Borth Submerged Forest

Borth Submerged Forest

Geological Feature


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The location of Borth's stretches intermittently for two to three miles along the shore between Ynys-las and Borth and lies about half-way between high and low water. What makes it a secret is that it is normally hidden under a layer of sand and is only exposed under certain circumstances.

On the rare occasions when it is fully exposed a flattened expanse of peat containing the remains of numerous prostrate trees is revealed. Pine (Pinus), alder (Alnus), oak (Quercus) and Birch (Betula) have all been identified. The root systems of the larger trees are generally spread horizontally, though some also grow downwards. This is typical of trees growing in fen woods where the high-water table keeps all the tree roots with the exception of alder in the aerated surface layers of the peat.

The remnants of fallen trees and stumps around the coastline are perhaps the most enticing evidence we have for the existence of long lost lands. They offer a tangible link to our ancestral landscape and have helped inspire numerous myths and legends of cities and countries swept away by the sea. Indeed, before their true nature was understood, they were believed to be the result of the biblical flood and were referred to as 'Noah's Trees'. They are revealed at low tide at many locations around the Welsh coast, from Rhyl and Abergele in the north, Borth and Newgale in the west to Amroth and Newport in the south. The preserved stumps of willow, hazel, oak, pine and birch are evidence of former woods and forests swamped by the encroaching tides and irrefutable testimony to the devastating effect of climate change.


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