I wrote about #MyGreenSpace Kenfig Nature Reserve here. This was the fourteenth session in my #Mentro21 surf project.

Kenfig

This was the third Friday evening that I surfed Sker Beach, Kenfig on my own. This time there was not a soul there. Not a good sign as there is usually a couple of other surfers braving the half hour walk to get a wave on this massive uncrowded wild Beach.

Kenfig Nature Reserve Parking

No photos of the Beach again as you have to leave everything at Kenfig National Nature Reserve Centre before making the long sandy walk through the Dunes. On the plus side there is loads of free parking at the Centre and it is easy to find from Junction 37 of the M4.

Signpost to Sker Beach

The large oak Keeper of the Dunes will point you on your way to the Beach.

Kenfig Keeper

The surf was messy, windy and a good three foot. On your own that is big dark and scarey. The surf was as wild and raw as the the scarweather Sker beach is itself. It is a long hard walk to that beach, but if you get there you get a wide wild Bay pretty much to yourself. There might be one or two other surfers there, and one of them might be me, DimExcuses.

Mentro 11 Kenfig Sands & Mentro 12 Rhossili. A tale of two beaches.

Kenfig NNR

Not really a tale more of a quick update. No #Mentro21 project updates for over a week, and then like buses two come at once. The #Mentro21 project to go surfing twenty one times this year is going really well, I am half way now.

Rhossili Head

Just like the week before last, I got a surf in at Sker Beach, Kenfig Sands (Mentro 9) on Friday night after work and then made it to Rhossili Bay, Gower (Mentro 10) on the Saturday. The long walk from Kenfig National Nature Reserve Centre to Sker Beach I have been doing on my own, bare foot and in my wetsuit. It takes half an hour and means I can’t take my camera for any beach shots. You will have to make do with Kenfig pool and its famous tree.

Kenfig Pool Tree

To find out more about Kenfig National Nature Reserve read the #MyGreenSpace post from a couple of weeks ago.

It was quite small at Sker Beach and overcast, but I got a few waves. It was interesting to see the pebble beds at low tide so that I now know where they are and can avoid them. Sker isn’t a totally sandy beach and walking over the peoples underwater can be tricky. But what a difference a day makes! The next day Rhossili was a bit on the big side with a horrible onshore wind messing everything up.

Rhossili Bay

The sun was out and it was the National Trust Big Beach Picnic so the carpark, headland and Beach were really busy. The Trust have been really making the most of Rhossili since buying the car park. The pinic looked like a great event and these four got the prime picnic spot!

National Trust Big Beach Picnic

A great day but not the best surf. Well at least I ‘mentro allan’, ventured out. Twelve surfs down, nine to go, DimExcuses.

Mentro 9, the Keeper of the Bulldog, meets the Keeper of the Dunes. Sker Beach, June 2015.

Keeper of the Dunes meets the Keeper of the Bulldog

This is a quick update on the #Mentro21 project to surf 21 times this year. It has been very much Rhossili dominated recently, so I wanted to mix it up a bit. Occasionally working in Kenfig National Nature Reserve puts me a mere half hour walk (barefoot in a wetsuit) from Sker Beach, the most eastern corner of Kenfig Sands, Bridgend, Wales.

Surf Keepers

It is just around from Rest Bay, isolated by Sker Point and Pink Bay, but receiving the same surf as Rest Bay. The long walk through the Dunes ensuring only a handful of surfers surfng the Beach.

It was a good swell, at least 2 foot, but blown about by the onshore wind, heavy but rideable. There are what I can only call pits of boulders in the sand which makes for tricky walking out but apart from that it is a pretty much a sandy beach.

Keepers Rockingin the Free World

I have no photos of Sker, because I wasn’t going to leave my camera on the Beach when I surfed. But I did get some photos with the keeper of the Dunes, apparently modelled on Gemma McLean, former Bridgend Sustainably Officer. Even if you don’t get to the beach, Kenfig is well worth a visit, one of Bridgend’s finest green spaces, and certainly at the top of #MyGreenSpace favourites. Another day, another Beach, nine down, twelve to go, I better get on it, DimExcuses.

#MyGreenSpace is Yellow Today, Kenfig National Nature Reserve, June 2015.

Kenfig NNR

In Bridgend we are well into the #MyGreenSpace campaign, helping people discover and share the green spaces important to them. So with a sunny day in June I find myself in Bridgend’s jewel in the crown green space, Kenfig National Nature Reserve.

Keeper of the Dunes

It is a massive sand dune reserve, with spectacular lake, salt marsh and expansive beach. Even the lake has a little beach too, “Hey girls, you are on Molly’s Beach, watch out for the bulldog”!

Molly's Beach

But as I was accompanied by the frenzied frenchton Molly, apparently it was about the massive field of buttercups you can find there at the moment.

Buttercup Molly

A very yellow #MyGreenSpace. So why not go to the #MyGreenSpace section of our Natural Neighbourhoods Website to discover and share your favourite Bridgend Green Space, DimExcuses.