What a change in the weather, that north wind came and the temperature dropped. Could not feel my fingers on the first day in October and winter has not started. What made it worse is we were back to stone pitching cross and side ditches, which have cold water running down them. We were spoilt with the summer this year; dry, warm and there was a bit of sun up on the mountains.
It has come to the end of the season for week long volunteer groups as the cold wind and rain make for very short days and when it continues day in day out they lose interest, so it is down to myself, our lengths group and any volunteers who would like to come out for a day weather permitting?
A very big thanks to the volunteers that have assisted this year on the Beacons, we had a great summer, and we got a lot of work done. We stone pitched over 165m of path and over 100m of side ditches as well as seeding to recover over 600m of bare ground to help prevent erosion and reduce the visual scar on the landscape.
I will be spending some of the winter on the Pont-ar-Daf adding more stone to water breaks and adding more soil onto the path to try and build up the height as we lost up to 3ins (8cms) of soil last winter and I do not want gullies running down the middle of the path, so I am afraid the path might be a bit mucky until the soil compacts down, which should be around two weeks?
The meet and greet wardens have had a busy time talking to people in the car park at the Pont-ar-Daf and carrying out a visitor survey which has had good positive feedback to the work we are doing over the Beacons.
I can tell you that up to the end of September the visitors going up and down to Pen-y-fan from the Pont-ar-Daf have been 110,000 and that is not including people walking over the river, as it’s been shallow this year, I estimate well over 10,000 have opted to splash across this year.
2 of our route guides are also in the top 5, most downloaded walks from the National Trust website.
We held an archaeology event at Cwm Gwdi that got some great support. The Community Archaeological Project surveyed the old army ranges at Cwm Gwdi. There is still more to survey and the more you look the more you find, so hopefully we will repeat this again in the future.
Alas its time to say goodbye to Philippa who has been my Seasonal Warden this summer, managing the maintenance of the access routes across the Beacons in the busy summer season. Philippa is a bit camera shy, so here’s a picture of a Golden Eagle that visited as part of something we can’t say too much about yet.
Rob and the access team.