LONDON - DM - Rising from the beach in a surreal seascape, the remains of these ancient trees have been revealed by the storms.

Thought to date back to the Bronze Age, the shin-high stumps became visible for the first time when the peat which once covered them was washed away in torrential rain and waves pounding the shore.

Now they stud the beach near the village of Borth, Ceredigion, Mid Wales - an area already rich in archaeology, opposite the alleged site of Wales’s own take on the lost city of Atlantis.

Folklore has it that Cantre’r Gwaelod, or the Sunken Hundred, a once-fertile land and township, was lost beneath the waves in a mythical age.

The land is said to have extended 20 miles west of the present Cardigan Bay, but disaster struck and Cantre’r Gwaelod was lost to floods when Mererid, the priestess of a fairy well, apparently neglected her duties and allowed the well to overflow. Archaeologists knew the 5,000-year-old forest existed on the beach at Borth and stumps were sometimes visible along parts of it at low tide. But the recent storms revealed a whole new section thought to include oak and pine near Ynyslas, further north than the previously seen remains. The stumps are preserved because of conditions in the peat.

Part of a wattle walkway, believed to date from ancient times, has also appeared. It is thought it was made from branches, sticks or logs and used for people to cross wet ground without sinking into it. The discoveries were made by Deanna Groom and Ross Cook from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.

Yesterday Miss Groom, a maritime archaeologist, said: ‘The site around Borth is one where if there’s a bad storm and it gets battered, you know there’s a good chance something will be uncovered as the peat gets washed away.  

‘It’s regularly monitored and that’s why we went to have a look there again now to see if anything new had emerged.’  The whole area was once under forest which, over time, became peaty and was then submerged under the sea as the coastline changed over thousands of years.