july 28th - a bryn walking guided walk
BLAENAVON INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE: THE IRON MOUNTAIN TRAIL - PART 1
This Blaenavon Circular Walk (Part 1) is approximately 11.5km with about 300m of ascent and I led this guided walk yesterday, with three participants.
In November 2000 the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape was inscribed as a World Heritage Site due to it being 'one of the finest surviving examples in the world of a landscape created by coal mining and iron making'.
The World Heritage site offers many spectacular trails with this Iron Mountain Trail (Part 1) offering the highest section of the trails on offer with many spectacular viewing points.
pen-ffordd-goch (keeper's pond) at so 254 197 is the starting point for this trail
the iron mountain trail - part 1
We met at Keeper's Pond and set off for this 5hr walk with myself as Leader and three participants. Keeper's Pond was the final of three reservoirs or ponds built to supply water to the forges and works down at Garn Ddyrys. Descending from Keeper's Pond we reached the wooden footbridge at the head of the valley of Cwm Ifor. I'd managed the construction of this footbridge back in 2009 whilst employed as Area Manager (East) for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.
Beyond the footbridge we passed through the ruins of Garn Ddyrys Foundary which produced the 'pig' iron from Blaenavon Ironworks for 50 years up until the 1860's.
cwm ifor and garn ddyrys foundry
Crossing the road, we joined Hill's Tramroad and paused for coffee at the one remaining ruin from what was part of Garn Ddyrys Row where, in 1851, a census recorded a population of 300 people.
Continuing along Hill's Tramroad we saw stone sleepers that would have held the rails in place and passed the 'cut & shut' tunnel which the tramroad used to pass under a hillside spur. Beyond the head of the Llanfoist Incline, bracken hindered our progress but we reached The Punchbowl where we enjoyed our lunch. The Punchbowl is a Woodland Trust Reserve with a large pond where Canada Geese breed every year and raise their chicks here.
After lunch a steep climb took us up onto the open hillside where we enjoyed views to the north of Ysgyryd Fawr.
Reaching the Blorenge Trig Point (559m) we paused for a group photo before continuing on to the Foxhunter Car Park to visit the memorial for the Olympic gold medal showjumper 'Foxhunter' before returning to Keeper's Pond.
It's worth calling in at the Visitor Centre just down the road on the way into Blaenavon to learn more about the area and where there are also toilets and a cafe. A range of free walking leaflets are available and many stories are told in the interpretation centre.
jULY 21ST - A BRYN WALKING REC OUTDOOR FIRST AID COURSE
Last Friday, Bryn Walking trained twelve Leaders of Aberystwyth Ramblers who were a pleasure to work with. Training was provided by Helen Menhinick (ML) and Alan Ward (IML).
The venue was the Waunfawr Community Hall on the outskirts of Aberystwyth. This very large hall provided a indoor area with excellent facilities and large outdoor area for the practical scenarios this course offers.
First Aid training equipment used included: Laerdal CPR manikins (Adult - child - infant), Choking Charlie. ActFast Choking Vests, full size Cardiac Science AED training units, the Red Airway model, group shelters, Manual handling training models, Blizzard survival units, appropriate First Aid kits for practical scenarios, a wide range of prosthetic wounds and mock blood, etc.
the rEC Basic first aid for the outdoors syllabus - a one day course (6 hours). The basic first aid course is designed to introduce a systematic way of first aid for managing casualties. Topic learning and practicals intermixed with scenarios of real situations.
FEEDBACK COMMENTS - THE GREATEST STRENGTHS OF THIS COURSE INCLUDED:
1. The teachers
2. The defibrillator use
3. Scenarios - Learning to use the defib - Practice CPR
4. Relevent to my role as a Ramblers Leader
5. Practical experience
6. Lots of hands on good for remembering
7. Saw lots of new stuff for First Aid kits
8. The enthusiasm of presenters - good training equipment
9. Putting theory into practice
10. Hands on practice - Encouragement to give confidence
private first Aid courses are available on request from bryn walking along with all nnas courses: bronze - silver - gold - tutor award
Following on from retirement, more time will be available for hill and mountain walking on a personal basis with friends.