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… 

The tourism business’ that I am in contact with have all declared that they have heard NOTHING from the authorities who manage the countryside and NOTHING from the authorities that manage the public tourism budget. No outreach, no guidance, no information. How, I ask, are these authorities allowed to get away with declaring that they work in partnership with local business’ and how do they think the local business’ they work so hard 😉 to support can manage, in good time, the return towards normality without any guidance or information?

Brecon Beacons National Park

No guidance regarding the opening of the upland areas and so no confidence given to tourism operators and so to those wishing to plan a visit to Wales. No outreach to effected tourism business’.

Natural Resources Wales

No work started on footpath repairs at Pontneddfechan despite the damage occurring prior to lockdown. The main path from Pontneddfechan remains closed. No public statement regarding the re-opening of NRW managed car parks. No outreach to effected tourism business’.

National Trust

No work started on the revamp of the Pont ar Daf car park. No outreach to effected tourism business’.

Brecon Beacons Tourism

Their current listings site banner states that Wales is still in lockdown. They charge double the fees for membership if based outside of the BBNP… I am not a member so I cannot comment on the level of communication to members throughout the crisis but I have been informed that there has been no information or guidance regarding re-opening of the BBNP and tourism to the area.

Visit Wales

During lockdown VisitWales removed nearly all guided walks providers from their listings without consultation with the providers. Good job guys! No outreach to tourism business’.

Sent to the Brecon Beacons National Park:

What is the reasoning for maintaining the closure of significant areas of upland Wales and very many lowland footpaths given that as of the 6th July the travel ban is lifted in Wales and business’ have been told to prepare for a return to work?

Please advise how keeping a footpath closed is ‘keeping people safe’ when high street shops and cafes are open.

Please advise on what work has been undertaken to maintain and indeed improve the footpath network, signage and fencing and styles etc during this unique period of quiet in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Please advise on lack of information regarding opening of the countryside to the tourism sector and the National Parks responsibility therefore for a slow economic recovery in rural Wales.

Finally please advise the reasoning behind the closure of footpaths in the Waterfalls Country, Forest Fawr and Mynydd Illtyd. In fact the paths from Pontneddfechan are outside it seems of the closures and so you can begin a walk to see the waterfalls from the village. Fforest Fawr is not a honey pot location and neither is the common at Mynydd Illtyd so some explanation would be useful.

Sent to the National Trust:

I am writing to enquire what works you have been undertaking at Pont ar Daf during this unique period of quiet at that site. 

As the government from the start of the lockdown stated that building works could continue and as you have stated to me in the past that the go ahead had been given for the new parking space at this site I am hopeful that you have gone a long way to completing these works. 

If you have not begun the works then I would like to know why as lockdown has given us all a unique opportunity and I believe to fail to make use of that opportunity is effectively mismanagement of the location, which as you know, I have claimed has been the case for very, very many years. 

I would also ask what thought has been given to NOT having a burger van at Pont ar Daf. 

Sent to Natural Resources Wales:

I would like to enquire of who is responsible for the works on the path leading to Sgwd Gwladys from Pontneddfechan. This path was damaged by the tree falling away from the bank PRIOR to lockdown and I visited the area today and NO progress has been made to repair the path. 

Sent to Brecon Beacons Tourism:

I was thinking of joining but I am dismayed by your current banner which really ought to be stating that tourism is opening in Wales from the 13th and also I am dismayed by the doubling of joining fees for those who are outside of the BBNP. Both I think are shameful and show a lack of insight into the tourism industry and a lack of leadership at this time. I do hope you rethink your current banner soon and I remain hopeful that Brecon Beacons Tourism realises that protectionism is not well received nowadays.

I didn’t send anything to Visit Wales

They really do not deserve any more of my time seeing as the international portal for Welsh Tourism no longer lists business’ offering guided walks.

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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 :)