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Badgers Lodge
SN707940 (1*) Irish Bridge
Sent in by Tony Curtis (01/01/04)

'Picture shows 4X4 going north to south but drivable by any vehicle in either direction. Approx 2/3 cars length over a well made concrete base. Depth at time of crossing, about 3 inches. Location at end of car park joining back onto minor road. Alternative route via minor road, so you can park up have a look and a play as much as you want.'

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SN601484 Image Wanted!

SN756532 (1*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Fred (02/03/2012)

'It is on a hardpacked gravel road with very steep hairpin bends so definately a 4x4 road but I'm not sure if it is still a legal vehicle route now '

Bwlchgwallter Ford
SN764725 (1*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Richard Thompson (11/10/2006)

'About 2 yards accross with access to a very remote farmhouse. On a RUPP now downgraded to restricted byway. 4X4 + Trail bikes only past farm. No footbridge.'

SH609109 (1*) Irish Bridge
Sent in by Marc Asquith (26/01/2014)

'I have never seen it wet but it is marked on the map and the road looks like it runs from time to time.'

Claerwen Farm (x2!)

SN805677 (2*) Restricted Access
SN823682 (1*) Restricted Access
Sent in by Richard Thompson (11/10/2006)

'The first is to the west of the farm and about 5 yards across with a rocky bottom. Can get very fast flowing after heavy rain - I have had to push motorcycle across, whilst leaning up stream (Image 1)'

'The second is to the North of the Farm and is a UCR on the Ceredigion side, but a byway with a TRO on the Powys side. It is suitable for experienced trail bikes only due to the 12" rocky bottom.'

'These are on a well known byway, known as the Monks Trod, which has an almost permanent TRO jointly issued by the 2 County Councils. The TRO has been agreed by CRAG/GLASS and I think the TRF, as being correct as the byway crosses a known impossibly deep peat bog that is also a SSSi. All parties agree that the use of this "lane" is totally inappropriate and that any use should be totally discouraged. Please approach the relevant bodies for advice before visiting.' Graham Davis

SN738827 (2*) Suitable for All
Sent in by John Brown (01/09/2003)

Details by Graham Davies
'Easy ford for any vehicle on a tight bend, with a tarmac base and wooden bridge. Warning and "brakes" signs but no depth gauge. About a cars length and 2-3" deep. Mouseover sent in by Geoff McGladdery (06/03/2006)'

SN317445 (3*) Restricted Access
Sent in by Andrew Babbs and Peter Ryan (17/10/2004)

'This ford is more for the enthusiasts with 4x4s and I did not take my car through. A concrete bridge (for vehicles) has now been built alongside the ford but the latter is still fully accessible. On the northern approach down into the river there is a concrete ramp, the river bed being loose river gravel. The southern ramp is fine gravel with some grass. The river depth was between 6” and 9”. The width of the river between the two ramps is probably about 20 feet. (It’s on the white road north-west from Dolgian, and not where the yellow road crosses the river.)'

Eglwys Fach
SN684957 (3*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Rob Loupart (14/09/2009)

'Easy shallow ford alongside tarmac road bridge. Stoney base and about 8" of water. Some wet grass on steapish entry and exit.'

SN541697 (3*) Suitable for All
Sent in by John Brown (01/09/2003)

'Busy and pleasant little concrete-bottomed ford, 5m across and 2in deep, in seaside resort village. Bilingual Ford signs, broad footbridge with ramps - I thought this might be for wheelchair users, but they've put a big post across the middle of each ramp entrance to prevent such delinquency.'

'The ford has been fitted with gates and is quite often shut. Not sure if it's shut full-time, but certainly any time it's likely to be deep or icy. It's possible it's shut all the time now - has been every time I've been past recently, much to my annoyance as it's a useful shortcut, and most of my vehicles aren't bothered by water unless it's over a foot deep.' Austin Shackles

'I pass it every day on my way to work and use it when it's open. It has had gates since about 2004, and is closed between October and Easter. Prior to that it would be closed early in the morning after heavy rain by local govt. Highways staff, and this arrangement still applies during open periods if it suddenly shows a rise in depth or fast flow. It's been deep and fast for many weeks this winter, 'cos we seem to have had daily rain for months. It's passable, when open, to all vehicles. I've used a smart car (my daily transport and used through lots of fords locally), MG ZR (which took on water and developed a cough which lasted for days), Skoda Octavia, Peugeot 106, Honda CB500, BMW K1200LT and finally Isuzu Trooper which didn't notice its existence at all. It is a useful shortcut from the B4337 to the A487, avoiding lengthy waits at a T- junction onto the A487. It is a lovely green and peaceful spot despite the busy roads it links and the footbridge is a pleasant place to stand and ponder life, the universe, etc. I see a Heron there every morning. When the gates are open it ignores passing traffic while it waits to catch its breakfast.' Phillip Deacon

Lluest Grafia
SN751914 (3*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Richard Thompson (11/10/2006)

'From the West the road is passable for 4x4 and bikes but the Eastern approach is for experienced off roaders only through very boggy ground. (Years ago there was no evidence on the ground of any route, so it was take the driest line. Now 4x4s have made a track) Gravel bottom to ford but can be very deep after heavy rain.

