E07: Minwear Woods
Grid Reference: SN058142
SatNav Co-ordinates: N 51.79305°, W 04.81868°
Minwear Woods next to the Eastern Cleddau has a network of public footpaths, including the Landsker Borderlands Trail, which provide glimpses and viewing points for spectacular vistas over the floodplains of the tidal river. The river has large fluctations in water salinity throughout the tidal cycle, which provide an interesting habitat for wildlife. The rich range of species thoughout the woodlands are spectacular in Autumn when burnished leaves and strange-shaped fungi make the woodlands an enchanting place. Situated within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the area is brimming with history. Although no longer open to the public, Blackpool Mill still stands proudly next to the river where it was once an important place for the local community. The powerful flows of the Eastern Cleddau river used to power the Mill, and ships used to sail up the Eastern Cleddau on the incoming tide to transport goods and deliver grain for milling.
From the Canaston Bridge roundabout on the A40 take the Tenby road and turn off to the right following signs for Blackpool Mill. Continue a short distance beyond the Mill to the car park at Minwear Woods on the right-hand side, where there is plenty of car parking space.
The Minwear Woodlands paths are accessible although rutted and steep in places. A little further along the road going south-west there is a large grassy area with picnic benches.
There are no facilities at the site.
Activities and Places of Interest nearby
Take time to imagine those sailing ships of old which used to heave their way up the Eastern Cleddau to Blackpool Mill, using the tidal flows and sheer skill to navigate the river to and from Blackpool Mill. A circular walk on the north side of the river, reached by crossing via Blackpool Bridge (a single span Grade II listed bridge), takes you to Slebech Park, where an ancient ruined chapel belonging to the Order of St John is sited on a small headland overlooking the river, in the grounds of Slebech Park hotel. The knights of St John have their roots in Jerusalem during the first crusade, and the Commandery or headquarters established at Slebech was granted land by the Norman knight Lodomer in 1150.
Landshipping Quay is another location on the Eastern Cleddau Trail worth visiting; a tranquil location, away from main roads and heavy industry, close (as the crow flies) to the confluence of the two Cleddau rivers at Picton Point. Landshipping is surrounded by agricultural land and a few residential houses, and the mudflats and salt marsh provide excellent opportunities for observing the movements of birds such as lapwing, shelduck, teal, widgeon and oyster catchers. Landshipping Quay itself has disappeared over the years and is no longer visible, although the site is still suitable for the landing and launching of boats. Historically, the Landshipping area was busy with the mining and export of coal, it is the site of Pembrokeshire’s worst mining disaster in 1844 when the waters of the Cleddau broke into the mine and 40 lives were lost. A plaque and memorial at the site commemorates this tragic event, it is said that those who were listed with the Christian name ‘Miner’ were women.