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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New Visitor Hub Hidden

In May the Meet & Greet container finally arrived. We had to get planning permission to site it at the Pont-ar-daf, which required it to look nothing like a container. The answer was to heavily disguise it as a shed!

Pont-A-Daf container a

A big secure box

 

The woods team put aside some Larch trees from the plantation only a stones throw from where the container is sited. This was cut and milled to produce waney edge boards to use as cladding and 4×2’s to attach it to

Pont-A-Daf container b

The roof needed to be corrugated tin sheeting and it also needed to have separate doors. I certainly did a bit of head scratching working out the best way to do it!

Pont-Ar-Daf c

A plan is coming together

 

I got two of my Volunteers, Allan and Kathy to make the doors. After a bit of trial and error with the hinges (finding something strong enough to take the weight) we got the doors on.
As anyone who has fitted waney edge board will know it is not as straight forward as you might think to get a random pattern, it takes a bit of working out!

Pont-ar-daf container d

Pre-planned randomness

 

Meet and Greet Shed 002

Looks just like a shed

 

Here’s the shed finished. As you can see you wouldn’t know there was a container underneath it. I would estimate a quarter of the time it took me to build this was spent talking to people using the area, so I think the Meet & Greet Volunteers are going to be kept very busy!

Cheers,
Simon – Estate Ranger

Have a lot of enthusiasm for the Brecon Beacons to share? Interested in becoming one of our Meet & Greet volunteers? Find out more by contacting Rob via brecon@nationaltrust.org.uk