We have received the following message from Brecon Beacons National Park Authority regarding their works at the Gunpowder Works:
"We’ve now completed the building consolidation phase of the project so access to Looney’s Leap shouldn’t be an issue. We still have a year in which to spot any defects so if there is anything that concerns SWOAPG members then please let me know. We hope to start commence felling works in February but these are largely taking place beyond the locked barrier beyond Looney’s Leap so we’ll do everything to minimise disruption. As soon as we have contractors on board we’ll ensure they liaise with you on any access restrictions. However, we hope to finish felling in April so hopefully it won’t prove to be too much of a problem."
We have not received any recent updates on the potential closure of the lane at Pontneddfechan Community Centre. However, we encourage all providers to continue to manage groups carefully along this lane, so as to cause minimal disruption to local residents and to vehicles visiting them – and if the gates are closed at any point, to follow our earlier advice (reproduced below).
South Wales Outdoor Activity Providers Group
Brecon Beacons National Park Authority is liaising with the landowner to try to maintain access , 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.