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Paths in the Future R

amblers Cymru is calling for new funding for public paths, in particular for the new local authority path improvement plans. The new funding will need to come from the Welsh Assembly, which together with the existing local authority funds should bring in additional monies from Europe and other sources. These new path plans are called the Rights of Way Improvement Plans (ROWIPS) and every local authority has been preparing them. They contain an assessment of both local aspirations and the resource itself; plus vitally a statement of action detailing what will be done to put paths right, the timetable and the cost. A Wales wide figure will then be clear. When last this was considered in 2003 the Countryside Council for Wales survey identified that £26 million was needed to put paths in good order (plus management costs were not included).

authorities to account.

Many members will have contributed to or been in the process of putting their comments forward for Rights of Way Improvement Plans (ROWIPS). Some ROWIPs are outstanding and the programme is given on page 4.

ROWIPS also have their critics, walkers are concerned that they will offer a way to drop the upkeep of the humble path by creating a path hierarchy resulting in maintenance of only some parts of the network, and detractors would say if they are finding support in all quarters the walker’s interest can’t be being well served!

In their favour ROWIPS have been through a locally based consultation process, will be bidding documents and are statutory 10-year plans. They provide a starting point to turn round path condition as presently over Wales only 41% of paths are easy to use and importantly they offer an opportunity to hold

As representatives we need to ensure that the walking public’s interests are kept uppermost by voicing that interest locally plus we are commenting on each ROWIP by analysing them against a set of standard criteria, John Trevelyan is helping with this work.

Walkers are Welcome P

restatyn and Meliden have had great success with the Walkers are Welcome project. In the summer the community won the first award in Wales at the Royal Welsh Show, presented by Jane Davidson Welsh Assembly Minister for Sustainability and Housing (see picture) to Malcolm Wilkinson, a volunteer and rambler. Celebrating this event in October 200 walkers joined Councillor June Cahill, Mayor of Prestatyn, Roger Thomas, Chief Executive of the Countryside Council for Wales, Kate Ashbrook, Ramblers Chairman and Gwen Goddard from the founding community Hebden Bridge for a great day’s walking in a place that is increasingly important for walking and for visitors. PAGE




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Hello Again …


…it’s been a wet summer for everyone with paths getting more than usually overgrown. We are still picking the thorns from our fingers from the last stile we trimmed back. Worries over foot and mouth disease are a concern for everyone who cares about the countryside. We are delighted that new Minister Jane Davidson AM puts access as one of her two priorities along with the hugely important y y Penne issue of climate change. We had a soggy time at the Royal Welsh Beverle show and a terrific time at the National Eisteddfod at Mold, see pics below. As ever, thanks to our volunteers. On the staffing side we have said a big hello to Celia Wyn Parri who has joined us as Office Administrator and a fond farewell to Martin Dowson who has returned to his much-loved home in the Peak District and joined Sheffield City Council to work on green space and access. As I write we are advertising a new post working on projects and funding with a particular emphasis on rights of way. We also have a new GB Chief Executive Tom Franklin, past head of Living Streets who knows Ramblers well as we worked closely on the lottery bid, which has resulted in a £3.5 million award for promoting walking in England. We look forward to working with Tom.

DECEMBER 1st – Footpath Training Day Newtown

2008 JANUARY 12th – North Wales AGM MARCH 15th – Ceredigion AGM APRIL 12-13th – Welsh Council, Aberystwyth

Practical Handbook Updated Getting Greens Registered was first published in 1994. This second edition, by John Riddall, has been thoroughly revised and updated to include, in particular, the important changes made by the Commons Act 2006 and the law courts. This edition states the law at 6 April 2007. It applies to both England and Wales.

Enjoy walking!

This book is a practical handbook for anyone wanting to register a piece of land as a town or village green. It gives a straightforward, step-by-step, account of the action needed. It will be of benefit to individuals, community groups, landowners, local councils and other local authorities. This is by far the most detailed advice ever to be published for registration authorities and applicants on this subject.

