Cymdeithas Parc Bannau Brycheiniog The Brecon Beacons Park


Cymdeithas Parc Bannau Brycheiniog

The Brecon Beacons Park Society

Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held at The Bear Hotel, Crickhowell, on Tuesday, 14th July, 2015 at 5.00pm.

Present: Jim Wilson (Chairman), Chris Barber, Anne Pritchard, David Thomas, Sean O'Donoghue,

Elizabeth Gibbs, Richard Chandler (Minutes Secretary).

Jim welcomed Sean O'Donoghue to the Committee as our new Publicity/Outreach Officer.

1 . Apologies: Ben Sladen, Ceridwen Coulson, William Gibbs, Charles Henderson.

2 . The Minutes of the Last Meeting (on 19th May, 2015) were approved and signed.


Matters arising : (i) 3 vii Done but no response. Jim will talk to Ben about updating the email addresses list and the sending of emails to other members of the same households. ACTION: Jim .

(ii) 4.1 Done. (iii) 4.3

(i) Done. (iv) 4.3 (ii) Done. (v) It is believed that not everyone who has signed up to the our Facebook page is, necessarily, a member of the Society.

4. Reports:

4.1 Financial and Membership – No report. The situation is as presented at the AGM.

4.2 Secretarial – See Ceridwen’s report, previously circulated. The AGM went very well and it was agreed that Ceridwen had done a very good job of organising it. It was noted that several of the

Executive Committee members were absent from the AGM. It was agreed that the next AGM will be held on 25th June, 2016. The Draft Minutes of the 2015 AGM were considered and there were no topics which the Exec needs to address, though there are still items outstanding from the AGM of last year.

4.3 Guided Walks and Events Programmes – See Anne’s report, circulated previously. Allan Gibbs’ suggestion that we should purchase a couple of throw-ropes, for use on walks which go near water, was discussed. It was agreed that we should buy one at a cost of £30-£35 and that walks leaders should be informed that it is available to them, if they wish to carry one, provided that they have received instruction on its use and limitations. The rope will be kept either by Frank Scott or at CRiC.

Following a comment at the recent AGM that photographers should ask for the agreement of individuals who appear in their photographs, which may subsequently appear on our Facebook page, it was agreed that members should be reminded of the good manners of this, though not a legal requirement. An item will be included on the Facebook Page. ACTION: David . Lionel Elton, who, together with a phone app. Anne will post a link to this on our website. ACTION:Anne .

4.4 The Beacon – The current edition is at the printers. at the recent AGM, suggested the production of a booklet based on Wednesday Wanders, is to be approached to be involved in this. The Ramblers have produced a project entitled ‘Pathwatch’,


4.5 Website – Up to date. David will teach Sean and Jim how to use WordPress for the website.

ACTION: David . David will post the petition for the Police helicopter on the website. ACTION: David .

There is, already, a link to it in our Facebook page.

4.6 Beacons Way Steering Group – Following the recent letter to Richard Ball, Secretary of the

BWSG, to express our disappointment at the level of support for the Beacons Way that is currently being shown by both the Authority and the Steering Group itself, Jim, Chris and Anne met with him and others from the Authority to discuss this. Our points, were that, for the second year running, the

Beacons Way was not mentioned in their Visitor Guide and that they had not responded in any positive way to our concerns regarding the situation at Cwm Mawr. On the first point, they explained that the

Visitor Guide is intended for a mass market, whereas the Beacons Way is more for the serious walker.

They will, however, see about getting it mentioned. They have some money available and will, with input from us, look to come up with alternative routes, especially in the west of the Park, which will satisfy criteria which the Welsh Government have implemented, such as accommodation at some of the stages, and waymarking. An alternative suggestion was to come up with an entirely new route. We were entirely against this. Both we and the Park Officers agree that there should not be waymarking on the open hill of the Beacons Way. They are looking to improve or to avoid situations whereby the activities of landowners and the needs of walkers come into conflict, and to look at the expectations of both sides. It was agreed that our members should be made aware that they can report any concerns which they may have regarding any conflict of interests between land usage and the rights of the public, so that we can take these to the Park Authority. David will post this on the webpage. ACTION:

David . Jim will, again, ask them, to use funds to place small notices with grid references on finger posts and stiles, along walking routes. ACTION: Jim .

