Woodland path re-claimed after 30 years

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16 MARCH 2011NEWS RELEASE No: 14493

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A woodland footpath leading to a hilltop viewpoint across miles of stunning countryside has been re-opened after more than 30 years.

The 800m path through St James woodland, between Georgetown and Ebbw Vale, had been inaccessible since it became overgrown with brash and branches over many years.

Now Forestry Commission Wales, helped by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Tredegar Community First and BTCV Cardiff, has cleared away decades of vegetation, once again enabling visitors to walk from St James reservoir to the top (Y Domen Fawr) of Cefn Manmoel mountain.

A total of 14 bags of rubbish were collected by 15 people who spent two days clearing the path using chainsaws, brushcutters, strimmers, high pruners and secateurs – but it was well the effort.

FC Wales Works Supervisor Andrew Hobbs said, “From the summit you can see right across to the Brecon Beacons and Pen y Fan, the highest peak in south Wales.

“A walk in the woods is a fantastic way to keep fit and healthy, and this was a great example of the community pulling together to improve the area and create something that everybody can enjoy.”

The branches and brash removed were used to create habitat piles for animals and insects, thereby improving the biodiversity of the Assembly Government woodland.

There are also plans to place waymarkers along the footpath to guide people along it.

Caption: Workmen clear some of the branches to re-open the footpath.

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