Beverley Director Wales

John Riddall MA (TCD) is a barrister and before his retirement was a senior lecturer in law at the University of Leeds. His books include Land Law, Jurisprudence, the Law of Trusts and, with John Trevelyan, Rights of Way: a guide to law and practice. He is a vice-president of the Open Spaces Society.

Left: National Eisteddfod 2007. Top & Above: Royal Welsh Show 2007.

Obituary The Ramblers’ Association, 3 Coopers Yard, Curran Road, CARDIFF. CF10 5NB Tel: 029 2064 4308 • Fax: 029 2064 5187 Website: email: The Ramblers’ Association is a registered charity (No. 1093577) and a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales (No. 4458492). Registered Office: Camelford House, 87-89 Albert Embankment, London. SE1 7TW.



NORMAN SLATER. Sadly, Norman died on 26 September 2007. He was an inspiration offering his commitment, energy and humour to Ramblers. He contributed strategically whilst serving on the Welsh Executive and Glamorgan Area Committees and to the Cardiff Group in many thoughtful and practical ways.



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Maggie – Passionate about Islwyn Maggie Thomas is the Secretary of the Islwyn Ramblers Group and a member of the Welsh Executive Committee. How did you get involved in walking and why is it special now? I used to swim regularly to keep healthy and to try to keep my weight down. One of Islwyn Ramblers suggested that I join the group. I started walking on my own initially as I was unsure whether I would be as fit as the others in the group. When I finally turned up on a walk I found that I knew quite a few of the others, it is a very friendly group, everyone who turns up is made welcome. It is special now for the same reason that it was then. I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country - I am told that I should try to keep it a secret, as we do not want hordes of people here. I am very lucky to be able to step outside my front door and have many beautiful walks at my disposal.

and produced a laminated pack of 13 walks all in the Cwm Carn forest area. I appreciate the grant from Greater Gwent Ramblers and I have already started on the next pack of walks.

Why did you join the Ramblers?

What would you like to achieve with the Ramblers?

I believe I joined Ramblers before I started walking with a group. I joined after reading about von Hoogstraten in the Guardian. The article mentioned that members of Ramblers were fighting to get the Right of Way reopened and needed funds.

What’s your favourite walking place? Any of the mountains which are accessible from my house. The walk to Twmbarlwm Tump is always exhilarating.

Who’s your dream walking partner? Alfie, the dog not the rugby player! I enjoy walking with the members of Islwyn Ramblers. We’re a small, friendly group. However, I also enjoy walking alone. Seriously I would like to take Derek Brockway on a local walk. This area should be featured in Weatherman Walking. Weatherman Walking meets Maths Teacher Meandering.

Do you have a favourite bit of walking kit? My GPS has helped me write the pack of local walks. I’m a bit of a technophobe so I only use some of the functions, but even in this limited way it has proved invaluable. I am very pleased that I finally got my act together

Above: View from one of Maggie's favourite walks Twm Barlwm. Left: Maggie’s dream walking partner, Alfie. Right: Maggie meets Iolo Williams.

I would like to improve the membership of Islwyn Ramblers so that we can run more than one walking programme. I would also like to get the local authority to promote this area for walking.

Funniest walking incident? Sorry I cannot think of one that would be printable! As I’ve said Islwyn Ramblers is a friendly group and laughter can be heard all the time on our walks. Last year our Mince Pie Walk took place in very thick fog. When we finally sat down at the picnic site to our feast of mince pies, chocolates and mulled wine no doubt other walkers would have been taken aback at the hearty carol singing in the deep fog!

How did you get involved in the group? I was asked if I would be Secretary of Islwyn Ramblers at the first A.G.M. I attended. That shows how small the group is and how few people we have who feel that they have the time or the expertise to be an officer of the group – but we are working on it.

