The Ffynnon Cadno blog

Hello and welcome to my blog page.

My name is John Wall and together with my wife Jill we run Ffynnon Cadno as a small, friendly Guest House. I hope to enter details of events that are happening in the locality, give details of places to visit and tell you about the many varied birds, animals, flora and fauna in the garden and in the surrounding area.

Long Tail Tits

Long Tailed Tits are rare visitors to the garden. They seem to appear a few times a year passing through in groups. This  time they seem to have found the bird feeder so perhaps they will stay a bit longer.



I have just been for a walk around the garden and there is frogspawn everywhere in the ponds, much earlier than last year. If the weather stays mild there should be a lot of tadpoles around before long.

Well it is now 24 February 2017 and there is frogspawn in the top pond and it looks as if it has been there for a few days. It gets earlier every year.

Previous blog posts

12 January 2016 Happy New Year to all our friends and guest past present and future. Busy decorating the rooms at present ready for the 2016 season. I have just been offered some fantastic savings on Tours provided by Cambrian Safaris. They are on a first come first served basis and must be taken by the end of June thanks to Richard from Cambrian Safaris. The tours are in a Land Rover Discovery and could include sets used in Hinterland, the Cambrian Mountains byroads and Elan Valley. Tours can be specific including old mines, churches and chapels or other historic sites.

16 November 2015 Where have the last few weeks gone. Well we had a few days off and undertook “The North Coast 500” road trip in Scotland. Neither Jill or I have been very far into Scotland and had been on our bucket list. Well we can now tick that off. We were blessed with great weather and travelled up the West Coast,  along the top to John O Groats and back down the East Coast. 1750 miles in all and we thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend the adventure. We are now back to earth and are starting freshening up the rooms for next year.  

8 September 2015 I have often wondered what animals pass through the garden at night so decided to try a Trail Camera and set it up over night. I was surprised at the results. In one night we were visited by a cat, badger and fox.


I looked out the window this morning and a grey squirrel was on the wall another rare visitor in the garden

11 July 2015

 A young Robin one of many recently fledged birds in the garden

1 July 2015 The garden if full of young families of birds including blue tits, house sparrows, wrens, robins and dunnocks. I have recently bought a rowing boat and have nearly finished re painting it ready to tackle the large maple tree which fell into the main pond last year. A lot of cutting off of the larger branches and getting them out before the main trunk can be tackled.

25 May 2015 Recently received an email from Trip Advisor to say that we have been awarded a 2015 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, so a big thank you to all our guests who have given us favourable reviews. 

24 April 2015 If anybody is interested in going on one of the Hinterland/Y Gwyll inspired walks organised by Twm Sion Cati  have a look at and get some inspiration from this short video   

21 April 2015 In the garden and just heard the first Cookoo of the year, the same date as last year.

14 April 2015 As predicted there was a pair of Mallards nesting in the garden and to prove it Mom has taken the young for a swim this afternoon. I think there is either 9 or 10 chicks, lets hope they all survive and stay on the pond. Also today I saw the first two swallows of the year.

7 April 2015 Glorious weather in Ponterwyd but yesterday Aberystwyth was covered in sea mist all day, very unusual. The Dyfi Ospreys have started to return to their nests after a long trip from Africa. There is a live stream of the nest at

We have now got 3 female pheasants (AKA fat chickens by my grand daughter). No idea where they have come from but they seem quite happy. I am now sure a mallard is nesting in the garden but no idea where. She has a wash on the pond a couple of times a day and then disappears again. Hopefully in a couple of weeks there will be some ducklings.

31 March 2015 Well Easter is nearly here and Spring is upon us. The leaves are breaking out around the garden and I think we have a pair of Mallard ducks nesting near the pond. The drake is often sitting on the pond and she appears a couple of times a day for a short while. I have started both the lawn mower and lawn tractor up and they are ready to go.  

A full length episode of Hinterland (the detective series filmed around Aberystwyth and The Cambrian Mountains) is being shown in English on BBC Wales on Easter Monday at 9.30pm. Why not book into one of Twm Sion Cati’s guided walks visiting some of the locations in the series. for all the information.

9 March 2015 Finally after several failed attempts Jill and I visited Aberystwyth last night to see the murmuration of starlings. It was a lovely evening and sunset and we experienced thousands of starlings going the the roost under the pier. This roost is one of only 3 urban roosts in the country and an incredible sight.


