Betty Church

Llanmadoc

Betty Church was a wealthy lady who spent many hours at the woodland she owned, at Cwm Ivy in Llanmadoc, rather than at the large house she owned in Langland (known then as 5 Brynfield Road though it has since been renumbered as 10).

Betty had lived in Langland since her parents relocated to the Swansea area after the war; her father helped to build many of Gower's main sewers. Betty developed a keen interest in the beautiful countryside around her and during the warmer months of the year she enjoyed a daily swim in the sea.

Despite her prosperity, she preferred to design and make her own clothes out of simple fabrics rather than buy and maintain an expensive array for her wardrobe. She found an outlet for her riches by tending to her most favoured pastime - gardening.

She acquired some fields and woodland at the foot of Llanmadoc, built a summer house there and spent much of her time there planting exotic flowers amongst the more indigenous species of flora. At her summer house at Cwm Ivy, Betty would entertain friends and family with picturesque picnics and countryside rambles.

Bears Breeches in Betty Church wood

Betty has been described by her friends as a very kind and generous, if slightly eccentric lady. Upon her death in 1983 she bequeathed all 2.2 hectares (5.4 acres) of her woodland, in Cwm Ivy to the Glamorgan Wildlife Trust , along with a substantial amount of money from which they could protect the woods and surrounding countryside. The trust decided to dedicate the area to Betty by naming the woodland after her.

Visitors can enjoy a walk through the area and appreciate the work of Betty Church and the Glamorgan Wildlife Trust by following the path from the entrance of the Betty Church reserve at Llanmadoc, then turning right at Cwm Ivy and taking the gradual slope up to the country road that leads back to your starting point.

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