The RUPP in Ceridegion leads to the ford but once it crosses the river Afon Llechwyd-Fawr into Powys it becomes a bridleway so officially not legal in vehicles. Since May 2005 it is also illegal to use with a vehicle a RUPPs which has not had a claim for Byway lodged for it ! '

Maes Llyn
SN366441 (2*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Andrew Babbs and Hiroyuki & Kumiko Kasahara (02/09/2004)

'It is a proper ford with concrete base (partially covered with tarmac). It is suitable for all vehicle types. The water depth was about 3” when I drove through and it was just over a car length from dry road to dry road. There is a small foot bridge on the upstream side of the ford.'

SN783892 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Richard Thompson (11/10/2006)

'About 5 yards across with a rocky bottom. On a RUPP now downgraded. Suitable for both 4x4s and trail bikes.'

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SN579624 Image Wanted!

SN699873 (2*) Suitable for All
Sent in by John Brown (01/09/2003)

'Watersplash on shale public byway, accessible by car from the south-west, although the ORPA beyond is strictly for 4x4s. Footbridge. Note correct map ref is SN698873 and spelling on OS 1:25K map is as above.'

SN798796 (1*) Restricted Access
Sent in by John Brown (01/09/2003)

'At the far end of a long and attractive uninhabited valley, this stony ford is part of a network of Forestry Commission roads accessible to cyclists and horse riders, and once much used on car rallies. 6m across and 4in deep. No footbridge.'

SN763572 (2*) Irish Bridge
Sent in by Christine Conely (18/06/2003)

'A part-time ford which was quite deep at this time and normal cars could have flooded their engines if they were not careful!'

SN755860 (2*) Restricted Access
Sent in by John Brown (01/09/2003)

'No access is now available to this ford. Both gates are padlocked by the Hydroelectric Co. It was made as a contractor's road for the dam construction, linking the two sides before the road across the dam itself was completed, and is still maintained in case the road across the dam needs to be closed for any reason. Originally it had a proper concrete ford; the Irish bridge replaced this a few years later. Before the dam was opened in the mid-sixties, there was no road at all through this point and northwards. The ford is clearly visible from the dam top and is regularly used on car rallies'

SN674788 (4*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by John Brown (01/09/2003)

Details by Graham Davies:
'Access from the north is via a gated narrow overgrown 4x4 track, from the south by a 3 ply road and then a 4x4 only track through a farm yard and gate. Ford is about 40yds long across a wide fast flowing river. River stone bottom. Depth could not be judged but not for the faint hearted and you would probably need a snorkel and periscope!!! 4/5*?'

Details by John Brown:
'I crossed it on 30 August 2003 in my Mitsubishi L-200, with no snorkel gear or other preparation - but the sill IS 18in above the ground! It was a great experience. Sadly as I was on my own I could not get any images of the car doing its stuff, but Image 1 shows the view from the south annd Image 2 from the north.

With my Brantz tripmeter I measured the width as 42m, and my trusty old wooden 3ft rule, dipped into the water at the deepest point, read 14in. Even at the end of summer, the access roads were not particularly overgrown, and an ordinary car should be OK on either side.

A word of warning: it is a short distance downstream of a hydroelectric station and reservoir, and sometimes water surges can be released. It's a good idea to check at the visitor centre at SN697795 before crossing.'

SN487605 (3*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Chris Marsh (03/11/2003)

'No I didn't!! Would love to see a photo at the normal level to see just how wise the decision was!'

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SN518634 Image Wanted!

Strata Florida (x16!)

SN784624 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN786623 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN789621 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN791619 (1*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN793618 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN796614 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN798614 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN802609 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN805609 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN806609 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN808608 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN809597 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN810601 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN806592 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN808853 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
SN810601 (1*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by John Brown (01/09/2003)

'The old mountain road from Strata Florida to Nantystalwyn, emerging on to the Devil's Staircase road between Tregaron and Abergwesyn, was always one of Wales' roughest, loneliest and most daunting byways. In 1960, I traversed alone it in my standard and already rather battered Ford 100E Anglia (continuing to Llandovery by the track that went through what is now the Llyn Brianne reservoir, now replaced by a good tarred road). It was difficult then, with several stretches of bare bedrock; today, that trip would be impossible, as some of my images show.

