Footpath work on the Brecon Beacons

Volunteers in the Brecon Beacons
Volunteers help to repair side ditches in the Brecon Beacons National Trust

There are over 70km of footpaths and bridleways that criss-cross 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 75,000 square metres of bare soil has been re-vegetated and recovered on the surrounding path routes.

Our progress over recent years

There's still a further 10km of footpaths without vegetation and more than 4m wide. In 2013, 2014 and 2015 we continued with the work on Cefn Cwm Llwch footpath running from Cwm Gwdi up to Pen y Fan. We had a lot of help from working holiday groups and other volunteers to help us stone-pitch 100m of path.

Quarrying the stone

The stone we use is first dug out and sorted into the correct size and shape. It's sourced 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 is then placed into a one-tonne dumpy bag until full. Seventy of these bags were airlifted over to the work site on Cefn Cwm Llwch by helicopter in the summer .


Throughout the summer of 2015, with the help of a variety of volunteer groups, we used 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 is landscaped, banks sloped and the whole area re-vegetated.
We're hoping to keep on top of the stone-pitching at Cefn Cwm Llwch and continue our work up to Pen y Fan. We also hope to recruit more volunteers to help us maintain the footpaths all year round. This never-ending task is made considerably easier with extra pairs of hands.

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 please contact us