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.
Along the path there are records of a number of rare bryophytes and lower plants including the scare turf moss. This is only found in a few sites in the UK http://rbg-web2.rbge.org.uk/bbs/Activities/mosses/Rhytidiadelphus%20subpinnatus.pdf . This moss is very sensitive to trampling and could easily be lost
In the river requires 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.