Woodland walks a stone’s throw from new seating area

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9 MARCH 2012NEWS RELEASE No: 15337

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Trekking to the summit of Penpych mountain or strolling along one of the many trails to visit the waterfalls hidden in the surrounding woodland can be an exhausting and exhilarating affair.

Now, Forestry Commission Wales has made life easier for visitors to regain their breath after enjoying a bracing walk in the countryside near Blaencwm, in the Rhondda Valley.

Visitors to the Welsh Government woodland can pause to take in the wonderful scenery around them after the Commission installed a new stone seating area at the picnic site beside the car park.

The car park, which is free for visitors to the woodland, was tarmaced two years ago and is very popular among locals and visitors who take healthy walks along the woodland trails, such as the Loops and Links.

Forestry Commission Wales Community Ranger Mike James said work to improve the car park and the waterfall walk had been going on for the past two years.

“The car park and picnic area provide a superb base for visiting the surrounding waterfalls and the summit of Penpych, which is a major landmark in the area,” he said.

The stone seating areas will be more robust and long lasting than the old wooden benches, which used to get vandalised or weather with age, and have already proved popular with residents.

Eddie Richards of Blaencwm said, “The picnic area is a well used local amenity and the new seating will encourage more visitors to use the area for exploring the forest and waterfalls.

“It’s a lovely place to sit after a walk in the woods, and the old benches and barbeques needed replacing.”

Caption: Ceri Nicholas, from Ty Newydd, enjoys the views from the new stone seating area beside Penpych woodland car park.


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 Penpych woodland, contact Mike James on 0300 068 0225, mobile 07825 843253, email

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on

Visit News at FC Wales 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