4.7 Planning and Development Control – The planning application to convert a retail premises into a coffee shop in Brecon, to which we had objected, has been passed. Jim and John Cook have met

Harry Legge-Bourke, regarding events at Cwm Mawr. [see Jim’s notes, previously circulated ].

4.8 Walls of Llangynidr - Another 5 metres has been completed on the Llangynidr Mountain wall, above Glaisfer Uchaf in the Glaisfer Valley.

4.9 Brecon Beacons Trust – No report. Clive Eiles tells us that the money is running out and that we are encouraged to make any applications for funding, as soon as possible.

4.10 Rights of Way – See David Dickson’s report, previously circulated. Jim and David D are yet to visit the site of subsidence on the Brinore Tramway, where the right of way has been expunged, possibly with a view to seeking funding for repairs from the Brecon Beacons Trust. ACTION: Jim .

4.11 Communications/Publicity/Press Releases – See Sean’s email, previously circulated, with a list of suggestions for how he might approach his function as Publicity/Outreach Officer. He stressed that he would need support from other people in this. He has already been in communication with, and has had positive responses from, the three most local universities with regard to walking and field work and is keen to approach schools, similarly. He is also keen to promote the industrial archaeology heritage of the area. He will also be responsible for putting out press releases, posters and fliers, etc. The importance of raising our profile, not just in terms of our walks programmes, and of endeavouring to attract new members, was stressed. Sean will also collate and produce a limited Newsletter.


4.11 cont.

David will show him how to use the various electronic means of communication. ACTION: David . It was agreed that an initial sum of £500 will be made available for publicity materials, etc.

4.12 Geopark Management Group – No report.

4.13 Alliance for National Parks Cymru / Welsh Government ’s Legislation Programme – Much work has been undertaken in meetings and in the production of evidence for the Stage 2 Review of

Designated Landscapes and the Environment Bill. Unfortunately, certain members of the Government seem to believe that the legislation for National Parks is no longer fit for purpose and this may be seen as a threat to the future of our National Parks. There is no Annual National Park Societies

Conference, this year. Jim will attend the Society Chairs and Executives meeting in Birmingham.

4.14 BBPS/ BBNPA Relations – these remain good. The Park Authority has a new Chair, Melanie

Doel. There is, shortly, to be a new Community Activity Funding Scheme, which we might be able to tap into. With regard to the potential hazards of new cave entrances in the hillside between Craig y

Nos and Waun Fignen Felen, which was reported at the AGM, Arwel Michael has provided all of the grid references to the National Park and these will be investigated, where appropriate.

4.15 Dark Sky – An all-sky camera has been installed, which can be used remotely. Dark Sky has achieved the CPRW Award and will receive a plaque, though no money is involved. A Dark Sky

Guide and Dark Sky Newsletter are in development.

4.16 Fundraising & Business Planning – Nothing to report.

4.17 The Gunpowder Works £58,000 has been secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Stage 1 with a further £660,000 for Stage 2, if all goes well. £280,000 has been raised in match-funding, including donations from the Gibbs Trust and the Brecon Beacons Trust.

4.18 Potential Projects – The Brinore Tramway is the only potential project, at the moment.

5. Any Other Business – (i) Sean spoke about a very successful new community facility at The Warren, at Hay. Walks are being led and four new stiles have been provided by the Park Authority. Funding has been found and fishing rights have been purchased. (ii) The insurance is due, amounting to £233.

It was agreed that this should be paid. ACTION: David . (iii) Electronic membership renewals – still not put into practice. Jim will speak to Ben about it. ACTION: Jim . (iv) Richard spoke of the appallingly bad catering and food at the recent AGM, for which each attend ing person had paid £15.

He said that several people had said to him that they accepted the price, as they believed that part of it was going towards the hire of the hall. It was agreed that that should not be, and was not, the case and that hire of the hall is totally a charge upon the Society. (v) It was noted that the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Society will occur in two years time. If we are to mark the occasion with, among other events perhaps, a Society Dinner, as was held in 2009, we must begin to consider who we might ask to be the after-dinner speaker. Two names were suggested and we were asked to think about it and to give any further suggestions to Richard, as soon as possible.


Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday, 1 st September, 2015 at 5.00pm. at The Bear Hotel, Crickhowell.

The meeting ended at 7.00pm.

Signed...................................................................................................Chairman. 1 st September, 2015.