THE MONDAY MOAN – A once a week spot for us to moan about the stuff that perhaps we should all be moaning about that little bit more… 

It was way back in the day, sometime in 2005 I think, that I first commented upon the appalling state of the gateway to the Brecon Beacons, the car park at the foot of Pen y Fan, Pont ar Daf Car Park.

Since then, every few years, I remind the owners, The National Trust, of the totally disgusting state both in outlook, in cleanliness and in usability of this well known spot.

They have responded in varying ways, like, ‘there’s not much we can do about it, we’re on it and are going for re-development, you mean you want us to actually manage the location? It’s not our fault, it’s the police…’

In fact the National Trust claim that their hands are tied as many authorities are stakeholders in the management of their land – the police, Natural Resources Wales, The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Powys County Council…

And so I asked them what progress they had made during the covid lockdown with regards to making the location more user friendly and this is their appalling response:

‘It isn’t possible at this current time to say when the Pont ar Daf project might resume, as we have deferred, or in some cases stopped, a large proportion of project spend planned in order to cover costs like essential maintenance and urgent compliance tasks. We thank everyone for their patience and support during these difficult times.’

They failed to answer a specific question I raised regarding burger vans at this location so I responded with this which to date they have failed to reply to. I’ve chased them and will update this blog post with any further information. What annoys me is that I shouldn’t feel that I need to be applying pressure to the authorities – that is the job of organisations like the membership of the NT, like Brecon Beacons Tourism… But gone are the days of activism and any tourist association being anything close to a pressure group.

‘If that’s the case please can you advise on the following and also answer the question about burger vans?

1: Are the police going to enforce trunk road laws and ticket and then tow away vehicles parked on the verges each weekend until the message is received? 

2: Are you going to ask the police to move on burger vans operating from Pont ar Daf Car Park?

3: Are you prepared to write to charities and ask for a self imposed limit of 20 max participants in any event? This I have arbitrarily imposed and I think it is a good starting point. Further discussion on numbers could be had but I set 20 as my limit and I break that group into two and we get along just fine. I only ever attend mid week or for sunset or sunrise walks. So…

4: Are you prepared to write to charities and ask them to only deliver charity events Monday to Friday and NOT at weekends?

The mountains are sacred spaces and for many Pont ar Daf is their window onto Wales. For very may years I have been complaining about the mismanagement of the car park and so the approaches to the highest mountain in Southern Britain. You will know of this and of many others who voice the same or similar opinion. 

Action must be taken and inaction has to be seen as mismanagement.’

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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 :)