Why is walking special for you? I’m sure everyone who goes out for a walk, not just those who walk for a hobby, must get

Maggie has produced an excellent laminated pack of 13 walks available in the Islwyn area.

that amazing euphoric feeling within 10 minutes of setting off. I’m told that you can get the same sensation at the gym, but the two experiences cannot be compared. It is a constant reminder of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. PAGE




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One Voice Wales

Powys Paths B

ob Seabrook Powys Area Footpath Officer reports that Powys Area had pressed for an enforcement officer and is encouraged that this is working well, with swift application of legal procedures to get public paths open.


ollowing on from successful work with Community and Town Councils in Conwy a new pilot project to be launched later this year will see the start of a new working partnership between the Ramblers’ Association and ‘One Voice Wales’, the national body for Community and Town Councils in Wales.

Another important achievement has been to defeat a bridleway deletion application at Llanbadarn Fynydd, a lengthy process; Bob says "all that effort was worth it to safeguard this pleasant bridleway".

ROWIP consultation deadlines All should be ready for 1st Nov 2007

Mike Mills, rights of way officer for Ramblers says, “There are over 700 Community and Town Councils in Wales, representing a tier of Mike Mills presents Simon White, Chief Executive of One Voice Wales government that is closest to with a copy of the new ‘Rights of Way, a Guide to Law and Practice’. local communities. The people to develop a vision for local futures and communities range from small rural communicating those aspirations to all those settlements to large towns. However, what who are responsible for local strategies and community and towns councils have in service delivery. This is an important tier of common is that they are all striving to government that can play a major part in improve the quality of life for local people. We bringing about improvements to the footpath are keen to work with all relevant partners for network in Wales. Local people are well placed this project.” to understand local problems and we see their “Much of the work of local councils is achieved through exercising a range of statutory powers and duties and these include some important rights and powers concerning rights of way” Mike Mills added “It is true to say that no other authority can know the local paths as well as local councils can and it is often the voice of the local council that will command the attention of the local authority when action is called for.” “Community and town councils provide a valuable contribution to local democracy: engaging with local people, fostering and coordinating civic action, working with local

role as pivotal improvements.”



One Voice Wales provides an advice and guidance service to member councils and champions the interests of the sector at the national level, influencing policy development and working closely with key partners to ensure local councils can serve their electorates effectively. They also provide opportunities for councils to network and share best practice, for example through the 16 Area Committees across Wales and our developing Larger Local Councils Committee. Their website is

he Copper Coast walk occurred to us as we cleared a footpath between Parys Mountain (the biggest copper mine in the world in 18C) and Amlwch Port. We got the furniture from the council, put in 9 stiles, 2 bridges, 6 way marker posts, cleared 2 miles of vegetation and fixed 150 unique way markers designed and paid for by RA. The walk follows the Anglesey Coastal past St Eilian’s well and then the site of his 6th century Oratory while just inland is a 12th century church built in his honour. On to Point Lynas, voted one of the best whale watching spots in Wales; on then to Dulas passing many an historic site, then inland on ancient miner’s paths to Parys Mine and down the old ore road to our starting point.


The Silver Slashers (the Ynys Môn volunteer footpath gang).


Completed Consultations (7) Anglesey Powys CC Vale of Glam CC Cardiff Gwynedd Blaenau Gwent Pembrokeshire Carmarthenshire Consulting (2) Authority Ceredigion Conwy

Closing Date 2007 October/November October


The Copper Coast. A 14 mile circular walk.


Adopted and Published (7) Rhondda Cynon Taff Swansea Caerphilly CBC Wrexham Brecon Beacons National Park Authority Merthyr Tydfil CBC Monmouthshire CC

Consultation dates to be announced: Bridgend Denbighshire Flintshire Neath Port Talbot Newport Torfaen

