Access to the 2019 eisteddfod at Llanrwst in Conwy was made much easier by a magnificent footbridge which miraculously appeared over the A470 road alongside the site.
I was there for a walk organised by Ramblers Cymru. As we set off from the maes and over the bridge we pondered how the money could be found for such a fine structure when it could not be found for much simpler bridges on public paths. I hope that after the event it will be re-erected somewhere really useful, to enable us to cross a busy road.
This was the fourth eisteddfod walk staged by Ramblers Cymru. The walk is a tradition which started in 1996 when it was led by the Countryside Council for Wales (but inspired by the Ramblers) and then taken on, with apparently less enthusiasm, by CCW’s successor Natural Resources Wales (NRW), until it practically fizzled out and the Ramblers rescued it. It provides a great opportunity to meet and chat to people from other organisations in Wales. I find it a valuable chance to catch up with news from Wales.
This year we were joined by Tim Jones, NRW’s executive director operations for north and mid Wales, friends from the British Mountaineering Council, and members of the Welsh Council Executive Committee and North Wales Area of the Ramblers. I represented the Open Spaces Society. We were sad to learn that Tim is shortly to leave NRW after 27 years with CCW and NRW. We shall miss him; he has been a sympathetic advocate for public access and commons (as well as a regular attender of the eisteddfod walks).
The Ramblers Cymru director, Angela Charlton welcomed us and took the opportunity to plug the new Cambrian Way guide which had been published by Cicerone the previous day at an event in Cardiff.
Led by Denis McAteer we set off—over the megabridge.
In fact we had to recross the A470 further south to gain access to the wood, Coed Hafod. We climbed to a point from which (if there had been no mist) we could have seen into the heart of Snowdonia. As it was, we only saw the base of Moel Siabod and the Carneddau, but it was atmospheric.
We wound our way back down the hillside
and through the woods to Zip Wire Fforest for an excellent lunch before returning to the maes.
We could do with this bridge in RCT, where OSS are objecting to the extinuishment of a footpath over a brige across the railway in Trehafod. Surely if the Eisteddfod can have one for a few days, the people of Pontypridd and the Rhondda can have one to use for years?