Further to our earlier message on 19 February (included below), the owner of the land river-left of the Sychryd gorge has now advised us that, “after chatting to a couple of your members I feel a yearly fee to access our land to partake in your members gorge walking would be more fair and acceptable? We propose a yearly fee of £200 plus VAT. This will then ensure that if clients of your members get injured that their insurance is not void. If you could pass this on to your members I would appreciate it. Anyone not wanting to pay the fee would not be allowed access to our land. I can be contacted on the details below if anyone wishes to discuss the proposal.” Ron Ferguson, Waterfall Country Pods, email@example.com, 07738 052041.
[19 Feb post] Further to our earlier message on 20 January (included below), the owner of much of the land river-left of the Sychryd gorge has now confirmed that all gorge-walking groups (whether ‘commercial’ or ‘educational’) – except those that have his specific permission – “need to either pay £30 per day to go on our land or stay in the middle of the river or NRW side“; that “anyone entering our property will be asked to leave [and] if they refuse they will be removed“; and confirming that his “boundary is in the middle of the river“. He has also stated that he is “no longer interested in working with” gorge-walking groups who have not taken up his previous offers to work with him.
SWOAPG therefore suggests that all gorge-walking groups should for the time-being endeavour to operate only in the right-hand-side of the river and on the right bank of the Sychryd upstream of the Dinas Rock road bridges – or should contact the land-owner (details below) if they wish to arrange access to his land.
If providers do find themselves challenged for trespassing river-left in the gorge, they should respond calmly and politely, move their group back to the right-hand side by the shortest route possible and avoid returning to the left-hand side – and please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can continue to monitor and advise on the situation. As usual, you are subjected to verbal or physical abuse you may wish to report this to the police supported with video evidence if appropriate.
[20 Jan post] The owner of the land river-left of the Sychryd gorge upstream of the road bridges (including the ‘worm-hole’ and the river-left half of the top waterfall jump) has advised us that “we have tried to interact with your groups but only two of your members have been willing to [work constructively with us]…so from 31 January 2023 only [these two providers] will be allowed access to our land, anyone else that wants access will need to pay £30 per visit. Anyone who doesn’t want to pay and [is] found to be on our land will be asked to leave with their group.”
We are seeking clarification from the landowner as to whether this applies to all groups or whether he is still content for educational and family groups to cross and jump from the top waterfall, as he previously advised.
It appears that the landowner is perfectly willing to permit access to providers who engage and work constructively with him so providers wishing to access river-left should consider contacting him to discuss options. Contact details are online from us or at Waterfall Country Pods.