Parys Mountain Copper Mine



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Community & Town Councils Take Up the Campaign Challenge in Conwy


ommunity Councils have joined forces with the Ramblers’ Association in Conwy in their campaign to improve footpaths in the county. Thirty-five Ramblers Cymru volunteers gathered on 14th July at the Glasdir Centre, Conwy to develop their skills to protect footpaths in Wales and Councillor Sylvia Challinor, Chair of Llanrwst Town Council Footpath Committee opened the day’s activities as part of a new and exciting working partnership. Councillor Challinor said “We welcome Ramblers to Llanrwst and are particularly pleased that our two organisations are now working together to find a solution to the county’s serious footpath problems.” (See photo alongside). Mike Mills, Rights of Way Officer for the Ramblers’ Association who led the day’s activities says “It’s terrific that the community councils in Conwy have taken up the challenge to safeguard their local footpaths and are now engaging directly with the Council on these issues. The RA’s campaign working group have worked hard on building local partnerships and alongside Llanrwst, have achieved notable success with six other community and town councils expressing an interest in our work” Mike added: “Conwy County Council has consistently under performed in maintaining their footpaths with almost 80% difficult or

impossible to use. Recent Welsh Assembly Government Performance Indicators place Conwy’s footpaths firmly at the bottom of the performance league table and we urge them to take swift action to get all their rights of way in good order and urge other community and town councils to play their part in making this happen” Mike continued, “Conwy is a beautiful county and a footpath network that is unusable does little to promote it. Walking related tourism contributes some £548 million a year to the Welsh economy and the important health

benefits that walking brings with it means huge savings for the National Health Service. If Conwy want to receive their fair share of these benefits then their paths need to be in good order” Anne Penketh, Max Grant, and David Tindall, with the support of Mike Mills at RA Wales office, will focus on driving the campaign forward over the coming months. Successful campaigns need support so if you would like more information on how you can become involved then please contact Anne Penketh on 01492 622887.

Great Enthusiasm for Footpath Training in Wales F

ootpath training in Wales continues to attract local footpath volunteers with 16 people attending the latest South Wales training day held at the Welsh Institute of Sport in Cardiff on 22nd September. Mike Mills, who ran the day’s events said “For so many volunteers to give up their valuable time on a Saturday is a real testament to their enthusiasm and commitment to both the RA and footpaths in Wales and clearly shows the value of such events” he added, “although our training days are focused on the basics of footpath law we have tried to ensure the sessions are appropriate for a wide range of people, from experienced footpath workers to those members who are just a little inquisitive and would like to know more about how they can get involved in footpath work.

Above: Stretching the grey matter during the training day footpath Quiz Left: OK…so when is an obstruction not an obstruction? Below: Maggie Thomas, Gwyn Lewis and Tony Yule hold aloft Their trophy as they win the group training exercises.

Mike continued “Footpath training in Wales has really evolved over the past two years to meet the needs of our members and volunteers and through a combination of footpath quizzes, films, group exercises, formal training modules and more general discussions on footpath matters, these events now have a wide appeal. It is hoped that training days will evolve further over the coming months and years to attract others who might share our wish to expand the work of the charity. The next training day has now been scheduled for mid Wales and will take place on Saturday 1st December at Plas Dolerw Centre, Newtown Powys. For further information or to book your place please contact Celia Parri at Wales Office or email her on PAGE




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Cerrig Camu / Stepping Stones (CC/SS) T he Cerrig Camu/ Stepping Stones (CC/SS) easy walks programme, has been running (no pun intended) for 2 years. Over that period a total of 531 year-round walks were organised by 21 groups. We have 211 trained walk leaders in groups across Wales and so far an estimated 7,500 walkers have taken part in the project.

Walk Leader Training for all Ramblers Cymru would like to offer our new and improved Cerrig Camu/ Stepping Stones walk leader training to all groups whether or not they decide to participate in the CC/SS programme. You may ask why should I, an experienced walk leader come to a training day? The day will focus your mind on what an easy walk is all about – the likely participants, the pace of a walk, health issues and planning such a walk. You will have the opportunity to link up with other Ramblers groups and share thoughts and ideas. The course is free to Ramblers Cymru members and course notes and lunch are provided. Please call Anwen

Parker today to organise your own walk leader training day! The next training day will be held in January in south Wales. The course will start at 10am and finish at 3pm. The training is open to all who might like to be a short walks leader.

£150 available to groups

Organising Shorter Walks Advice Sheet


amblers Cymru has produced an advice sheet which gives information on organising easy walks of between 3 and 5 miles, of a sort that should appeal to a wide range of walkers. It is primarily intended for volunteers with local Ramblers’ groups though it includes information for anyone running shorter walks. By running a broader range of walks including shorter, easier options we can appeal to the wider public as well as a large number of Ramblers’ members not currently catered for by our group walks.

