In late November we Layed down 50 m of sandstone soil on top of the path on Storey Arms; the aim was to build up the path, slowing down the erosion rate. However I was rather hoping the weather was going to be cold and dry, instead it was constant rain, making the path boggy up to your ankles. When you hire a digger several weeks in advance you can not predict the weather. Sorry to all those who tried to walk through that muck, it did harden up after about 3 weeks.
We have Layed down 30m of sandstone scalping’s and dust on the Pont-ar-Daf footpath creating a hard compact surface, this path was easier to drive up and drop off the scalping’s. The Storey Arms path would require a helicopter because the ground is mainly peat and breaks up very easily, neither could we get our vehicles much further than the river due to the steep climb up.
We have transported a further 32 tons of scalping’s up the Skirrid mountain, near to the town of Abergavenny and will spread them onto the path leading up through the woods towards the summit.
The maintenance of the footpaths continues through this winter period thanks to our lengths group and volunteers from a health group based in Pontypridd and we also have a new full time volunteer to assist me, Laurence, who once a week enjoys running up and down Pen-y-Fan after work in the dark.
We have taken the chance to have a few days of the mountains and go south towards Cardiff where we where pulling out willow trees from a wetland, so basically we still got wet, but it was a lot warmer.
Whilst we wait to hear what funding we’ll get in the New Year for our upland path work, we’ll be mostly in the east. A few more easy access gates at Clytha to replace stiles and old gates as well as a bit of maintenance catch-up on the paths. Also an opportunity to extend some of the boardwalk on the Skirrid.
Will finish with a picture from the archive, this one showing the saddle between Pen-y-Fan, heading towards Corn Du. Taken in the late 1960’s, it looks quite unvisited, with none of the paths you see today.
Rob and the access team.