7 March 2015 I recently acted as an extra in an episode of the Y Gwyll or Hinterland series, the second series of which will be shown on TV in the Autumn. The first series and also this second series have been filmed around in the area including Devil’s Bridge, Aberystwyth and Borth and many recognisable places are shown in the series.  To go hand in hand with Hinterland a series of guided walks are being organised by Dafydd Morgan of Twm’s and we are proud to be a Guided Walks Partner. The walks are being officially launched on 22 March. A digital copy of the walks leaflet can be found here   

and images of the walks here


3 March 2015 A few cold nights recently but at last a sign of Spring. A mass of frogspawn in the large pond, a couple of days later than last year.

4 February 2015 Most of the decorating done and getting ready for a busy season. Weather is cold but sunny outside and has been the same for a few days now. Had a day out the other day with my camera and looking at the results can appreciate that we live in a beautiful part of the World.

7 January 2015 A Happy New Year to all. I am busy decorating the rooms at present and getting ready for what hopefully will be a busy season. We have had a visitor on the large pond over the past few days in the form of a Dipper which has been busy diving for food.


17 November 2014 Had a knock on the door the other day from two gentlemen with an unusual request. Prof. David James and Hugh Ratzer who wanted to undertake a survey of the mine we have in the garden. They dressed appropriately and went ito the adit at the top of the garden. The photos were amazing and I cannot wait to see the final report.

9 September 2014 Summer has returned to Ponterwyd. The weather is lovely at present and we have got sunny days and cool mornings, ideal for exploring the area. We have got some new guests in the garden in the form of some white call ducks. Alice the hen thinks the new additions are wonderful and follows them around all day. I had a pleasent supprise the other day when I saw a Kingfisher by the large pond, a first for me in Ponterwyd.  

9 August 2014 There is a month long Walking Festival being held between the 1P and 30am of September this year-STEPtember 2014.

There will be 30 guided walks with 18 of them in Ceredigion.

Please find a flyer for distribution attached as well as this link to the flip-book programme

18 July 2014 I have just listened to an interesting programme on Radio 4 about the Hafod Estate and the local Silver/lead mines. A link is

19 June 2014 Apologies for not blogging for some time. Well the cookoos are still around as can be seen from this photo. There are 2 in the area and I have seen them both together today. There are families of birds all around the garden. I have seen house sparrows, blue tits jackdaws and wrens. Two unwelcome visitors are sheep from the field next door. We fixed a small hole in the fence but they are now jumping over the fence and eating the plants in the garden.  

21 April 2014 Easter Monday and I have just heard a cookoo for the first time this year a full 3 days earlier than last year.

16 April 2014 Just seen my first Swallow of the year. A day later than last year! More punctual than British Rail.

1 March 2014 Happy St David’s Day to all my readers. Just walked around the garden and the ponds are full of frogspawn. I little bit earlier than last year probably due to the mild wet weather.

I have had a new lens for my camera and here are a couple of photos I took yesterday in the garden.



18 February 2014 We survived the latest storms OK but lost another tree. the good news is we have plenty of fire wood. Looked out of the window this morning and the first pair of Mallards have landed on the pond. Hopefully they will stay and nest.

28 January 2014 Saw a very rare sight last night while driving through the village. A pine marten crossed the road in front of me. They are normally only seen in Scotland although they are known to exist in this part of Mid Wales. Certainly a first for me and a treat to see.

14 January 2014 Aberystwyth is back to normal and open for business as is Ponterwyd and the Cambrian Mountains. I am busy decorating upstairs. The back bedroom has had a makeover and the twin room is next.

5 January 2014 Happy New Year to all my readers. Well you have probably seen in the news that Aberystwyth has had a rough couple of days with the storms. I have lived in the area for over 45 years and it is the worst storm I can remember and more is forecast tonight. That having been said the weather in Ponterwyd has been much calmer than on the coast and apart from the tree mentioned before be have come off quite light. Have you been watching Hinterland on BBC1 Wales if not try and watch it or wait until it is on BBC4. Set around this area it is very good.

30 December 2013 Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for a prosperous New Year. The weather is very wet and windy and one of the biggest trees in the garden has blown down and landed in the big pond. A logistical nightmare to get it out and sawn up but at least we will have plenty of logs for the future.

