Restoring the Black Mountains

Natural England, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, Natural Resources Wales (formerly Countryside Council for Wales) and the Welsh
Assembly Government are part of an informal partnership that is working to improve the condition of the Black Mountains SSSI especially in the cross
border area.

The SSSI is subject to a number of pressures including grazing and recreation and is currently in an unfavourable condition.

To ensure that this SSSI returns to a ‘favourable’ condition a number of actions are being undertaken:

  • Some bracken control
  • Heather management
  • Path management to reduce erosion
  • Erosion repair works on 2 large areas on the Hatterrall ridge that have not recovered following uncontrolled fires in c. 1976.
  • In England sheep grazing is being removed in Winter and reduced in Summer

The erosion control works on the Hatterrall ridge involve slowing water flows to reduce the erosive energy of the water and soil stabilization o exposed soils and peat to encourage regrowth of indigenous flora.

Water flows are being managed by construction of small timber, plastic, coir and timber brash dams.

Soil stabilization will be achieved by laying sheets of geojute on the ground and covering with heather brash and by breaking up surface ‘pans’ and incorporating organic material to improve permeability.

For more information contact Richard Ball, Access Officer