Visitors and local communities will be able to enjoy more of Wales’ great outdoors thanks to over half a million pounds of access funding, announced by Lesley Griffiths today.
In total, the Welsh Government has allocated £532,000 for 2016/2017 to improve accessibility in three of Wales’ iconic National Parks and four of our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Lesley Griffiths said:
“I am delighted to confirm funding of over half a million pounds that will improve accessibility to our unique, inspiring natural landmarks. Only last week the Lonely Planet guide ranked North Wales as the fourth ‘Best in Travel 2017’ region in the world and Gower was, of course, the UK’s first ever Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. That gives an indication of just how special our great outdoors are and we want even more people to be able to enjoy them.”
Proposed work in the Brecon Beacons includes improvements to the access road and facilities at Llyn y Fan Fach in the West Beacons, and visitor and traffic management improvements at Pontneddfechan in Wales’ popular Waterfall Country. Last year, Welsh Government funding allowed the park to repair damage caused by illegal off-roading.
Snowdonia National Park Authority will use the money to further develop the final section of the Snowdon circular route and to improve Cwellyn car park and Snowdon’s Watkin path.
Previous funding allowed Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority to improve accessibility to the award-winning coast path. This year they will focus on improving the visitor offer at car parks by redesigning, adding interpretation, and improving surfacing and traffic flow.
On behalf of National Parks Wales, John Cook, Chief Executive of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, said:
“The funding made available by Welsh Government has enabled each of Wales’ National Park Authorities to make access improvements throughout their respective areas. These significant improvements have created further opportunities for even more people to discover Wales’ world-class landscapes during the Year of Adventure and beyond, whilst ensuring the special qualities of these precious places are maintained for future generations.
“Some of the work carried out by the park authorities will make some of their most iconic locations, such as Snowdon’s Circular Route and the Coast Path, more accessible for everyone, from experienced walkers to wheelchair users and families with buggies, while work at sites such as Llyn y Fan Fach will also alleviate visitor management pressures affecting local communities.”
Our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty have successfully obtained this access funding for the first time. The grant will allow them to create further access opportunities for people of all abilities to enjoy what they have to offer.
Howard Sutcliffe from the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB said:
“This is the first year the AONBs have received funding for access improvements from the Welsh Government. We are delighted to have secured this funding as it provides us with the fantastic opportunity to carry out work that will encourage people to get out and explore our nationally and culturally significant landscapes just in time to prepare for the Year of Legends. Proposed work includes improving and creating routes for people of limited abilities to enjoy Wales’ extensive Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”