Brecon Beacons National Park bans access to popular areas

Pen y Fan from Corn Du in Brecon Beacons
Walking in the Brecon Beacons - Pen y Fan from Corn Du (Image credit: Getty Images)

The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority has taken the decision to close large areas of the National Park to all public access. The closures come after people repeatedly breaking Wales’ strict lockdown rules and visiting the area. The Park is concerned about the risk of Covid-19 transmission in popular tourist spots and the potential impact on local communities.

However, many hill-goers have raised concerns at these actions, particularly as Right to Roam and access is very much in the public mind at the moment. The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) in Wales, the representative body for walkers, climbers and mountaineers said, “We are concerned to see Brecon Beacons National Park has decided to close large areas of access land, even to local people accessing the hills on foot/bicycle in accordance with regulations. Access to green spaces is vital for health and Covid transmission is very rare outdoors, especially in wide open spaces like the Beacons, and these closures seem to be disproportionate.”

The closed areas:

Central Beacons

Those areas of access land, above the hill fence, comprising of the Central Brecon Beacons including Pen y Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, Waun Lysiog, Twyn Mwyalchod, Graig Fan Ddu, Gwaun Taf, Gwaun Perfedd, Cefn Crew, Tyle Brith, Pen Milan, Y Gyrn, Cefn Cwm Llwch, Allt Ddu and Bryn Teg including all public footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways are closed.

Eastern Great Forest

Those areas of access land, above the hill fence, within and adjacent to the Eastern Great Forest including Fan Fawr, Rhos Dringarth, Fan Dringarth, Fan Llia, Waun Llywarch, Ton Teg, Waun Tincer and Mynydd y Garn and all public footpaths and restricted byways within those areas are closed.

The Beacons Way

The Beacons Way where it crosses any of the above areas is closed.

Many car parks and visitor centres are closed too. For full details, see the Brecon Beacons National Park site.

Julian Atkins, Chief Executive of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority stated, “In agreement with Welsh Government, Dyfed Powys Police, National Trust, South Wales Trunk Road Agency, Natural Resources Wales and Powys County Council, we have closed two areas of land either side of the A470, through the Central Beacons. People should not be using their cars to enjoy a walk in the countryside. Welsh Government guidance states that exercise should start and finish at home.”

Emily Woodhouse

An adventure writer based on Dartmoor, England, Emily is an active member of Mountain Rescue and a summer Mountain Leader, but loves all things adventure – before her third birthday she had lived on three continents. Founder of Intrepid magazine, she works to help break stereotypes about women in the outdoors. Her expeditions have included walking all Dartmoor’s 119 tors in a single two-week outing, cycling to Switzerland and back, and riding the Rhine from source to sea.