The Edge Of Alteration 2012

Waterfalls that have barely survived the effects of human intervention; Syfynwy Falls and Tareni Gleision.

Syfynwy Falls

These cascades were mentioned on OS maps until 1964, but their popularity waned due to the building of the Rosebush Reservoir, whose dam is immediately upstream of the cascades. The cascades are at their best when the reservoir is overflowing, which usually happens throughout the winter. However, I am told that at all times of year, the reservoir releases an amount of water into the river immediately upstream of the final cascade. It is important to note that there is no public access to the site, and it is essential that you ask for permission before visiting. They are unlikely to refuse, and you will get the added bonus of being able to find out if the reservoir is overflowing. The site is owned by Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water (who patrol the site regularly) as part of the Llys y Frân management area. Contact details are available on the Visit Pembrokeshire Web site.

My visit was made with permission, using the access route suggested by the Welsh Water staff. I will point out, however, that it is not a good route unless you have keys to the dam walkway, which I did not have. The easiest access route is to park on the side of the B4329 about 750 metres before its junction with the B4313, at the entrance to a forestry site. On the opposite side of the road is a footpath, and next to that is the gateway to the reservoir access track. The access track leads directly to the dam, where some steps lead down to the foot of the dam. Follow the path downstream to a platform over the river. The cascades can be seen upstream and downstream of the platform.

Tareni Gleision

Normally I would ignore such waterfalls on my lists, as it is not officially named, not a popular attraction, and on just another minor stream. The only reason it has made my lists is due to some photographs correctly indicating that it may be possible to easily walk behind. As it turns out, the waterfalls on this stream really do deserve some attention, but note that to see most of them, you will have to be prepared to fight your way up a steep slope, above very exposed crags. Only two of the waterfalls can be properly seen by walkers who only can only follow paths.

There is a large, dedicated parking area beside the A4067, directly opposite Godre'r-graig in the Tawe Valley (between Pontardawe and Ystalyfera). Visits are best made after several days of rain, since the stream has a very small catchment. It is also possible to access the upper waterfalls from a car park on the Tareni Gleision access road, but the path to the lower waterfalls from there has become too overgrown for most visitors.