The Great Glamorgan Way

Expanding the Bridleways of South-Central Wales, we are developing a new regional trail ideal for long distance mountain biking and horse riding.

 

Cycling at Castle Coch

Funded by the Enabling Natural Resources and Wellbeing Scheme (ENRaW) and in collaboration with local user groups, its aims are to develop these green trails as wildlife corridors, establish new tourism opportunities and achieve a deeper connection between Wales’ landscape and its people.

 

The project is an expansion of existing Bridleway hubs, improving and linking together disperate routes and trails across five counties: 

  • Vale of Glamorgan

  • Cardiff

  • Bridgend

  • Rhondda Cynon Taff

  • Merthyr Tydfil

 

Current bridleways

Current Bridleways in South Central Wales Map

 

Current off-road bridleway routes across South-Central Wales

 

Proposed birdleways

Green Trails Planned Route Map

 

Proposed network of the Regional Trail, linking Bridleways into over 262km of connected routes.

 

 

The Project as it Stands

The establishment of this Regional Route is set to be implemented between 2020-2023 and has received full funding by the ENRaW grant for this time, with a revenue budget of £1,038,372.00.

 

European Funding logo - no transparencyWith these resources the project will lay the foundations for a key regional route within Wales, providing visitors, locals and the Welsh public with long distance cycling and horse riding routes inside of South Wales.

 

Key aims

The key aims of this period are to:

  • Establish the existance of a new regional route, laying out the initial foundations through a blend of path improvments, path expansion and the creation of new routes and bridleways

  • Promote the use of the route across the region and encourage collaboration with local user groups to aid in the delivery and subsequent sustainability of the trails

  • Secure the support of conservation and community groups to maximise opportunities to transform green trails into wildlife corridors throughout the region

  • Plan and scope the feasability of a gateway facility Bike-Park at Leckwith Woods to provide a foothold for visitors to the trail. There are also future plans for a Horse Park, and we are currently scoping viability for this somewhere along the trail

 

Cycling father and daughterThrough these aims, we hope to achieve greater environmental diversity in the region, improved trails and routes for local inhabitants, an economic boost from an influx of tourists and a safer connected network of bridleways that will greatly reduce accidents on roadways involving cyclists and horse riders.

 

Promotion of the route and cooperation with our partners will help secure additional funding, ensuring the completion of the project to a National standard, tackling the shortfall of off-road trails in the region and accomplishing connected routes totalling 262km of bridleway found nowhere else across South Wales.

 

Our Partners

There are a number of Key Stakeholders and groups who have partnered with us to help fulfill the project to the highest quality standards.

 

Many share common goals with us regarding public access to the countryside and the improvements the project will bring to cycling and horse riding communities. The five County Councils of the Vale, Bridgend, Merthyr, Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taff each aid in supporting the project within their counties, however there are multiple external organisations with vested interests who have partnered to ensure the success of the project.

 

  • British Horse Society (BHS)

    The BHS aims to protect and promote the interests of all horses and those who care about them, keep them and ride them.

  • Sustrans 

    With a focus on people's health and happiness, Sustrans works to improve opportunities and make it easier to walk and cycle across the UK.

  • Wales Adventure Tourism Organisation (WATO) 

    WATO links existing outdoor sector organisations across Wales, sharing their findings to establish best practice across the country.

  • Cycling UK 

    Their goal is to ensure that people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to be able to cycle safely, easily and enjoyably.

  • The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales 

    Centered around publicly standing up for wildlife, their mission is to rebuild biodiversity and engage people with their environment by creating and enhancing wildlife havens within and outside nature reserves.

  • Vale of Glamorgan County Council (CC) 

    This council is assisting to develop the bridleways in their county. The map below depicts the changes to be made to the region to develop greater links and routes for visitors and people local to the region.

     

    Vale of Glamorgan Bridleway improvement map

  • Cardiff County Council (CC) 

    This council is assisting to develop the bridleways in their county. The map below depicts the changes to be made to the region to develop greater links and routes for visitors and people local to the region.

     

    Cardiff Bridleway Improvement map

  • Bridgend County Council (CC) 

    This council is assisting to develop the bridleways in their county. The map below depicts the changes to be made to the region to develop greater links and routes for visitors and people local to the region.

     

    Bridgend Bridleway improvement Map

  • Merthyr Tydfil County Council (CC) 

    This council is assisting to develop the bridleways in their county. The map below depicts the changes to be made to the region to develop greater links and routes for visitors and people local to the region.

     

    Merthyr Tydfill Bridleway Improvement Map

  • Rhondda Cynon Taff County Council (CC) 

    This council is assisting to develop the bridleways in their county. The map below depicts the changes to be made to the region to develop greater links and routes for visitors and people local to the region.

     

    Rhondda Cynon Taff Bridleway Improvement Map

 

Meet the Team

These are the people who are implementing the project, bringing their wealth of experience and passion to the trail to nurture a route that will connect communities across the region for years to come. 

  • Steve Pickering- Team Leader, Countryside services

  • Madeleine Sims - Project Officer, Regional

  • James Walker - Senior Field Officer

  • Rhodri Hewit - Field Officer Miriam Adam - Field Officer

  • Miriam Adam - Field Officer

  • TBC - Biodiversity Officer

 

Get in Touch

Welsh Valleys

We are currently developing a Focus Group to engage more deeply with the community and provide a piloting framework for the new routes and trails as they are being implemented.

 

If you feel that you have valuable input to give to the project, or are simply interested in trialing or discussing what is being done, please get in touch with Madeleine Sims at:

  • msims@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk.

We are also keen to involve any person or group who wishes to get involved with the Ecology and Biodiversity goals of project. Any suggestions and possible events that would align with the goals of the project would be warmly welcomed.