The Mellte for Gorge Walking

I have written previously about the ongoing abuse of the river environment of the Mellte in the waterfalls area of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

I have written that the BBNP’s stated policy was once no gorge walking in this location.

I have stated that the BBNP and Natural Resources Wales were persuaded to change this stance based on economic pressure from a small group of large adventure activity providers alongside the capitulation of the representative group of activity providers in South Wales, the SWOAPG.

I have predicted that there will be ongoing light to serious injuries of inappropriately equipped participants and that there will be at some point death/s.

No one is listening.

This was the state of play early on the morning of 31st July 2021. Not great photos but good enough to show the level of participation in one area of the river. Pictured are at least 7 groups within a 75m section of river.

We noted clients in old trainers/slip on pumps. We noted groups of 20+ participants. We noted old and tired looking kit. We noted inappropriate kit (example climbing helmets are not made for gorge environments). We noted the hung over and in one group wholly obese hen party who under any other circumstances would have been advised not to venture into the river environment. And we noted the poor fitting wetsuits, the cold (despite the warmth of the day) looking clients, the areas where clients were not being observed by the instructor/s…

The river deserves more respect.

The waterfalls area of the BBNP should not be a playground for those who drive in, play and then drive out.

The authorities will be held, by me, in good part responsible for any future fatalities as it is they who agreed to the quota of any company having up to 48 people in the river at any one time.

Gorge walking is not scalable. The activity in this environment is not sustainable with that level of use.

Shame on them all…

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Andrew Lamb avatar
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Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published I opened the first mountain bike hire business in the Brecon Beacons National Park in 1995. Since then my business, Wales Outdoors, has grown and morphed and is now the most active and most popular guided walks and adventure travel provider in Wales. Andy has been a volunteer co-ordinator, guided walks programme organiser and part time central area warden for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, chair of Brecon Beacons Tourism, a Duke of Edinburghs area co-ordinator, a Princes Trust social inclusion manager, the catalyst for the Brecon Beacons National Park Environment Charter and a key motivator for the inception of the outdoor activity peer group, SWOAPG. Join Me! for a walk or two :)

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