Further to our recent messages, it appears that the gating-off of the access lane from Pontneddfechan Community Centre to the Gunpowder Works and Loonies’ Leap is almost complete (see photograph).
Brecon Beacons National Park Authority is liaising with the landowner to try to maintain access (and is still seeking documentary evidence of historical usage to support this), but in the meantime Natural Resources Wales has provided the following advice on alternative routes if / when these become necessary. We appreciate that the return to Dinas Rock over the top of the hill will be inconvenient, but we ask all providers to respect these environmental & safety concerns and regard this as the only alternative route until further notice.
If the river-right access is ‘lost’, groups are asked for the time being to return from Loonies’ Leap up the Gunpowder steps and retrace their route back to Dinas Rock. Groups should not return to Pontneddfechan using the path on river left, until this route can be assessed by a lower plant specialist – nor should they stay in the river downstream of the upper (Loonies’ Leap) footbridge.
In the riverrequires crossing the NRW weir, the weir is man-made and not designed to be walked over. The weir is very slippery and any fall is likely to result in injury. The rest of the river back to Dinas is shallow and groups are likely to walk on exposed gravels and sensitive mossy stones at the edge of the river.
“Thanks to all that helped out on the PYO clean up day, we got loads of jobs done there and we really have done some great work to make the PYO area more sustainable.
“Job 1, we dug a rain relief ditch above the car park this should help stop rain running down the road and entering the cave via letter box aven. “Job 2, on the footpath from the car park to the resurgence we helped fell some trees and put the felled branches over parts of the path we would like providers to stop using in order to help sustain the path. Please see pictures and if the branches are blocking the path you usually use then please stop using them and stay on the path BBNPA have designated. “Job 3, the stiles near the entrance of the cave have been removed as they were believed to be non-essential. “Job 4, trees and other storm debris was removed from river-right side of the entrance flow so that work can be done on the emergency cave exit on that side of the river. This will also prevent that debris from eventually entering the cave. “Please be aware that the emergency exit on river right is still not to be used as lots of the rock and mud are extremely unstable. BBNPA are hoping to do work on this in the future.
“I hope that the work we have done makes the cave environment better for all and if you have any questions about the work we have done and why then please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rock UK Summit Centre is hosting a free event this Friday in aid of South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue to help replace the kit they lost earlier in the year in Thailand:
Blackout – Climb by Head Torch
Friday 19th October 6 – 10 pm
Celebrating our 8th Birthday this year we are hosting the famous and FREE climb by head torch event at Rock UK – Summit Centre.
On the night:
Raffle in aid of South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue
Flash master boulder competition
U.V lights and glow in the dark face paint
Café open till 10 pm
Up and Under trade stand
Competent climbers are welcome and novices must be accompanied by a competent climber as per our usual terms and conditions. Lead climbing is only permitted by current Summit Centre registered competent climbers for safety reasons.
Further to our recent message about the possible closure of the private access road from Pontneddfechan Community Centre towards Loonies’ Leap and the Gunpowder Works, we are working with BBNPA to provide documented evidence of continued, historical access along this route since the mid-1990s.
The section of the route we are interested in is from the Community Centre to approximately the first footbridge (from there it becomes a permissive foot[path, clearly marked as such on the OS map).
The sort of evidence that would be useful includes:
Dated photographs that show groups clearly using this route (dates printed on the photograph or embedded in electronic file properties may be enough); and
Adverts or reports from events that show the route being used.