Volunteer scheme paves the way to success for National Park

The Black Mountains Upland Volunteers Scheme is looking for dedicated helpers to undertake routine surveys and maintenance on upland paths in the Black Mountains. Volunteers will also be encouraged to involve themselves in one or two larger projects per year as a group.


A similar successful scheme has been operating in the Lake District National Park, and using funding from the Offa’s Country Partnership and Walking with Offa project, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority will be introducing a similar scheme to cover the Black Mountains. 


The Black Mountains Upland Volunteer Scheme is designed to become largely self sustaining following its initial inception. While Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority will be responsible for the co-ordination of the project and handling the ongoing costs of tools, training and materials, volunteers will be encouraged to be self reliant and work mainly in pairs once training has been completed.


Volunteers will receive training in mountain and environmental awareness, path surveying and repair techniques, manual handling, health and safety risk assessment as well as First Aid as part of the project.


Richard Ball, Access Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said: “The upland paths in the Black Mountains are amongst some of the most popular routes in the whole of our National Park – and that’s why it is important that we look after them properly. After training, volunteers will have a vital role to play in ensuring that not only are the paths up to scratch, but that we’re tackling the effects of erosion wherever possible. 


Volunteers already play an important part across the Authority’s work, and I’m sure their valued time in assisting with this project will reap benefits for many years to come.”


This partnership project has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013, which is supported by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, and match funded by Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority.


For more information and to take part in the Black Mountains Upland Volunteer Scheme please contact Huw Price 01874 620451 or email huw.price@breconbeacons.org.