We were out in the Sychryd gorge today and picked-up a few points about which we felt we should remind gorge-walking Providers:
- From tomorrow (Sat 8 Aug), the only Providers who have NRW & BBNPA’s permission to use the Waterfall Country gorges are those who have confirmed to SWOAPG that they have “We’re Good to Go” certification (and have paid their Membership Fees!). We will be updating the list of Registered Gorge-Walking Providers on our website tomorrow to include only these Providers – if you’re not listed it may be because (a) you haven’t confirmed that you’re ‘Good to Go’; (b) you haven’t paid your SWOAPG Membership; or (c) you’ve asked us not to publish your details on our website! If in doubt, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Providers must fully implement Welsh Government guidance to maintain social distancing and equipment hygiene. This means that nothing about gorge-walking – including kit issue, group briefings and negotiation of the gorge – is likely to be ‘normal’ at present; and Providers should expect to take all ‘reasonable measures’ to minimise the transmission of Covid-19: relaxation of the 2m rule should be seen as the exception, rather than the rule! The WATO document Safe Delivery of Gorge Walking and Canyoning post COVID -19, prepared by some of our Technical Advisers, is a good place to start!
- Providers must display their SWOAPG ID Cards visibly, both in vehicles and on group leaders (Blue 2020 cards have now been sent to all paid-up Providers, so please contact us if you haven’t received them).
- Gorge-walking groups may now return from Loonies’ Leap to Dinas Rock Car Park by starting from the ‘upper’ footbridge on river-right (ignore the current ‘footpath closed’ sign which relates to a tree partially blocking the route!), then crossing the lower’ footbridge and using the path on river-left to the car-park (in this direction only; single-file; no overtaking; avoiding sensitive areas) – the path on river-left between the two footbridges; and the path on river-right from the ‘lower’ footbridge to the Village Hall; are still out-of-bounds.