Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Beauty Spot overrun with visitors

The popular area of Waterfall Country in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park is struggling to deal with the high numbers of visitors returning after lockdown, leaving car parks and footpaths unable to cope with excessive numbers of vehicles and people.

The Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority are advising visitors to plan ahead and are warning that car parks in the area are filling up quickly each day.  It is essential that visitors park in the designated car parks and any overflow fields which are made available. Cars parked on verges and pavements have been causing obstructions to emergency vehicles and agricultural traffic needing to use the roads and narrow lanes. The Authority recommends that people check our parking app before they decide to visit, and also wishes to remind people that the car parks often go from having spaces available to being full within an hour.

Popular car parks such as the one at Cwm Porth had filled to capacity by 09.50am last Sunday, a record by all accounts. The Police and Local Highways Authorities are patrolling the area and issued over 30 parking tickets on Sunday to cars that were parked illegally. Cars which cause an obstruction are also at risk of being towed away.

A local resident in the area said, “It’s like a bank holiday every day and the traffic is horrendous, people are parking all over the place, on pavements and blocking access to homes. It can’t be a very enjoyable experience for visitors.”

Waterfall Country by its nature has narrow footpaths and when these are busy social distancing is virtually impossible – we are still in a global pandemic and in Wales social distancing guidelines are still 2m.

Julian Atkins, National Park Authority Chief Executive added, “We want visitors to have good memories of visiting Waterfall Country, not to remember that they couldn’t park or that the footpaths were too crowded. It is difficult to keep social distancing when there are so many people about and footpaths are narrow. The National Park is vast, covering 520 square miles, so now would be a good time to visit the less popular areas, and discover a new favourite place. So we are asking people to plan ahead and have a Plan B in mind if you arrive and find it crowded”.