AALA Review

Many of you will already be aware that the HSE Board has approved the option of an industry-led scheme to replace the current AALA licensing scheme – but that the final decision rests with Parliament and it will take a number of years before we reach a conclusion, Until then, there are no immediate changes to the licensing scheme (and the contract for operating the current scheme will be re-tendered in 2020). Licence holders should continue to engage with AALS and ensure they have a valid licence for activities in scope of the regulations. You will be notified well in advance of any changes and if necessary any transition arrangements to ensure that things continue to run smoothly. More details at https://webcommunities.hse.gov.uk/connect.ti/adventureactivitiesnetwork/view?objectId=681669

Powys County Council Rights of Way Improvement Plan

Powys County Council is currently consulting on its new Rights of Way Improvement Plan (which excludes the Brecon Beacons National Park).

Responses are invited from interested stakeholders by 15 January. See https://customer.powys.gov.uk/article/5395/Rights-of-Way-Improvement-Plan for details.

Most other Local Authorities in Wales are also currently reviewing their own ROWIPs, so look out for consultations in your own area – we'll aim to post links to any that we're aware of…

National Trust Outdoor Activity Providers Scheme

Following extended consultation with outdoor activity provider representatives, the National Trust has recently announced details of its new, sensible approach to managing events and activities on its land.

See https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/outdoor-activity-providers and the attached presentation for more details.

‘Waterfall Country’ Public Consultation

In case any of you haven't yet seen this…

Brecon Beacons National Park Authority is calling out to the local communities of ‘Waterfall Country’ along with anyone else concerned about the area to take part in a public consultation regarding a new report aimed at addressing the traffic management issues in the area.

The ‘Waterfall Country Visitor Traffic Study’ report was commissioned by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority on behalf of a partnership of Local Authorities, Ystradfellte Community Council and Natural Resources Wales.

The study was undertaken by Transport Initiatives LLP and their report is the result of work undertaken over the past 12 months.  Community workshops have taken place that have enabled local people to have their say, identify the main issues and shape the proposed outcomes and solutions.  The report makes recommendations and proposals and provides a provisional programme of measures that the Partnership could implement given the necessary funding.

 Approved to go for public consultation by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority on Friday November 2nd 2018, the report is now available for communities and interested parties to have their final say before approval in February 2019.

The report can be found and commented on here:


The time frame for comments is from Thursday 15th November 2018 to Monday 7th January 2019, closing at midday.

Glamorgan Coast Adventurous Activities Feasibility Study

WATO (Wales Adventure Tourism Organisation) – of which SWOAPG is a core member – is currently conducting a feasibility study (for the local council) on the scope for increasing the level of adventurous activity taking place on the Vale of Glamorgan coastline. This study is looking at the suitability of venues for activity and the level of interest among providers for operating in this area. Possible venues / activities might include:

  • SUP / canoe journeys on the River Ogmore
  • Mountain biking on Ogmore Down
  • Coasteering between Ogmore and Southerndown
  • Surfing and paddlesport journeys at Dunraven and Llantwit Major
  • Land and water-based activities at Rhoose Point
  • Climbing in inland quarries

The feasibility study will include an online survey of potential providers and other stakeholders (coming soon), consultation events in VoG area (Jan/Feb 2019) and a ‘showcase event’ to demonstrate what might be achievable (Spring 2019).

SWOAPG has passed on to the project team the contact details of our Full and Associate Members who are based within c.50km of the Vale of Glamorgan*, who will be contacted in due course with consultation opportunities.

If you would like to be added to (or removed from) the list of consultees – or if you have an interest in getting more involved in this project – please let me know.

*We have only passed on details for members who have given us consent to publish them; and who are based in the following postcode areas: all CF and NP, LD3 and SA1-19 postcode areas.

