Senior representatives of Ramblers GB – the major campaigning organisation for walking – came from across the UK to visit the hills and valleys of the Ogmore constituency, and were blown away with the beauty of the scenery and the warmth and passion of local people for their countryside.
The Chair, Chief Executive and full Board of Trustees from across Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales came at the invitation of Ogmore AM Huw Irranca-Davies, who himself is a keen hill-walker and a long-time Vice-President of Ramblers GB.
The walk took in the upper reaches of the Llynfi Valley, and was organised expertly by Chairman Neil Perry and members of the Maesteg Ramblers, with some expert input too from Chris Evans, Chair of the Llynfi Woodland Group. The walk visited the iconic ‘Keeper of the Collieries’ statue perched high above the valley, and learnt about the way in which the Ramblers and the Spirit of the Llynfi Woodland project are helping to increase access for walking, cycling and running across the valley, and helping promote health and well-being, as well as enhancing the natural environment.
Huw said “It was a pleasure to host Ramblers GB here, and show them the beautiful walking areas we have, and the passion and the knowledge of local people for the natural environment and our rich industrial history too. Our visitors came from the mountains of West Scotland, the Cotswolds and the South Downs, the hills of Cumbria and the dreamy towers of Cambridge and yet were blown away by the landscape of the former mining areas which is being transformed before our eyes as every year goes by. Many of them have said it has inspired them to return and explore these valleys!”
“My thanks to all at Maesteg Ramblers and the Llynfi Woodland Group for taking the time to organise the walk and speak to Ramblers GB about their work locally. It was inspiring, and I would encourage more and more people to get involved with these groups which do so much for access and improving our local environment, and which have a lot of fun doing so too!”