Wind sculpted hawthorn by the Welsh Coastal Path near Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
We walked the 11 miles of the coast path between Aberystwyth and Llanon on a beautifully still day, with plenty of warm September sunshine. Everything was peaceful and quiet, the sea lapping gently at the foot of the cliffs below us. Seeing trees like this is a reminder that this is a very exposed stretch of coastline. We saw the aftermath of the damage that the terrible storms last winter caused up and down the coast, shattered paving on the promenade at Aberystwyth, crumbling edges of fields and gardens, coastal defences torn up and scattered along the beach.
The prevailing weather comes from the south west, where Atlantic fronts tear in across Cardigan Bay. The only trees that can grow in the face of such forces are tough specimens like this hawthorn, growing parallel to the ground.