First published in WalesOnline 17th June –

Natural Resources Wales has started re-opening some of its more popular car parks which have remained shut since lockdown began.

While many of NRW’s woodlands and nature reserves have been open during the coronavirus pandemic all of its car parks and many recreation facilities were shut in March.

It is now starting to re-open some car parks but NRW-owned mountain bike trails, visitor centres, cafés, toilets and play areas remain closed.

The organisation said that decisions on what can be re-opened on Wednesday, June 17, have been made on a site-by-site basis and in consideration of what can be managed safely in accordance with current Welsh Government guidance. For that reason, some of its larger sites will not be open for some time.

Clare Pillman, chief executive of Natural Resources Wales said: “The decisions around which car parks can reopen at this time have been made in line with the latest Welsh Government advice, and with full consideration of the need to maintain the safety of our visitors, staff and the local community at all times. This will always be our top priority.

“The process of opening our car parks will be gradual and phased, and not all facilities will be opened at the same time. While using our car parks, and where footpaths and trails are open, we encourage visitors to respect one another and the local community by observing social distancing guidelines and protect the natural environment by following the countryside code.”

Here’s a full list of what is being reopened and what will remain closed…

Open car parks

NRW car parks are open at the places listed below. While all walking trails are open at these places, the mountain bike trails remain closed.

Toilets and play areas will also remain closed.

North East Wales

  • Clocaenog Forest – Boncyn Foel Bach
  • Clocaenog Forest – Coed y Fron Wyllt
  • Clocaenog Forest – Pincyn Llys
  • Clocaenog Forest – Pool Park
  • Clocaenog Forest – Rhyd y Gaseg
  • Coed Llangwyfan
  • Coed Nercwys
  • Dyfnant Forest – Hendre
  • Dyfnant Forest – Pen y Ffordd
  • Dyfnant Forest – Pont Llogel Wood

North West Wales

  • no sites

Mid Wales

  • Black Covert Woodland
  • Burfa Hillfort (Radnor Forest)
  • Coed y Bont community woodland
  • Cors Caron National Nature Reserve
  • Dyfi Forest – Foel Friog woodland
  • Dyfi Forest – Nant Gwernol woodland
  • Dyfi Forest – Tan y Coed woodland
  • Dyfi National Nature Reserve – Cors Fochno
  • Gogerddan Woodland
  • Irfon Forest – Garth Bank
  • Irfon Forest – Pwll Bo
  • Irfon Forest – Washpool
  • Irfon Forest – White Bridge
  • Nash Wood (Radnor Forest)
  • The Arch
  • Grogwynion Nature Reserve and Ty’n y Bedw Wood
  • Ty’n y Bedw Wood – Tegfriw Hill car park
  • Tywi Forest – Carreg Clochdy
  • Tywi Forest – Cwm Berwyn
  • Tywi Forest – Fannog
  • Whimble (Radnor Forest)

South East Wales

  • Bargain Wood – Whitestone car park (Wye Valley)
  • Beacon View (Wye Valley)
  • Blaenavon
  • Caerphilly Woods – Parc y Van
  • Cefngarw Wood
  • Chepstow Park Wood
  • Coed Cefn Pwll-Du
  • Coed Coesau Whips
  • Coed y Cerrig National Nature Reserve
  • Copi Gwynthi
  • Coppice Mawr
  • Cwm Clydach National Nature Reserve
  • Cwmcelyn
  • Fedw Wood
  • Fforest Fawr
  • Garn Eiddel
  • Great Barnets Wood
  • Hensol
  • Llantrisant
  • Llanwynno
  • Manor Wood
  • Merthyr Mawr Warren National Nature Reserve
  • Ninewells
  • Ogof Ffynnon Ddu National Nature Reserve
  • Penhow Woodlands National Nature Reserve
  • Slade Wood
  • St James
  • St Pierre
  • Trellech Common (Peckett Stone)
  • Wentwood
  • Wern Y Cwm
  • Wet Meadow
  • Wyndcliff Wood – upper and lower car parks (Wye Valley)

South West Wales

  • Abercregan
  • Beili Glas
  • Brechfa Forest – Gwarallt
  • Briton Ferry
  • Caio Forest
  • Carmel National Nature Reserve
  • Cenarth Woodland
  • Craig y Llyn
  • Crychan Forest – Esgair Fwyog and Cefn Farm
  • Crymlyn Bog National Nature Reserve
  • Glasfynydd Forest (Pont ar Wysg)
  • Gower Woods – Mill Wood
  • Gower Woods – Park Wood
  • Hendre Mynydd
  • Lower Blaen y Glyn
  • Nant Gronwy
  • Owl’s Grove
  • Pembrey Forest
  • Penllergaer Woods
  • Penpych
  • Pen-y-Bedd Wood
  • Pont Cwmfedwen
  • Tŷ Canol National Nature Reserve
  • Wiston Woods

People are reminded to check local arrangements before they travel as facilities and car parks owned or managed by other organisations may not be open.

