Upper Mellte Access Arrangements

The former Countryside Council for Wales expressed concerns about the use of the River Mellte for gorge walking and its impact on the environment. To safeguard both the environment in the gorge and our use of it, a process of surveying and assessing, similar to that of the Sychryd use, was actioned.

Funding was granted from BBNPA to have the Mellte surveyed to identify what species are resident in the gorge and how the actions of gorge walkers might impact on them.

The Mellte Access Rules and Code of Conduct can be viewed here:

Technical Advice and Advisor Information:

As per the requirements of the Mellte Gorge Code of Conduct, all Outdoor Activity Providers who are not holders of an AALS licence must select or provide details of a suitable Technical Advisor who has witnessed the organisation / provider in evidencing satisfactory policies and procedures and also in the safe delivery of Canyoning and/or Gorge Walking activity at the site.

The Health and Safety Executive have produced the following guidance on suitable skills, knowledge, technical competence and requirements of a Technical Advisor:

‘Technical Advice for Gorge Walking – if the activity falls beyond the experience of management it would be advisable to get advice from one or more appropriately experienced and qualified person or persons. It may be necessary to determine ‘appropriate’ from first principles by considering the requirements of a particular venue. For example appropriate Technical Advisor(s) could be holders of the Mountain Instructor Certificate (MIC), Mountain Instructor Award (MlA), British Mountain Guide (BMG), Cave Instructor Certificate (CIC), one of the BCU sea kayaking, surfing or white water rescue awards, Swift-water Rescue Technician, Surfing awards or other rescue experience and/or qualifications. The choice will depend on the characteristics of the venue and the very specialized expertise of the individual. In either event the Technical Advisor(s) should be able to offer useful, constructive advice on the activity including, amongst other things, staff competence, operating procedures, equipment, ratios, use of assistants, etc.

Technical Advisors will generally have to satisfy each of the following 4 criteria. They must:

  • Have a proven level of technical competence in the activity
  • Have a good knowledge of the venues to be used
  • Have access to, or knowledge of, the instructors concerned
  • Have sufficient experience in the activity and maturity to make suitably sound judgments

Please ensure that the person you appoint as your Technical Advisor can meet the criteria above, as both NRW and BBNPA will seek to use the HSE advice as a benchmark standard.

Once you have selected a suitable Advisor then you must ensure that you complete, in partnership with your Advisor, the proforma which can be downloaded here:

Should you require any assistance in choosing a technical advisor then you have the following options:

  • Seek advice from other similar organisations and ask for any contact or advice they may have
  • Consider searching online using the ACI or AMI website for local experts in their relevant fields, but be clear that you are sure of their relevant knowledge and experience in the gorge and the venue in question
  • Contact the SWOAPG Coordinator for a list of Members who provide technical advice within the area

Upper Mellte Evacuation Map

Thanks to Quest Adventures and the Mountain Rescue Teams who were involved in the creation of this resource, designed to detail the evacuation  spots along the Mellte that MR have identified as most ideal for their access. This document was designed to assist gorge leaders and is not suitable for the public. This resource is to be used in line with Providers’ own Risk Assessments and Operating Procedures: