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I have a beef with the National Trust. Several in fact. And so I never pay for parking at their locations and I am not a member, and I never will be. I don’t think, but don’t quote me on it, that their charging is enforceable and to date I have not received a parking fine notification. 

I disagree with the NT’s model of using members money to purchase stately homes, allowing the public very limited access while the landed gentry remain in situ and in control of most of the buildings. I am in particular thinking of the Sackvilles pile in Kent where a few rooms are available to wander round and the grand halls and staircase being out of bounds. If one of the richest families in the UK is living in their family home at ‘public’ expense, then there is something very wrong with that set up…

I also disagree with the NT boards decisions to maintain hunting on NT land despite an overwhelming majority of members being against. If the policy making body are at odds with the membership then again there is something very wrong with that…

I am appalled at the National Trusts ongoing mismanagement of Pont ar Daf car park which sits at the foot of the highest mountain in Southern Britain, Pen y Fan. This stinking, overcrowded and supremely ugly parking spot is, for most, the gateway to the Brecon Beacons… Shameful is all I can say…

And so to the Skirrid car park. It’s £4 for a day pass for a car. Not bad. BUT, the majority of my clients read the sign as £8 and so pay that. Unclear signage it seems leads to a doubling of income. And the paths around the Skirrid are in a poor state of repair with one leading directly from the said car park and needing hacking skills and spiked shoes to cope with the undergrowth,  poor signage and mud. 

So for these reasons I’d recommend not paying at National Trust Car Parks, at least until the homes members pay for are opened unto the public, until the board listen to members and ban hunting on trust land and until the walks on NT land near the car parks are adequately maintained.

Andrew Lamb avatar

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 :)