Our path ahead

A review of his activities over the busy sunny season from Rob and his plans for next year as the leaves fall and rain returns.

This summer has to go down as one of the best for many a year as regards the good weather. A minor blip in early August when the temperature went down to 4 degrees for a few days in the morning, That was a shock to the system, especially for some of our volunteers from Spain and Southern France who were on a working holiday with us up Pen y fan.

120 volunteers have been assisting me and Jessica through the year and we have stone pitched over 135 metres of path leading up to Pen y fan from Cwm Gwdi, we have seeded and reinstated 400 sqm of eroded ground, and we have so far, stone pitched 150m of side ditches leading up the Pont ar daf.

We're gradually making our way to the top with the help of volunteers.

Looking back on where we’ve come from. We’re gradually making our way to the top with the help of volunteers.

This November we are hoping to take up a further 32 tons of scalping’s and spread them over and build up the top section of the Pont ar daf path” weather permitting”

We will also be receiving a donation towards the repairs of the routes from WAAT4 challenge, which we will buy more scalping’s.

Our lengths group has increased by a further four members, so most of the paths now have two lentghsmen looking after them and we have also had a few days where some have come out to help us with stone pitching.

Our Meet & Greets volunteers have also increased by four with one doubling up as lengths men.
The new info shack at Pont-ar-Daf is opening its doors more regularly due to the new intake of volunteers. The new maps with routes on them have been a success and asking for donations has helped cover the cost of producing them, so there can be more for next year.

Getting wild in St. Marys Vale and ticking off 50 things activities.  More to come next year.

Getting wild in St. Marys Vale and ticking off 50 things activities. More to come next year.

We carried out a few 50 things to do events with children, again proven a success and this we will increase next year mainly down the Sugar loaf, Abergavenny. Our guided walks, 18 in all, sadly had very low attendance not always helped by bad weather, but our 5 walks with Monmouthshire community learning centre based in Abergavenny were well attended.

Sadly the Pont-ar-Daf car park is yet to take off, hopefully next year? The Skirrid car park extension is planned for happen next year and that will take about 50 cars, freeing up the  road for this increasingly popular site.

Rob – Lead Ranger, Brecon Beacons

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Introducing…..the access team

Slightly earlier than you may have expected, we have a new update for you.  Rob, our man on the hill is now contributing to the blog about all the things that his access team are up to.

Meet and greet - PaD

Meet and greet volunteers at Pont-ar-Daf

It has been a busy summer carrying many guided walks from the height of the Beacons to the lowlands of Clytha, some in conjunction with the National park, some with walking festivals such as Monmouthshire, Hay, and we have done some with the Cambrian Mountains Society up on Abergwesyn, so if any of you have attended those walks many thanks for coming, there are still more this year, so please check our website or Walking Festival pages.

At the Pont ar daf the meet and Greet Wardens have been busy at the weekends and now weekdays advising walkers on best routes and what is on and about, so if you are around let them know, it is good to have some feedback.

Wish this rain would stop we might enjoy working out doors for a change, so instead of being covered in mud we can get a tan and be covered in that same colour, only it will not wash off that same day.

Working holiday 2012

The sun always shines for our working holidays?

Having said that, cannot believe it, last year you could count on your one hand the number of dry days we had working on the Beacons with Volunteers, this year we have had three weeks of working holidays and only three days of rain. It’s a pity the numbers in the groups have been down this year and we have been lacking in leaders to help run the camps “Any offers for next year”.
So far we have been able to stone pitch 100 square metres of path line this year and with 1 group remaining  and weather permitting we should pass 120 square metres.
I think I might have just put an X on the weather for this group, well at least 4 of them are returnees from last year and the year before and the year before, so they are used to rain, of course they will have me to blame.

Bagging stone

Access team bagging stone, making ready to fly.

We will be having an airlift the week of the 17th of September (weather permitting) up on the Central Brecon Beacons, the quarries on Cefn cwm Llwch to be precise.
The only problem is we have to locate, sort, gather, and shape 80 tons of stone.
65 tons will be for pitching the path up to Pen y Fan from Cefn cwm Llwch and 15 tons will be for building side ditches on the Pont ar daf this winter.
Once the stone has been sorted we will then place them in 1 ton dumpy bags and await the airlift.
All of this will take up to 1 month

See you on the hill,
Rob and the access team.