What did you get upto this summer?

Getting kids outdoors and closer to nature
You may or may not have heard of the National Trust’s campaign – 50 Things to do before you’re 11 ¾…

This initiative was set up a few years ago in response to information about how today’s generation of kids are spending far less time outdoors doing the things we all used to do like climbing trees, running around in the rain and making mud pies.


This summer, we ran a very successful bushcraft club at our site at Coelbren and Henrhyd Falls, with the help of local bushcraft expert Angus. The aim was simply to get kids out and about playing and thinking outdoors, learning new skills, making friends and having fun.


Over the four sessions we did a whole variety of activities – firelighting techniques, whittling and sanding our own walking sticks, building shelters, making mini shelters for action figures, archery, toasting marshmallows, making our own paint and doing some cave paintings and aboriginal style art, cooking Welsh cakes on the fire, clay modelling, bug hunting and damming the stream!


These are some of the pictures of what we got up to – everyone had a great time and got suitably wet and muddy!


Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and website for more kids’ events coming up soon across our sites, the next one is a kite flying day on the Sugarloaf this Saturday the 30th of August with rangers Jess and Ben. There will also be things going on at Coelbren during the October half term so watch this space!

For more information take a look at the National Trust’s 50 Things website.

Community Engagement Ranger



Sorry for the mud

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.

Storey arms path coverd with soil

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.

View of Corn Du coming down the path from Pen-y-Fan.  Taken some time in the late 1960's.

View of Corn Du coming down the path from Pen-y-Fan. Taken some time in the late 1960’s.

Happy Christmas,
Rob and the access team.