AN AIRLIFTING programme took place in Brecon Beacons National Park as part of the ongoing work to help sustain and conserve the landscape.

Work began in the Black Mountains with approximately 90 tonnes of stone being airlifted from the Gospel Pass and onto Hatterrall Ridge. Funded by Natural England the project will upgrade six hundred metres of the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail.

At the same time and as part of the Black Mountains Land Use Partnership Project nearly four hundred bags of heather brash (cuttings) were airlifted up onto eroded areas on the Hatterrall Ridge and Darren Lwyd.

The heather brash will now be laid on the bare ground with other geotextiles to help stabilise the surface and reduce further erosion of the valuable peat resources there.

Also, 130 bags were airlifted up onto Waun Fach, the highest hill within the Black Mountains region, to repair areas of erosion near the summit.

The Black Mountains Land Use Partnership Project is funded by Welsh Government and the European Union through a Sustainable Management Scheme grant as part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities-Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

The brash will now be spread out over the eroded areas by a local contractor, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority staff, and volunteers.

Land conservation and sustainability is a key corporate theme within the National Park and projects such as this highlight the ongoing work taking place on the ground.

Julian Atkins, chief executive officer, of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, said: “Our spring airlifting programme has allowed us to move the relevant materials, in preparation for path maintenance along the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail which is a very popular walking route in the National Park.

"We have also moved heather brash that will help us prevent the erosion of peat and restore nature.

"Projects such as the Black Mountains Land Use Partnership have allowed us to access funding and collectively, all of our partners will benefit from the land management work we are undertaking.

"The eroded areas detract from visitors’ experience in walking in the park’s upland landscapes but they also have an impact on the areas available for grazing.”

Photos: Airlift photographs, copyright BBNPA.

Brecon Beacons National Park: Brecon Beacons National Park lies on the border between Mid Wales and South Wales and 2017 is the 60th Anniversary of its designation.

The Brecon Beacons offers dark skies, spectacular mountain ranges, internationally renowned geology, waterfalls, market towns, bountiful wildlife, diverse recreational opportunities to the highest peak in southern Britain – Pen y Fan.

It contains some of the most spectacular and distinctive upland formations in southern Britain and covers an area of 1347 sq km (520 sq miles).

It includes Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark and it was awarded International Dark Sky Reserve status in 2013 – Wales’s first and so far only one of eleven destinations in the world to be granted the prestigious accolade.