Volunteering

After a while of travelling back and forth between Denmark and the UK, I have now finally joined the Meet and Greet volunteers at Pont-ar-Daf, the main access point to Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons. This area is owned by the National Trust and it is for them that I will be volunteering, helping walkers find their way, stay safe and enjoy their visit to the highest point in the South of the UK.

Pen y Fan is 886, so a few feet short of a mountain, but along with Corn Du at 873, and other big iconic hills, offers stunning views of the beautiful Welsh landscape at its feet.

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The National Trust are doing a massive amount of work maintaining the trails, preventing trail widening and erosion. Each year, tonnes of local rock is airlifted in, and laid by hand by volunteers and staff, making sure that these beautiful areas don’t crumble under the weight of the footfall. For this reason, Meet and Greet volunteers also collect donations and sell postcards and books from the small info shack at Pont-ar-Daf.

I will be going there again this afternoon, and look forward to meeting a couple of the other volunteers, and to engage with the public who come from all over the world. Today, probably we will have more visitors than Tuesday, when there was sideways rain and low-hanging cloud.

These pictures are from the end of August but the area is beautiful all year round. Normally the temperature is 10 degrees less at the top, and it can be quite windy, so remember good boots, a jacket – and check the local forecast.

See you there?

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Lovely Geopark Visit

WaterfallsFor the past couple of weeks, I have been in Wales, getting familiar with the Fforest Fawr Geopark within the Brecon Beacons and it’s people. The purpose of my trip was twofold: First of all, I needed to experience something new, have a break from it all and just unwind. And secondly, as I work with a Danish Geopark in the making, I wanted to experience how they had done it elsewhere, and perhaps pick up some tips and tricks.

I stayed with locals using Airbnb, travelled around with public transport, tasted local food, attempted to speak Welsh though my success was rather limited, alas. I visited and took notes at visitor centres, churches, museums and other places of interest – and took a lot of pictures of displays and solutions to interpretation challenges.

Furthermore, I had the chance to once again visit Forest of Dean and Wye Valley, go for a few nice long walks, learn more about the geology of my favourite place and well, get stung by some 8 foot high nettles behind a quarry somewhere.

It was a really nice trip, even though I missed my return flight and had to go via Hamburg and sit someplace silly in a railway station at 3am in the morning waiting for a connecting train. I will sort through some pictures and upload a few for you soon.