With funding support from the Welsh Government and the Countryside Council for Wales Wardens from Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority led the work in Waterfall Country at Pontneddfechan, a beautiful yet environmentally delicate area which attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Works took place throughout the winter and included digging out and replacing 100 steps on the route to the iconic Sgwd yr Eira waterfall, which has a public footpath running directly behind it, as well as improving the path down to Sgwd Pannwr to make it safer and easier to use. The footbridge at Swgd Gwladus has been completely rebuilt, while Nantllechau bridge has been reinforced and had new timber fitted.
Eifion Jones, Rights of Way Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, said: “This year we have used the Rights of Way Improvement Plan funding to concentrate on improving a number of routes in Waterfall Country. These paths are heavily used and the works are designed to improve visitor experience as well as protecting habitats.”
Ed Evans, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority Member Champion for Agriculture & Land Management, added: “The Celtic rainforest in Waterfall Country is a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest – some of the rare mosses and ferns only grow in the gorges there. Visitor footfall to the area continues to increase, and it is important that we ensure the routes are properly maintained to protect this sensitive environment.
“Some of the areas where works have taken place are remote and difficult to reach, so carrying materials and tools has been a challenge for the Wardens, volunteers and partners involved, as have the weather conditions. We thank all those involved for the hard work they put in to ensure we protect what’s special about Waterfall Country.”
The project to improve footpaths and bridges in Waterfall Country was funded through the Authority’s continuing Rights of Way Improvement Plan Programme, a scheme which is grant aided by the Countryside Council for Wales and the Welsh Government.