Neyland Marina to End of Westfield Wildlife Reserve

Before setting off on your walk from Neyland via the Marina and the Wild -Life Sanctuary on to the cycle path leading to Johnston and onto Haverfordwest, observe just a short History of Neyland. The Town was founded by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.  It was a little village on the Haven known as Little Milford. When the railway became established in 1853, the fishing industry also settled around the rail yard and with Brunel’s vision the Irish Ferry from Neyland to Rosslare Ireland started to trade.

The walk commences from the Marina Café, but before you start take a seat and look out over the boats in the Marina. On the other side you will see the remains of a small jetty on the land. At the land at the back is the site of the old ice factory which supplied the trawlers for their fishing trips out into Irish seas and beyond when a fishing industry was based in Neyland 1908.  As you walk up past the Marina Basin, the variety of boats in the lower and upper basins are very interesting to look at. When you pass through the first set of gates, you go through the first of many cuttings in rocks made by Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s labourers when completing his historic construction of the Great western Railway from London, Paddington, with his envisaged transatlantic shipping line to America. When you look at the rock they cut through it was all done by hand with perhaps a little help with explosives.

For the next few hundred yards you pass under a road bridge built in 1970 leading to the toll bridge crossing over the River Cleddau completed in 1975.You then come to the next set of gates which leads you into the Wild Life sanctuary and Cycle Path. There are information boards which give an insight to many birds and wild life you may expect to see on your walk, the peace and quiet from no traffic – only the sound of the country is there for your enjoyment – the water on your right and woodland and small cliffs on the left. There is now a new zig zag foot path built from the (main Pembroke Dock/Milford haven road) recently to enable cycling, wheelchair, etc access to the nature trail.

If you look carefully you can see signs of were the rail line passed.  This part of the walk takes you to the first old level crossing.  If you go down to the little bridge which used to be a ford and look to your right you will see in the under growth the ruins of a small reservoir and left, over the walls, the pump house which pumped water over the top of the hill overlooking the old rail line. It was gravity fed to the Neyland Rail Yard for the steam trains. It is well worth spending a little time around this area looking at all the fauna, birds, the history and enjoy the tranquillity.

If you feel you would like to go further, the walk is well maintained  with a tarmac surface suitable for wheelchair access for a further six or seven miles passing by and through two other old rail crossings, and the village of Rosemarket, leading on to Johnston and Haverfordwest.

(Dennis Stolliday)