Steve Rayner, South Wales Outdoor Activity Providers Group Coodinator

SWOAPG AGM 27 Nov Final Reminder

Just a 'final reminder' for any of you who haven't already registered for the

South Wales Outdoor Activity Providers Group Annual General Meeting, 6.30pm Tue 27 Nov, Rock UK Summit Centre CF46 6RD

Full details, agenda and reports (for those of you who like that sort of thing!) are at http://swoapg.com/event/swoapg-annual-general-meeting


  • free tour of Centre and free use of climbing wall (subject to the Centre's usual registered climber conditions)
  • meeting to discuss Glasbury-Hay canoeing access issues

To Confirm your Attendance:

Attention all Canoeing Providers!

Following our recent notice (see below) regarding Powys CC’s consultation on future management of canoeing from Glasbury Bont…

… Jane Hughes of Wye Valley Canoes has informed us that she is facing an imminent threat of legal action which, if successful, could have huge implications for all canoeing providers not only on the Wye but also on other rivers. Jane is asking for the support of other operators, initially by attending one of two meetings where she will explain what assistance she is looking for. One of these meetings will, therefore, be:

A Meeting for all SWOAPG Members with a canoeing interest (particularly Glasbury-Hay), immediately following the SWOAPG AGM (scheduled for 6.30-7.30pm) on Tue 27 Nov at RockUK Summit Centre CF46 6RD

  1. To learn more about and consider initial responses to the Powys CC Consultation; and
  2. To hear from Jane how other Providers might be able to assist her case.

All Glasbury-Hay users need to be aware that Powys CC is about to launch a consultation exercise around the future management of commercial operations using the Glasbury Bont launch site

SWOAPG AGM Tue 27 Nov, Reminder & Papers

Dear News,

We hope you will be able to join us at the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the South Wales Outdoor Activity Providers Group on…

Tuesday 27 November, 6.30pm at RockUK Summit Centre, CF46 6RD

Refreshments will be available for purchase from the cafe and, after the meeting, a free tour of the Centre and free use of the climbing wall (subject to registered climber conditions).

The agenda for the meeting will include:

  • Overview of SWOAPG's recent and planned activity
  • Receipt of formal reports and accounts
  • Approval of new Terms of Reference:
    • New Terms of Reference are attached. These are required because of our transition to Company status. They describe our new membership categories (agreed last year) and the roles of the Steering Group, Board of Directors and key individuals. Also attached are our Articles of Association and our old Terms of Reference, for anyone who is interested in the detail of the changes (!).
  • Election of Steering Group, Directors & Chairperson: we have received the following nominations (any others to be received by 20 Nov – we still have at least one vacancy):
    • Steering Group: Stephen Davies (School Camp Ltd) and Roger Lee (Hampshire & Cass Foundation Mountain Centre)
    • Board of Directors: Mark Soanes (Call of the Wild – already co-opted, needs to be elected formally) and Stephen Davies
    • Chairperson: Emyr Rees (current Chairperson)
  • Formal Dissolution of SWOAPG as an Unincorporated Association (following our Incorporation as a Company Limited by Guarantee)
  • Approval of 2019 Membership Fees (we are proposing to keep the same fees as 2018, with no increase for inflation)
  • Q&A with Steering Group & Coordinator

Final details (including the annual report and accounts) will follow in due course.

NO PARKING for canoeists at Llyswen School!

Paddlers on the UPPER WYE: please note revised parking arrangements at LLYSWEN / BOUGHROOD (South of Builth Wells):

PLEASE DO NOT PARK in front of Archdeacon Griffiths Primary School in Llyswen (although you may still drop-off there).

Alternative parking is available on the roads in Boughrood village (across the bridge) – but please continue to EARN A WELCOME for paddlers by parking considerately, changing discreetly, avoiding public peeing and taking your litter home (there have been recent complaints about all these).

The School Governors have asked us to make paddlers aware that, since the school has been re-built, the car park is no longer available to ad-hoc canoeists (sorry!) – and parking in front of the school obstructs access for staff and emergency services.

Organised groups may still be able to use the school car park (for a contribution to school funds) – arrange in advance by phoning 01874 754334 during school hours.