august 24th nnas tutor award for 7 participants at gilwern oec
7 participants completed the course yesterday as a step in the direction to becoming NNAS Course Directors for the NNAS Bronze and Silver Navigator Awards.
The client was MonLife who operate the Gilwern OEC and it was an enjoyable course for me to deliver. Participant feedback was very positive.
The morning classroom based theoretical session was at Gilwern OEC and the afternoon practical session on and around the Blorenge.
1. Obviously a well versed and well qualified instructor.
2. Alan casually reinforced student knowledge base in a way that encouragd participation and passed on information with quality.
3. The course was very relaxed and learning materials appropriate to the course.
4. The information given about NNAS was useful and not overloading.
5. The navigation element of the course was produced in a relaxed and friendly way.
6. Talked through ideas, skills and practices.
Learnin some games/resources to use on a course. Going through and checking nav. skills together.
7. Covered nav. skills well and looked at advanced map reading skills with more in-depth nav. skills.
the nnas tutor award
In 2016 the NNAS launched the NNAS Tutor Award, a course for Providers and their Course Directors who teach navigation. It is a recognition that just because one can personally navigate it doesn’t follow that one can teach it!
Who is the Tutor Award for?All Registered Navigator Award Providers and their Course Directors have attended this CPD-accredited course in order to offer the Navigator awards.
The NNAS Tutor Award is suitable for people 16yrs+ only.
Successful completion of the NNAS Tutor Award will also enable (after approval by NNAS) those without a higher hill or mountain walking qualification, but with experience and interest in the outdoors, to help teach on a Bronze award under the guidance of a registered NNAS Course Director. They will be called “Bronze Tutors”. In this case, once the NNAS Tutor Award is completed, an application by email to the NNAS must be made and approved before that person assists on Bronze courses.
The course is a mixture of indoor and outdoor practical sessions and offers the opportunity for candidates to discuss their own methodology as well as learning new techniques from others.
mONDAY 21ST AUGUST: A guided walk from gospel pass, over hay bluff (677m) and offa's dyke down into hay
highlights of the walk
1. Gospel Pass which featured in the opening scenes of An American Werewolf in London (1981) because it was a cheaper alternative to filming in Northern England.
2. A pleasant 3km of walk above 600m giving fine views of the Wye Valley to the north.
3. A section of the Offa's Dyke National Trail.
4. A detour onto Hen Allt Common to view the rare, in the wild, Autumn Crocus.
tThe group of 5 met in Hay-on-Wye main car park and then travelled up to Gospel Pass where my planned route began for the 12km walk back to Hay-on-Wye. It didn't take us long to get up to Gospel Pass ( 549m) and we were soon on the steep section of path up to the 650m contour and then along the escarpment to Hay Bluff (677m) where we paused for coffee.
Heading southeast to Llech y Lladron we joined Offa's Dyke to begin our walk back to Hay-on-Wye. Crossing the road onto the most northern part of Hay Common we paused for lunch at the Quarry (disused) which gave us some shelter from the strong winds.
After lunch we continued northwards through Cadwgan Farm which was well maintained and a sign even offered water on request which was nice to see. A little further on I'd planned a slight detour onto Hen Allt Common to see the Autumn Crocus which I thought would be in flower, a rare sight in the wild. I'd managed the common whilst employed as an Area Manager with the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. On many Wednesdays, with my Volunteer Wardens, we worked under the supervision of the National Park Ecologists to manage the common. These days, it was more of a forgotten wilderness with broken duckboarding but we did see what we were looking for.
Rejoining the Offa's Dyke we were soon back in Hay-on-Wye to enjoy a coffee and a visit to the Rohan Designs shop there.
Many thanks to Wendy for driving me back to Gospel Pass to collect my car. I think it's fair to see we'd all enjoyed the 12km walk.
FEEDBACK FROM WENDY
The Gospel Pass ascent of Hay Bluff is little work for a big reward. The remoteness of the mountain tops and views afforded were superb. A treat was to get to see an area of Autumn crocus, which none of us knew about, except Alan. It’s always nice to have an eclectic walk offering a host of different terrains - mountains, National trails, wooded pathways, wooden bridges and ending up in the lovely town of Hay on Wye for a coffee and a mooch around. It was great to see the national trail signs attached to the stone monuments of the mountains.
a few images by wendy
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.