23 November 2013 The first real frost of this Winter last night – 4.6 at 8am. We are down to one hen now. Mr fox called recently and we only have the Derbyshire red cap left. I want some more but senior management says no. On of our grandchildren had his seventy birthday yesterday and has had some chickens and a pen for his birthday. Well Charles we know where we can get some eggs from now on!

29 October 2013 The attached link is a really useful article from Richard Smith of Cambrian Safaris suggesting trips in the Cambrian Mountains close to Ponterwyd.

Visit cambrian mountains

25 October 2013 Managed to get some time off yesterday to visit The Elan Valley, a round trip with stops of about 2 hours. The colours at this time of the year are fantastic and well worth the journey. Some photos are on Ffynnon Cadno Guest House Facebook page if you would like to have a look

1 October 2013 Jill went for a walk in the woods recently and there are all sorts of fungii growing there.  don’t worry however as they are not being used for guest’s breakfasts.


19 September 2013 Last night we had one room with guests from USA and two rooms with guests from Australia. Nothing unusual in that except that the Australians lived within walking distance from eachother in Adelaide. A small world! (but as somebody once said to me it might be a small world but I wouldn’t like to have to paint it)

13 September 2013 Aberystwyth students start returning this weekend and it will be nice to meet returning parents again and hopefully meet those bringing students to Aber for the first time. Aberystwyth is slowly joining the 21st century with Tesco delivering shopping to us for the first time (from Newtown). The only problem is that the first available slot if I order now is next Wednesday!!

8 September 2013 The children have gone back to school and the weather is still good for September which is often a very busy month. Ceredigion Council have produced a very good TV advert. The Discover Ceredigion advert can be viewed here

29 August 2013 Although I have not seen the otter since I have seen its spraints between the ponds so it is still around!! I am also happy to report that there are still some fish in the big pond.

2 August 2013 An idea for a visit whilst staying at Ffynnon Cadno would be to visit the Butterfly House
The Butterfly House is located in the Rheidol Valley, 15 minutes outside Aberystwyth.  Visitors can walk freely among some of the largest and most colourful butterflies in the world.
 It differs from other similar attractions in that it is run by biologists and many of the butterflies are bred on site. A lot of people use us as a rainy day attraction but it’s just as good on a sunny days. The butterflies fly best between10.00 and 14.006) F
If you require any additonal information please visit their website at

28 July 2013 The weather has broken hopefully the rain will just be in the night and everybody will be happy. I have got my sit on mower working at last so cutting the lawns should be a lot easier from now on. Reports from Nant yr Arian yesterday indicated that there were in excess of 200 kites feeding which is a lot at this time of the year. 

18 July 2013 Lots of butterfly’s in the garden I think they are mainly Ringlet’s which are medium sized and dark brown. The beautiful weather continues and everything in the garden is growing fast especially the weeds.

8 July 2013 What fantastic weather and a promise of the same for the rest of the week at least. Good news I have seen 3 large fish in the big pond so there is a chance the otter will return!!

24 June 2013 No more sightings of the otter but have just seen a Redpoll feeding with the Siskins and Goldfinches on the feeder.

22 June 2013 Another first except this time much more exciting. I looked out of the Breakfast Room this morning to see an OTTER entering the big pond. Now I know where my fish have gone.


20 June 2013 For the first time in many years I have just seen a grey squirel in the garden. The last one departed many moons ago under the wheel of a car on the road outside!!

18 June 2013 Completely out of the blue I have been told that Ffynnon Cadno has been placed 4th in a list of the best Bed and Breakfast’s in Gt Britain for walkers. The list is in the July 2013 copy of Country Walking Magazine6)Quite an honour for us and one that we are very proud of.

13 June 2013 As you probably know I am a keen photographer and artist and I have been told of a brilliant piece of software for manipulating photographs called Sketch. My friend Brian was raving about it so I decided to have a look myself. Well I agree with him, it is very very good and so easy to use. There are many different ways you can manipulate your photographs to represent paintings, sketches etc and well worth the money. Below is an example of a sketch I made using the software of the woods behing the house taken from a colour photograph..

The software can be found at and is well worth a look. you can download it free on a 10 day trial and if you like it can then buy it.

9 June 2013 A lovely sunny day and phase 2 of painting the outside of the house. Just heard 2 cookoos singing across the valley

John Wall
By John Wall
Hinterland Partner Member of Mid Wales Tourism Follow us on Facebook