The Miles Without stiles project forms part of the Healthy, Active and Outdoors project which was developed as a partnership between Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, Powys County Council and Natural Resource Wales. Miles Without Stiles was originally developed as a brand by the Lake District National Park Authority and has subsequently been adopted as a principle across the UK National Parks and beyond.
The Healthy, Active and Outdoors Miles Without Stiles project was designed to remove barriers to those who find countryside access more difficult. The project was largely designed to remove man made barriers and to provide paths and associated infrastructure to promote inclusive access. This work helps deliver the National Park Authority purpose to provide opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of our National Parks and contributes to the goals of the Well Being of Future Generations Act.
The Miles without Stiles project focusses on key centres of population both inside and outside the National Park, with Brecon, Crickhowell, Talgarth, within the Park and Builth Wells, Llandrindod Wells, Newtown and Welshpool in Powys.
Gareth Ratcliffe – Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority Chair and Councillor for Hay ward enthused “this joint project between the Authority, Hay town council, Powys County Council and Natural Resources Wales will allow easier accessibility for people in wheel chairs as well as making it better for young parents with children and people who struggle with stiles.
So far, National Park Authority Wardens have replaced 52 stiles with gates and a 12m span bridge has been installed in Crickhowell Bullpit Meadows to replace a narrow bridge that previously was a restriction to wheel chairs
By working with communities the aim is to target paths that can provide a network of routes that could become accessible to a much wider range of people, including those with disabilities, mobility difficulties, people with young families and dog walkers.
Josie Pearson – Paralympic gold medallist, who has been part of the steering committee congratulated the work that the wardens have done. “I am so grateful to the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, their volunteers, Hay Town Council and everyone else involved in helping to make the countryside more accessible for all. Being able to access the countryside is everyone’s right. For physical and mental wellbeing”.