We were out for a 15km walk from Canton, down the Ely Trail, through Leckwith Woods and over to Caerau. It was clear the work I demanded on the Ely Trail has still not been completed, that’s 9 months on. The work is simply a barrier between the footpath/cycle path and the dual carriageway. You’d have thought that would have been of some urgency. 

On the Ely Trail we were abused by some Next Bikes warriors and then crossing a road by an elderly man in a small red car. WTF is wrong with people?

The footpath into Leckwith Woods was not signed and was not evident on the ground. It was also unwalkable without spiked shoes. NO work has been done here to improve access for walkers for generations and indeed if ever. This proved to be the case for the whole of this walk. 

Covid Cardiff Gallery

Stiles were decayed and dangerous or simply missing. At one stage we had to climb through a hedge to follow the path. Signage was rare. We hoped to be able to make our way to the OS marked on the map viewpoint but no chance, no route through to that so we had to walk through the Caerau Estate. Not knowing if there was a crossing of the Ely for us from the Caerau side to Sanatorium Park we made our way to the fort and the church ruin, quite lovely, but then found the path off and to the estate a total disgrace and very dangerous. We then walked through residential areas and to the top end of Cowbridge Road West and then home through Victoria Park. 

All in all a walk that compares unfavourably with the wonderful nature on the Brecon Beacons and one that I will not be repeating. 

Indeed I will be writing to the local authority and pressuring them replace all of the styles, to sign the footpaths around Cardiff as they are legally required to do, to place a moratorium on new projects until they have a plan in place to maintain effectively there resources they already ave and to explain why every street bin in Cardiff was overflowing onto the pavement with rubbish. 

Cardiff City Council is, it must be said, a total disgrace. And I think I know why. The posh people of Cowbridge wouldn’t put up with poorly maintained paths or rubbish in the streets. There s an economic divide that sees poorer areas by passed, ignored, forgotten. Shame on those council officials tasked with maintaining the built landscape of the Capital City of Wales. Shame on those same officials for making use of the countryside near impossible for those poorer city dwellers. 

So, I’ve tried to find hills and terrain that will keep me fit during the lockdown, which is now never ending it seems, but that is not going to be found near to Cardiff. The Brecon Beacons are beckoning. 

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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 :)