The Brecon Beacons need your help! Over 350,000 pairs of walkers’ boots tread their slopes every year and, as a result, many of the paths are in need of urgent restoration.
The National Trust is predicting this year to bring the busiest tourist season ever and is therefore embarking on essential repair work on the walking paths of one of the UK’s best loved mountains, Pen y Fan.
The Trust has cared for the central Brecon Beacons for 30 years, and spends around £100,000 each year maintaining footpaths. The conservation charity is launching an urgent appeal to raise additional funds to repair damage caused by erosion.
Lead Ranger Rob Reith started working for the Trust in 1986 and has been at the helm of footpath repair work for the last thirty years.
He says, ‘It’s fantastic the area is so popular with visitors who experience the stunning outdoors and enjoy the challenge posed by one of our best loved peaks. But with popularity comes wear and tear.
Judging by recent figures, it looks like 2018 could be the most popular year ever for walking in the Brecon Beacons, and we need to make sure the paths are in the best possible condition to accommodate that.’
If the repair work wasn’t carried out, the visitor footfall – combined with the changeable weather – would cause erosion and widen the paths. In the past, this has created scars 30-40 meters wide with a loss of vegetation and 1,000s of tonnes of soil.
Since the Trust started looking after the area three decades ago, its staff and volunteers have created over 15km of stone pitched paths and 400m of drainage ditches, as well as reversing declining vegetation in an area as large as 30 football pitches.
Joe Daggett, Countryside Manager for the National Trust, said, “We have a massive responsibility to look after these areas for people to enjoy and to benefit nature. To do this, we are reliant on public support alongside our dedicated staff and volunteers. Campaigns such as this help to shed a light on some of the challenges we face and why this work is so important.”
The National Trust cares for over 3,328 hectares of land in the central Brecon Beacons, which includes over 70km of footpaths and bridleways.
Rob Leith says: ‘I feel like the surgeon of the mountains – stitching the wounds and healing the scars of modern pressure. Please help our team of staff and volunteers carry on this work. These mountains deserve to be cared for – please make a donation today.’
For more information on the appeal, or to donate, visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brecon-beacons-appeal