Redesign plan for historic mountain blighted by flytippers

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Plans are being laid to redesign part of an iconic mountainside parking area in an innovative attempt to finally defeat fly-tippers who use the historic landmark as a dumping ground for tons of builder’s rubble, household waste and car tyres.

Twmbarlwm mountain, near Risca, is regarded as a symbol of Monmouthshire and Gwent and is visible on the skyline for miles, commanding extensive views across the Bristol Channel and Newport and Cwmbran.

But the mountain – known locally as "the tump" – has become a hotspot for the scourge of fly-tipping.

The perpetrators foiled previous efforts to block their vehicles by towing away large stones placed across the entrance to the lane leading off Mountain Road – but now Forestry Commission Wales, which manages some of the land on behalf of the Welsh Government, is trying a different approach to try to thwart their illegal activities.

The Commission is working with neighbours Caerphilly Council and Torfaen Council in a determined effort to reclaim the mountainside for locals and tourists who regularly visit the tump.

The Environment Agency Wales and Fly Tipping Action Wales are providing help and advice on combating the fly-tippers after traditional preventative methods failed.

Forest Craftsperson Caroline Riches of Forestry Commission Wales said, “Twmbarlwm mountain has been marred by a crime that plagues our woodlands all over South Wales.

“We are now looking at the next step to combat this criminal activity by ‘designing out’ the problem. Plans are in development to redesign the area and also scrape the remaining builders’ rubble, plaster and metal wire from the surface.

“I’m disgusted by the way that certain people treat this area and I hope that by working in partnership with other agencies we will finally solve the problem.”

Forestry Commission Wales staff regularly visit the area to clear large amounts of waste, as do Caerphilly County Borough Council and the Wales Probation Service.

Rhodri Lloyd of Caerphilly County Borough Council said, “Even though clearing up accumulations of fly-tipped waste and litter is a thankless task, Caerphilly County Borough Council, in partnership with voluntary groups and community organisations, continues to clean up this iconic landmark site on a regular basis.

“This operation reinforces our commitment to enforcing against the minority of people who attempt to blight our beautiful countryside.”

The top of the mountain features the remains of what is presumed to be an Iron Age hill fort near its summit, believed to have been built by the Silures, the Celtic tribe that inhabited the area before and during Roman times.

There may also have been a Roman signal point on the mountain, and there is also a substantial Norman motte and bailey castle at the eastern end of the fort, probably of early Norman construction.

The mountain is also rich in biodiversity and is very popular for hillwalking and mountain biking and with tourists visiting the nearby Cwmcarn Forest Drive.

Gary Evans, Fly Tipping Action Wales Project Manager for the Valleys Regional Park, said, “Members of the public should be aware that, when waste is removed from their homes or businesses, it is their responsibility to check that the person removing the material has a waste carrier’s licence and is taking it to a licensed site.

“People should request a waste transfer notice as a receipt that the waste has been safely and legally disposed of. Failure to do so can result in their being liable to prosecution for flytipping.”

Caption: Some of the flytipped rubbish that is blighting Twmbarlwm mountain.


A total of 14.3 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Government.

Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.

For more information on forest management on Twmbarlwm mountain, contact Andrew Powell on 02920 886863, mobile 07771 390031, email

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on

Visit News at FCWales for news, images, press office contact details and links to case studies.

Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email