Visitor centres

The following visitor centres listed below are closed and are not included in the phased re-opening , including all car parks, cafés, toilets and play areas. The mountain bike trails at these centres will also remain closed, although walking trails and running trails are open at these places. 

  • Bwlch Nant yr Arian visitor centre, near Aberystwyth
  • Cadair Idris visitor centre, near Dolgellau
  • Coed y Brenin visitor centre, near Dolgellau
  • Garwnant visitor centre, near Merthyr Tydfil
  • Ynyslas visitor centre, Dyfi National Nature Reserve, near Aberystwyth

Closed car parks

The following NRW car parks are closed, including all cafés, toilets and play areas.

However, all walking trails and running trails are open at these places.

North West Wales

  • Aberhirnant
  • Beddgelert Forest
  • Cefni – Rhosmeirch and Bodffordd
  • Coed y Brenin Forest Park – Forest Garden
  • Coed y Brenin Forest Park – Glasdir
  • Coed y Brenin Forest Park – Pont Cae’n y Coed
  • Coed y Brenin Forest Park – Pont Lam yr Ewig
  • Coed y Brenin Forest Park – Ty’n y Groes
  • Coed y Brenin Forest Park – Tyddyn Gwladys
  • Coedydd Aber National Nature Reserve
  • Coedydd Maentwrog National Nature Reserve – Coed Llyn Mair
  • Cors Bodeilio National Nature Reserve
  • Gwydir Forest Park – Cae’n y Coed
  • Gwydir Forest Park – Hafna
  • Gwydir Forest Park – Llyn Geirionydd
  • Gwydir Forest Park – Llyn Sarnau
  • Gwydir Forest Park – Penmachno
  • Gwydir Forest Park – Sawbench
  • Gwydir Forest Park – Ty’n Llwyn
  • Newborough National Nature Reserve and Forest
  • Rhinog National Nature Reserve and Cwrt Forest

Mid Wales

  • Hafod Estate
  • Hafren Forest
  • Dyfi National Nature Reserve

South West Wales

  • Afan Forest Park visitor centre
  • Afan Forest Park – Rhyslyn car park
  • Brechfa Forest – Abergorlech
  • Brechfa Forest – Byrgwm
  • Brechfa Forest – Keepers
  • Oxwich National Nature Reserve

Closed sites

Car parks, all trails and all visitor facilities are closed at the places listed below.

North East Wales

  • Alwen Reservoir
  • Clocaenog Forest – Bod Petryal
  • Coed Moel Famau

North West Wales

  • Cadair Idris National Nature Reserve
  • Coed y Garth (closed due to forestry operations)
  • Cwm Idwal National Nature Reserve
  • Gwydir Forest Park – Cyffty Mine (closed due to reservoir operations)
  • Gwydir Forest Park – Llyn Crafnant (closed due to construction work)
  • Snowdon National Nature Reserve

Mid Wales

  • Ceri Forest
  • Cors y Llyn National Nature Reserve
  • Dyfi Forest – Climachx (mountain bike trail)
  • Fishpools (Radnor Forest)
  • Warren Wood (Radnor Forest)

South East Wales

  • Blaen Llia
  • Cwm Giedd
  • Cwmcarn Forest
  • Dinas Rock
  • Gwaun Hepste (car park for Four Falls Trail)
  • Mynydd Du Forest
  • Neuadd
  • Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve
  • Pont Melin-fach
  • Upper Blaen y Glyn

South West Wales

  • Brechfa Forest – Siffigwm
  • Cors Llangloffan National Nature Reserve
  • Crychan Forest – Brynffo
  • Cwm Rhaeadr (closed due to forestry operations)
  • Halfway Forest
  • Minwear Forest
  • Mynydd Du Forest – Blaen y Cwm
  • Mynydd Du Forest – Cadwgan
  • Stackpole National Nature Reserve
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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 :)