The Welsh Council Executive Committee has agreed to offer a grant of up to £150 per year to groups who organise a CC/SS short walks programme. If your group has a short walks programme then contact Anwen to find out how to claim your money.

The ideal walk When organising your CC/SS short walks programme try to make sure it includes the following features: Regular: at least once a month (although our research says that weekly walks are in demand) Half day: finish by 12pm Short: 3-5 miles Local: within a 30 minute bus or train journey of the start point Use public transport Well-publicised: Use your group web-site, your walks programme, CC/SS poster blanks and the Ramblers on-line walks finder plus your own local opportunities to get maximum coverage for your walks.

The advice sheet is available from Ramblers Cymru – contact details below.

Photo Competition Winner Congratulations to Mr Alan Spiller of Dinas Powys for this evocative photograph entitled “Winter Light - Newport Wetlands”. He wins a rucksack, courtesy of Cotswold Outdoor. We would love to see more photographs from you all. PAGE




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Rail ‘n’ Ramble

Photo: Nick Treharne

Festival of Winter Walks H

as your group organised walks between 26th December to 2nd January? Then advertise them on the Ramblers on-line walks finder to further promote your walks to members and non-members. This is the perfect time to attract new members who are looking to kick start their New Year’s resolution by joining the Ramblers. All grades and distances can be included. Bilingual poster blanks are available from Ramblers Cymru.

For more information on the topics on these pages contact Anwen Parker on 029 2064 4308 or email


ored with your usual Ramblers’ walks? Looking for a walk with a difference? Then why not try using the railway instead of your car to begin your walk? “Rail Rambles” enable people to enjoy walking without the stress of using a car. The train also provides the chance to enjoy a different aspect of the countryside from the comfort of your train seat - and a welcome opportunity to sit back and relax on the way home! Wales has an excellent rural rail network accessible from towns and villages across the country. From the Conwy Valley line in the north; to the Cambrian and Heart of Wales lines (together serving Powys, Ceredigion, Gwynedd and Carmarthenshire), to the South West Rail line out to Pembrokeshire; and not forgetting the Valleys lines - all give fantastic access to excellent walking country. As with other walks in our programmes, a variety of distances and grades are offered. Many will be circular walks, but Rail Rambles gives new opportunities to walk from one station to another. Rail Rambles originated in 1987, from a core group providing walks in Mid Wales and the Marches. Over a number of years, they have built up a menu of hundreds of walks - all

within a day's return of Shrewsbury. Now, Rail Rambles is expanding and in January 2008 an all-Wales programme will be launched in conjunction with Arriva Trains Wales. The programme will offer over a 100 walks across Wales. How about catching the train from Cardiff on a sunny summer morning to Llantwit Major on the heritage coast line for a walk along the cliffs with views of the Somerset coastline or how about a stroll around Welshpool in the Spring with its many timber-framed buildings followed by a gentle walk around Powis Castle Grounds. Printed Rail Rambles programmes will be available from all relevant stations in Wales and are also available from local Tourist Information Centres. The programme will also be available to download from the Ramblers web-site. If you can’t wait until January then the current programme can be viewed at

GROUPS ~ GROUPS ~ GROUPS ~ GROUPS Do you have walks by train in your group programme? Would you like these walks to be added to the all-Wales programme which will be distributed to local stations on the route and Tourist Information Centres? To find out more call Anwen (details opposite). PAGE




HYDREF 2007 Ffotograffau: Liz Fleming-Williams

Mynyddoedd Cambria… rhy sensitif i gerbydau modur? gan David Bateman Swyddog Llwybrau Rhanbarth Ceredigion

