Footpath work on the Brecon Beacons

Cefn Cwm Llwch footpath © R.Reith

Cefn Cwm Llwch footpath

There are over 70km of footpaths and bridleways that criss-cross over the central Brecon Beacons. Over the last decade, 15km of these routes have had a path line defined by stone pitching, stone gravel surface or a sub-soil surface. Completing this work has meant that over 75,000m2 of bare soil has been re-vegetated and recovered on the surrounding path routes.

Work for 2013

There's still a further 10km of footpaths without vegetation and more than four-metres-wide. In 2013 we plan to continue with the work on Cefn Cwm Llwch footpath running from Cwm Gwdi up to Pen y Fan.

Quarrying the stone

The stone we'll use will first have to be dug out and sorted into the correct size and shape. We're sourcing it from Cwr Mawr quarry, situated on Pen Milan, north-west from Corn Du.

This work is done either by hand or using a small digger. Each stone will then be placed into a one tonne dumpy bag until full. Seventy of these bags will then be airlifted over to the work site on Cefn Cwm Llwch by helicopter in late spring.

Volunteers

Throughout the summer, with the help of a variety of volunteer groups, we'll use the stone to create a solid and hardwearing footpath using a method called stone pitching.

This method has been used since before Roman times. Each stone is placed into the ground upright and stabilised by packing tightly with smaller stone and soil.

Once the path is constructed then the surrounding countryside will be landscaped, banks sloped and the whole area re-vegetated.

Our aim for 2013

It's hoped that 100m of the Cefn Cwm Llwch path will be stone pitched during the summer, weather permitting. We will also hope to finish pitching the Craig Cwm Sere footpath leading up to Pen-y-Fan, and we will stone pitch at least 60m of side ditches below the steep banks to prevent them from collapsing onto the path.

The cost

Each year the cost of constructing and maintaining the footpaths is in excess of £100,000. To continue with this vital work, we're running an appeal for donations.

If you'd like to help finance this work you can make a donation.