Paddlesport Covid Update + ‘Gunpowder & Gorges’

Apologies for yet another message from SWOAPG. Things are changing so fast at the moment that there seems to be something new to say every day, some of which can’t always wait until Sunday evening’s newsletter. Today, a few paddlesport items as well as a reminder of this week’s ‘Gunpowder & Gorges webinar’.

Brecon Beacons Reservoir Passport

We have been notified that Dwr Cymru Welsh Water will be re-opening its reservoirs on 13 July for group paddlesport under the Brecon Beacons Reservoir Passport Scheme. Passports for 2020 are available as usual from Brecon Beacons National Park Authority – details here.

Running courses for ‘professional’ clients

Canoe Wales has confirmed that it is now permissible for professional providers to run some courses for groups of professional clients, since all participants will be ‘at work’. However, providers must abide strictly by Government guidelines for workplace social distancing and hygiene; and courses that require close contact (including assessments containing rescues) are not currently permitted. Providers thinking of running courses are should check the latest Canoe Wales / British Canoeing guidance for activity organisers and course providers and are advised to contact Paul Marshall in advance,, to be sure they have all the right paperwork in place (COVID risk assessment, safety protocols) and to get some advice about the logistics of the group and how to stay consistent with the latest advice. Providers operating under Canoe Wales’ insurance will be covered for courses run within the NGB’s guidelines.

Trees from Glasbury-Hay

We have been informed by Aubrey Fry of Want to Canoe that there are several hazardous trees in the river from Glasbury-Hay. However, a working party is clearing some of these trees today and we expect to be able to report an improved situation later this week. In the meantime, please take great care if you’re using the river.

Reminder: ‘Gunpowder & Gorges’ webinar this Thursday, 10am

This is the third in a series of webinars taking the place of our usual workshop programme – watch this space for more events coming soon.

Join the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority to step back in time to when the works at Pontneddfechan were at their height of their production of gunpowder for the mining industry. Crammed into the steep gorge of the Afon Mellte, the remains of these works can still be found. The gorge was ideal for making this highly explosive product having a plentiful water supply for power and being isolated enough to safeguard the local community if anything did go wrong.

This will be a virtual guided walk to some of those buildings that have recently been conserved. They are now considered of such historical significance that they have been classed as Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Find out about the geology that created these gorges and their unique environment and enjoy a re-telling of a local legend of faeries, hidden lands and the temptation of gold.

Please RSVP (using the button on the website event listing; or by e-mail) to register your interest (NB this event is for SWOAPG Members only, so your credentials will be checked on booking. Members who have registered their interest will receive the Zoom link in due course – please contact us if you have not received this before the event).

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