Annwyl Olygydd


ywed nodyn diweddar oddi wrth Gymdeithas y Cerddwyr Llundain (‘Footpath Matters’, Rhifyn 9) yn dilyn y Ddeddf Amgylchedd Naturiol a Chymunedau Gwledig, “nad yw Cymdeithas y Cerddwyr bellach yn cynnal ymgyrch proffil uchel ar fater cerbydau modur sy’n defnyddio hawliau tramwy cyhoeddus”. Ga’ i awgrymu ein bod ni yma yn rhoi’r drol o flaen y ceffyl? Yma ym Mynyddoedd Cambria mae bygythiad newydd yn ymwneud â cherbydau modur wedi ymddangos ar ffurf cynnydd a allai fod yn enfawr yn nifer y lleoedd y gellid caniatáu iddynt yrru’n gyfreithiol. Mae Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru wedi gofyn i’r tri Chyngor Sir gynnal prosiect peilot i ddatblygu “arfer da ar gyfer rheoli cerbydau hamdden mewn dull cynaliadwy… arfer da ar gyfer gweithio gydag ystod amrywiol o randdeiliaid… strategaeth a chynllun gweithredu i helpu i oleuo dulliau rheoli mewn ardaloedd eraill sy’n wynebu problemau ynglˆyn â’r defnydd o gerbydau.” Mae ‘cynaliadwy’ yn air mae pawb yn ei hoffi felly mae’n swnio’n ddigon diniwed. Ond darllenwch ymlaen. Y cam cyntaf oedd i’r cynghorau gynnal cyfres o fforymau i egluro’r prosiect i’r holl rai hynny a allai fod â diddordeb. Roedd tirfeddianwyr, cerddwyr, cyrff cadwraeth ac wrth gwrs defnyddwyr cerbydau modur i gyd yn bresennol. Daeth y rhan o’r cyfarfodydd a oedd yn peri pryder pan wahoddwyd defnyddwyr cerbydau modur i nodi ar fapiau graddfa 1:25000 yr holl fannau hynny lle yr hoffent allu gyrru. Ni all unrhyw un eu beio am nodi llwybrau yn yr union ardaloedd hynny sydd i ni y rhai mwyaf gwerthfawr – rhai tawel, anghysbell ac sy’n ddelfrydol i gerdded ynddynt (gan gynnwys Llwybr y Mynachod (Monks’ Trod).

cerbydau modur. A ganiateir i’r ymgynghorydd ddweud hyn? Mewn egwyddor yr ateb yw ‘caiff’ (meddai rhywun wrthym). Ond os mai chi fyddai’r ymgynghorydd yn cynnal darn mawr a chostus o waith ymchwil fel hwn, fyddech chi’n ystyried adrodd yn ôl drwy ddweud na fedrech ddod o hyd i unrhyw le a fyddai’n addas? Prin y gofynnid i chi fod yn ymgynghorydd eto pe baech yn gwneud hynny! Pan holwyd hi am hyn mewn cynhadledd yn ddiweddar, dywedodd y Gweinidog, Jane Davidson, na allai Cymru fod yn ardal lle byddai cerbydau modur yn cael eu gwahardd, er bod angen iddynt gael eu rheoli. Ond gallai cynnydd enfawr yn yr ystod o leoedd y caniateid iddynt fynd yn gyfreithiol gael ei alw yn “rheolaeth” oherwydd na fyddent bellach yn torri’r gyfraith. Felly os ydych yn gwerthfawrogi heddwch a thawelwch yng nghefn gwlad, byddwch yn barod i ymladd. Roedd rhai o aelodau Cymdeithas y Cerddwyr a oedd yn bresennol yn y cyfarfod yn ystyried bod yr argymhellion hyn yn fwy o fygythiad na thyrbinau gwynt. David Bateman

Y Llyfr Glas Rights of Way: A Guide to Law and Practice. 4ydd argraffiad. John Riddall a John Trevelyan, a gyhoeddwyd gan Gymdeithas y Mannau Agored a Chymdeithas y Cerddwyr. Mae’r llyfr hwn y cyfeirir ato yn annwyl fel ‘y Llyfr Glas’, yn ganllaw diffiniol i’r ddeddf ar hawliau tramwy cyhoeddus yng Nghymru a Lloegr. Mae’n gyfeirlyfr hanfodol i’r rhai hynny sydd angen gwybod am ddeddfau ac ymarfer o ran hawliau tramwy. Mae’n cynnwys detholiadau helaeth o lawer o statudau, rheoliadau a chylchlythyrau swyddogol perthnasol ar hawliau tramwy. Mae’n llyfr amhrisiadwy a darllenadwy hefyd i unrhyw un sy’n cerdded yn y wlad, neu i unrhyw un sy’n helpu i warchod a chynnal llwybrau, neu sy’n cael ei ryfeddu ganddynt.