The road has changed in character. The wild empty uplands of the Cambrian Mountains have been blanketed by the conifers of Tywi Forest, whose much better logging roads run parallel to, and from time to time crisscross, the old way, offering an escape route for anyone who has had enough. It is looks better used than before, no doubt by a new generation of off-roaders in 4x4s and on bikes; but is is even rougher, with fearsome rocky holes and ledges than no low car could negotiate. It is now shown on the OS 1:25K as an ORPA in Ceredigion and a RUPP in Powys; but parts of it are not shown at all on the 1:50K, and others are shown as a path (although as there are no footbridges walkers would need thigh-boots).

One feature of "the Strata Florida" remains: the numerous stream crossings that make it one of the most ford-rich roads in Britain. On my trip on 30 August 2003, in a high Mitsubishi L-200, I counted some 16 proper fords in a stretch of just five kilometres (sorry, my tripmeter isn't calibrated in miles), not to mention literally scores of big puddles, up to 100m or more in length, and a foot deep in places. As this was at the end of an exceptionally hot month, you can expect much more water at other times of year!

Here is my record of the fords and other features of interest encountered, running north to south. Distances are in km.

At the end of the asphalt road at SN755646, the public byway is the rougher and narrower track running to the left of, and just above, the Forest Enterprise road (which has a "No Entry for Unauthorised Vehicles" sign). There are no fords on this for the first 1.5km, during which it crosses the Forestry road twice. I zeroed my trip at the third crossing, at SN747640, where the old road goes off the the right of the Forestry road. Almost immediately, keep straight on along the rougher and narrower track.

0.51 First biggish puddle - one of many
0.67 Gate (and second puddle)
1.71 At top of hill, gate into forest. Immediately after, bear right on good forest road, then in a few yards leave this to the left. Lots of long deep puddles in next stretch.
2.57 Cross forest road
2.87 Ford 1 SN784624: small, rough and deepish ford (Image 1)
3.11 Ford 2 SN786623 - small ford, no image obtained (image wanted!)
3.35 Gate out of forest
3.48 Ford 3 SN789621: small stream across road making puddle (Image 2)
3.73 Ford 4 SN791619: big, deep ford on left bend, 13m across and 15in deep; after this, road follows stream bed for 195m (208m total). (Image 3)
4.08 Ford 5 SN793618: small stream making puddle, counted as ford as it's flowing water (Image 4).
4.55 Ford 6 SN796614: small stream making big puddle, marked as Ford on 1:25K (Image 5)
4.76 Ford 7 SN798614: 12in deep ford on bend, before gate into forest (Image 6)
5.00 Cross forest road
5.45 Ford 8 SN802609: on left bend, big ford 13m across & 16in deep (Image 7)
5.77 Ford 9 SN805609: big ford across side stream, 11m across and 14in deep (Image 8)
5.81 Ford 10 SN806609: nice ford, about 7m across (Image 9)
6.05 Ford 11 SN808608: medium-to-good ford. (Image 10)
6.15 Ford 12 SN809597: big ford, 19m across and 15in deep (Image 11)
6.88 Ford 13 SN810601: deepish ford to bedrock exit ramp (Image 12)
6.94 Ford 14 SN810601: shortly after Ford 13; severe rock ledge on north ramp; just before gate into forest (Image 13)
7.88 Ford 15 SN806592: stony watersplash shortly after gate to open moorland (Image 14)
(Ford at SN807582 not noticed)
8.98 Ford 16 SN808583: pretty, rocky watersplash (Image 15)
10.40 Rejoin Forestry-standard road; bear right downhill. Shortly pass through gate to join asphalt Abergwesyn - Tregaron Mountain Road.'

SN776944 (1*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Richard Thompson (11/10/2006)

'About 2 yards across. The UCR actually ends at the ford before becominga footpath. Leads eventually to Nant y Moch Dam. Suitable for trail bikes only.'

SN550572 (2*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Hiroyuki & Kumiko Kasahara (18/07/2006)

'A shallow ford with concrete bottom, foot bridge, but no signs'

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SN574692 Image Wanted!

SN674717 (3*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by John Brown (01/09/2003)

'Both approaches are good motorable roads, although the western side is not tarred as shown on the OS 1:50K map. The ford itself is a full-blooded river crossing over a stony bed, 20m across and 8in deep even in summer. There is a footbridge about 300m upstream.'

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