The car park at the Skirrid mountain north of Abergavenny, Monmouthshire has been open for just over a year. This was one of the first National Trust pay and display car parks in our area and it has been quite a steep learning curve for looking after and maintaining it. We went from having a lay by that could hold a maximum of 15 cars on the busy Abergavenny to Skenfrith road to having a spacious safe area for 60 plus vehicles to park – see the before and after images of when it was first opened below.
Ongoing improvements to the car park have taken place including inserting wooden posts to mark the edge of the entrance and around the ticket machine. These help to guide visitors to the parking areas and prevent people from driving on the grass verges, which could cause damage to the land, and possibly get stuck.
As with the majority of the timber we use elsewhere, these posts were felled and processed locally at our own properties. One of my volunteers, Alan, profiled them before being treated for weather proofing. Continuing the volunteer theme, Amy one of our full time volunteers who is working with various members of the team to gain some practical conservation experience, helped me put the posts in place.
Unfortunately over the last year the ticket machine has suffered some attempted break-ins which have left it looking a bit shabby. We decided to replace it with one that will be able to scan membership cards and move it to a more central and secure location in the car park. Also after a year of operating the pay and display service, we have reviewed and adjusted the tariffs to better reflect the visitor usage.
The income from the car park helps towards the upkeep of the area but also contributes to the vital conservation work we carry out on the Skirrid to allow all our visitors to continue enjoying the countryside.
As with all of our sites we are constantly looking to make our visitors’ enjoyment the best it can be.