Photos: Liz Fleming-Williams


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Cawsom ein sicrhau y bydd ymgynghorwyr a fydd yn cael eu cyflogi i fynd â’r prosiect yn ei flaen yn ystyried “sensitifrwydd” yr argymhellion hyn. Wrth gwrs, ni fyddant i gyd yn cael eu hargymell, ac wrth gwrs byddai’n rhaid mynd drwy’r gweithdrefnau cyfreithiol arferol. Ond i’r rhan fwyaf ohonom, mae pob man ym Mynyddoedd Cambria yn rhy sensitif ar gyfer

8 David Bateman Queried about this at a recent conference, the Minister, Jane Davidson, said that Wales could not be a no go area for motorised vehicles though they need to be controlled. But a massive increase in the range of places they would be legally permitted to go could pass for “control” since they would no longer be breaking the law. So, if you value peace and tranquillity in the countryside, be prepared to fight on. Some RA members present at the meeting saw these proposals as a bigger threat than wind turbines. But for most of us, everywhere in the Cambrian Mountains is too sensitive for motorised vehicles. Will the consultant be allowed to say this? In principle the answer is yes (we were told). But if you were the consultant conducting a large and costly piece of research such as this would you consider reporting back by saying you couldn’t find anywhere suitable? You’d hardly be consulted again if you did! legal procedures would still have to be gone through.





Affectionately known as the Blue Book, this is the definitive guide to the law on public rights of way in England and Wales. It is an essential work of reference for those who need to know about rights-of-way law and practice. It contains extensive extracts from many relevant statutes, regulations and official circulars on rights of way. It is also an invaluable and readable book for anyone who walks in the countryside, or who helps to protect and maintain paths, or who is simply fascinated by them. Rights of Way: a guide to law and practice. 3rd edition, John Riddall and John Trevelyan, published by Open Spaces Society and Ramblers’ Association.

The Blue Book We were assured that consultants who are to be employed to carry the project forward, will examine the “sensitivity” of these proposals. Of course, not all of them will be proposed, and of course the normal The first stage was for the councils to hold a series of forums to explain the project to all those who might be interested. Landowners, walkers, conservation bodies and of course users of motorised vehicles were all present. The worrying part of the meetings came when the users of motorised vehicles were invited to mark on 1:25000 scale maps all those places where they would like to be able to drive. No one can blame them for identifying routes in just those areas that for us are the most precious – quiet, remote, undisturbed, and ideal for walking (including the historic Monks’ Trod). Sustainable is a word everyone likes so it sounds innocent enough. But read on. The Countryside Council for Wales has asked the three County Councils to conduct a pilot project to develop “good practice for the sustainable management of recreational vehicles… good practice for working with a diverse range of stakeholders… a strategy and action plan to help inform management approaches in other areas facing vehicular use issues”. Here in the Cambrian Mountains a new motor vehicle threat has emerged in the shape of a possible huge increase in the number of places where they may be legally permitted to drive. Can I suggest that we are counting our chickens before they’re hatched? recent note from RA London (Footpath Matters, Issue 9) says that, following the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, the RA is “no longer conducting a high profile campaign on the issue of motor vehicles using public rights of way”.

Dear Editor by David Bateman Footpaths Officer Ceredigion Area

Cambrian Mountains… too sensitive for motor vehicles? LETTERS >>>




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Welsh Rambler 67 English  
Welsh Rambler 67 English  

The Newsletter of the Ramblers Society in Wales. Printed "work and turn" English and Welsh