Tunnel Cottages wildlife & heritage

Wildlife Animals & Heritage

Wildlife

The site is blessed with many woodland birds including green and spotted woodpecker, jay as well as swallows - who raise their young in the stables during the summer.

Buzzards and red-kite patrol the skies by day and of course owls by night.

All manner of small animals and rabbits share natures table with squirrels and foxes, and Shetland ponies graze the fields. Occasionally the neighbouring farm's Highland cattle are brought in to graze.


Industrial Heritage

Nature has reclaimed the hillsides ravaged by coal and steel. Echos of Wales' industrial heritage are now stumbled upon like relics of an earlier civilisation.

Two hundred yards from the gate you are confronted by the gaping mouth of Merthyr Tunnel, now gagged with concrete blocks. This is the only visible remains of the industrial railway linking the fiefdom of the Merthyr Iron Masters to the black gold of the Rhondda Valleys.

This was the very engine-room of the industrial revolution which turned these valleys into a melting pot of humanity and made men such as the Marquis of Bute amongst the richest in the world. By contrast the hardships of the working man were meanly rewarded, leading to the deep-seated traditions of trade-unionism and the labour movement in South Wales.

Even when the unions were brought to their knees in the 1980's, Maerdy was known as little Moscow, it being a hotbed of communism: As well as his wartime leadership Winston Churchill is remembered for sending strike-braking troops into the valleys.