Gorge Walking

Gorge-Walking in ‘Waterfalls Country’ – Dinas / Sychryd and Mellte Gorges

“Organised groups can gain permission to operate in the area from Natural Resources Wales through agreement with a Concordat”

The land within ‘Waterfall Country’ is owned by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA) and a number of private landowners. While much of the site is designated Open Access land, this only allows for general public access on foot, not commercial or otherwise organised activities. Private land may not be fenced or marked but there is no right of access to these areas.

Organised groups can gain permission to operate in the area from Natural Resources Wales either by:

  •  through agreement with a Concordat; or
  • applying directly to NRW via their bureaucratic and costly ‘Woodlands and You‘ permitting scheme.

As much of the area in and around the gorges is legally protected for the high quality and rarity of its habitats, activity groups must follow simple Codes of Conduct to minimise the environmental impact of a visit. Compliance with these Codes is a requirement of being permitted to access the sites.

This Concordat and the accompanying Code of Conduct and guidelines were developed between representatives of Outdoor Activity Providers and BBNPA and NRW working collaboratively. This work took place from 2008, with Seminars in January 2009 and May 2010 and the finalised Concordat was one of the key factors in the launch of SWOAPG in July 2010.

Outdoor Providers wishing to use the Sychryd Gorge and the Lower Mellte for Gorge Walking are required to first join SWOAPG, then attend Code of Conduct training and finally sign-up to the Concordat to enable them to use the site with Landowner permission. For the Upper Mellte a separate Code of Conduct training must be attended, as well as an AALS licence or technical advisors statement.

This agreement and collaborative approach to environmentally sustainable use of a SSSI and SAC by Activity Providers was the first of its kind in the UK and has been a template for what can be achieved by working together.

Registered Gorge-Walking Providers

The following table lists the providers who are currently registered with us to use the Dinas / Sychryd and / or Mellte gorges (and have agreed to publish their information on this website – for contact details see our Full Members list):

NB providers are listed by default in random order. Last updated 31 July 2019.

Business / organisation nameGorges
Mountain and River Activities LtdSychryd & Mellte
Adventure NomadSychryd
Parc Bryn BachSychryd & Mellte
Plas Pencelli Outdoor Education CentreSychryd
Bridgend CollegeSychryd
Hampshire and Cass Foundation Mountain CentreSychryd & Mellte
Coleg GwentSychryd & Mellte
Ultimate ConsortiumSychryd & Mellte
Gower Activity CentresSychryd & Mellte
School Camp LtdSychryd & Mellte
Rock and Rapid AdventuresSychryd & Mellte
NPTC group of collegesSychryd
Waterfall Ways LtdSychryd
Jo SumnerSychryd
Outdoors @ HaySychryd
Call of the Wild LtdSychryd & Mellte
Princes Trust CymruSychryd & Mellte
Newport Youth ServiceSychryd
Morfa Bay AdventureSychryd
Rock UK Summit CentreSychryd & Mellte
Pro-Active Adventure LtdSychryd
Prospects Services - Activities TeamSychryd
FairwaysSychryd & Mellte
Savage AdventuresSychryd & Mellte
Antur LtdSychryd & Mellte
Atlantic OutdoorsSychryd & Mellte
Gloucestershire CollegeSychryd
Extreme WalesMellte
Adventures With WillSychryd & Mellte
Carmarthenshire Youth Support ServiceSychryd
Taff Valley Activity CentreSychryd
Life Changing ActivitiesSychryd & Mellte
Black Mountain ActivitiesSychryd & Mellte
Absolute AdventureSychryd
Go 4 It Activities WalesSychryd
MiskinSychryd & Mellte
Outdoor MattersSychryd
Caerphilly AdventuresSychryd
Outeractive, Outdoor Development TrainingSychryd & Mellte
Blue Ocean ActivitiesSychryd & Mellte
University of Wales Trinity Saint DavidSychryd
Adventure Beyond LtdSychryd & Mellte
Way2go AdventuresSychryd & Mellte
Blue Dot AdventureSychryd & Mellte
Cardiff International White WaterSychryd
Gower AdventuresSychryd
Oxfordshire OutdoorsSychryd & Mellte
Tirabad Residential Educational CentreSychryd
RipnRock LtdSychryd & Mellte
Parkwood Outdoors DolygaerSychryd & Mellte
Steve Rayner Outdoor PursuitsSychryd
Hawk Adventures / Hawk AssociatesSychryd & Mellte
Wye Canoes Ltd / Wye AdventuresSychryd
Longtown Outdoor Learning CentreSychryd & Mellte
Govilon Activity CentreSychryd & Mellte
Trewern Outdoor CentreSychryd & Mellte
Quest Adventure Activities LtdSychryd & Mellte
Maes y Lade CentreSychryd & Mellte
Adventures Activities LtdSychryd & Mellte
Storey Arms Outdoor Education CentreSychryd & Mellte