Access to Loonies’ Leap / Gunpowder Works: documentary evidence required!

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.

Please contact if you think you have anything that could be useful!

POSTPONED SWOAPG Geology workshop 12 Oct

We regret that, due to the poor weather forecast for Friday 12 October we have decided to postpone our planned geology workshop.

We will arrange refunds for those who have already booked places and will organise an alternative date in due course. 

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this short- notice decision. 

SWOAPG Geology Workshop 12 Oct Final Reminder!

If any of you have attended geology workshops with Alan Bowring (of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority) you’ll already know how good they are!

South Wales Outdoor Activity Providers Group still has spaces on a workshop with Alan on Friday 12 October, focusing on the geology of the Upper Swansea Valley.

The workshop will run from 9.30am to 4.30pm, with the morning classroom-based (at Craig-y–Nos Country Park) and the afternon on the hill.

£25 per person.

All SWOAPG paid-up Members & Supporters are eligible to attend.

Book here (existing signed-up members will be asked to login) – and, if necessary, sign-up for SWOAPG Membership at!

SWOAPG Volunteer Day, Cwm Porth Fri 5 Sep

Dear News,

This is just a reminder that SWOAPG Members will be helping with some work that needs doing around Cwm Porth this Friday.

Please come and join us if you can!

10am-5pm (come for all or some of the day), meet in Cwm Porth car park or find the team around the area.

Most of the work is above ground, so just old clothes and waterproofs plus wellies and gloves are required. Helmets would also be useful for work under cliffs.

Bring a packed lunch!

Please let know if you can attend, so we know how many to expect.

Access between Loonies’ Leap and Pontneddfechan Community Centre

Some of you may have noticed fencing being erected along the lane leading from Pontneddfechan Community Centre towards the gunpowder works & Loonies' Leap and we are expecting the lane to be gated-off completely in the next few days.

This is not connected with the gunpowder works conservation activity, but is an action being taken by the owner of the lane due to her increasing frustration that the lane's permissive access is being misused both by vehicles and walkers. One reason she has cited is that gorge-walking groups have refused to move out of the way and been verbally abusive to drivers accessing the cottage along the lane. We were very disappointed to hear about groups behaving in this way and trust that our Members will continue to make every effort to ensure that their clients show due respect to local residents and communities.

Brecon Beacons National Park Authority is investigating this issue and we will liaise with them as the situation develops.

We are seeking advice from NRW and BBNPA on the most appropriate alternative routes for gorge-walking groups, but in the meantime, if access is denied along the track, please consider using only the route to/from Dinas Rock over the top of the hill, since the riverside paths on the left bank are in the sensitive 'no-go' area covered by the gorge-walking Concordat. If you do choose to use these paths, please manage your clients very carefully to prevent any environmental damage either side of the existing paths.

We will let you know as soon as we have any further information.

South Wales Outdoor Activity Providers Group

SWOAPG Volunteer Day & Geology Workshop Reminder

Please consider coming to..

  1. Lend your support at our Volunteer Working Day at Cwm Porth on 5th October – the more the merrier; and/or
  2. our Geology Day on 12th October with Alan Bowring of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority – a great opportunity to learn more about the geology of the Brecon Beacons to pass on to your clients.

Please book places ASAP (although the volunteer day is free, we need to know who's coming):

  • for SWOAPG members, use your online membership login page and 'proceed to payment' to locate the course details (contact us if you've forgotten your login username); or
  • non-members, use our events booking page.

Geology Workshop 12 October

Please join other SWOAPG members for this all-day workshop (classroom morning and hill-based afternoon), looking at how the hills near Cribarth are linked to the Sea, with Alan Bowring of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. Possible content:

  • Carboniferous Limestone – variety of units within it reflecting changing original marine depositional environments between 360 and 330 million years ago.
  • Subsequent expansion of coastal deltas – the deposits now being known as the Twrch Sandstone and the Bishopston Mudstones of the Marros* Group (formerly the Basal Grit and Middle Shales of the Millstone Grit Series) *Marros is the coastal hamlet on the Pembs/Carms border where these rocks are magnificently displayed in the sea cliffs, including Telpyn Point.
  • Faulting and folding of the horizontal strata in the Variscan Orogeny due to ocean closure and mountain-building as witnessed along the Swansea/Cribarth Disturbance (which runs up from Swansea Bay).
  • Legacy of the last Ice Age (including locally, striations and polishing of sandstone surfaces, glacial erratics) – water locked-up in ice-sheets caused global sea levels to fall as recorded, for example, on Gower Coast.
  • Development of karstic features – Britain’s deepest cave is opposite, whilst Wales’ largest enclosed surface hollow in on Cribarth’s flanks. Plentiful shakeholes.
  • Industrial exploitation at Cribarth and nearby for limestone, rottenstone and silica rock – exported via tramroads to Swansea canal and then down to the sea.

Attendees must be either 2018 Full/Associate Individual Members or staff from 2018 Full/Associate Corporate Members or 2018 Supporters. Credentials will be checked on booking.

Attendees will need to come with everything they need in order to feed and support themselves on the hill.

Exact timing to be confirmed.

£25 per person – book NOW via our Events page (or direct through our online booking system).

SWOAPG Volunteer Day at Cwm Porth, 5 Oct

Please come and join us if you can for part or the whole of the day on 5 October, to help Brecon Beacons National Park Authority with work that needs doing around Porth yr Ogof.

Most of the work is above ground, so just old clothes and waterproofs plus wellies and gloves are required. Helmets would also be useful for work under cliffs.

Bring a packed lunch and lots of water!

Places are free, but please book NOW via our Events page (or direct through our online booking system) so we know who to expect!