Valeways Newsletter Spring 2014



Newsletter Spring 2014

                 We start this newsletter with a dramatic photograph taken by Tim Williams as a reminder of what the storms brought to our shores over the last few weeks. We were comparatively lucky compared to others living further along our coastline who need no reminder of the devastation Mother Nature can inflict.

Nevertheless, once again we need to thank Valeways Walk Leaders for their perseverance not only in leading the walks but also for ensuring that every route was checked in advance. Thank you again for your commitment. This Spring Walks Programme provides us all with the opportunities to get out and enjoy the great outdoors once more, so find those boots, empty those wellies and read on!

This Spring Guided Walks Programme offers some new ‘cross border’ ventures as well as the intriguing ‘Up the Ely without a Paddle!’ Those who walk the Bonvilston South Circular Route in April have the opportunity of completing the whole leafleted route by walking along the Bonvilston North Circular route later in June.

Walking Festivals

The Cardiff Walking Festival takes place from 3 May to 11 May. Details can be accessed at To link the festival with the Vale of Glamorgan Walking Festival a special ‘cross-border’ walk has been organised by Tim Williams. We hope that you will be able to support both festivals.

All arrangements for the 5th Vale of Glamorgan Walking Festival have been finalised and a programme of walks is now available. Here are a few ‘tasters’ to whet your appetites -

The Festival has been extended by one day, starting now on Thursday 29 May – Sunday 1 June.

There are 25 walks covering various distances and interests. The commemoration of the beginning of World War 1 has inspired two walks, contrasting sharply with a gentle stroll of the Orchard and Glyndŵr Vineyards Walk – offering something for everyone.

There is also the opportunity to practise your Welsh on a leisurely Family Walk around The Amelia Trust.

Each evening, walkers can bid farewell to the day’s activities by participating in the aptly named ‘Sundowner’ evening walks. So experience magical sunsets from all angles; from Barry Island, Cold Knap and the Heritage Coast. Bring your camera!

The popular Vale Ale Trail returns visiting the recently opened and refurbished Bryn Owain Restaurant on the A48 near Cowbridge. Find out more about the name of the pub over a friendly pint when you get there!

Many of our leafleted walks are also included in the programme. This gives walkers the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the routes before embarking on their own.

As usual Valeways are indebted to our friends at Llanblethian Heritage Coast, Vale of Glamorgan and Penarth Ramblers, Country Park Rangers, HubCowbridge and Atlantic College for their support.

Walk Leader Training

We are now pleased to announce that we are able to provide a course to train our own volunteers to be Walk Leaders. Our first training day is on Monday 28 April at The Enterprise Centre. Please contact Valeways Office for more information.

Walk & Clear Report by Mark Rosoman, Volunteer Coordinator

Our walk and clear volunteer activities have been increasing in frequency, from once per month to three times per week! With Spring now in the air Valeways would like to continue with the expansion of our volunteer groups and individuals. If this is of interest to you please contact us now.

The types of tasks volunteers carry out include reaffixing missing way-marker signs, cutting back unwanted growth, litter picking and general reconnoitres. We have also significantly increased our voluntary activities under the heading of social inclusion. This includes young persons and adults. Volunteers are vital to the works that Valeways undertake so we would like to take this opportunity of thanking you all collectively and look forward to your continuing support.

Thanks to students and staff from Atlantic College for their diligent work in monitoring the Millennium  Heritage Trail.

Adopt a Valeways Route

The response to the invitation for volunteers to adopt a footpath has been very encouraging. Thanks to all those who have come forward to adopt all of the Valeways’ 19 published routes. Their tasks are to monitor each designated route twice a year to ensure they remain accessible to all who wish to use them. Any difficulties or obstacles encountered during the reconnaissance will then be reported to Valeways who will inform the Vale of Glamorgan Council Public Rights of Way Department. Individual walkers are still encouraged to report any problems encountered on any of the published routes.

Photo of the Month

Can you take a better photo than the one at the top of the newsletter? If the answer is ‘Yes’, then why not send your entry to ‘Photo of the Month’. All entries will appear on our website and Facebook pages with the intention of publishing them in a 2015 Valeways Calendar.

Trustees News

After 4 years at the helm, Phil Gibbins has decided to step down as Chairman of Valeways Trustees. We are indebted to him for all his hard work and leadership during some very uncertain times for Valeways. We are pleased that Phil will continue as a Trustee and will still be leading walks. Diolch yn fawr Phil.

We bid farewell to Lynda Wallis who has  decided to step down as a Trustee. We thank her for her valued contribution and wish her all the best in the future.

A warm welcome is extended to our new Chairman, Dr Meirion Morgan. Since joining Valeways as a Trustee in May 2012 Meirion has offered his expertise in IT and his advice and support has been invaluable. Meirion was born and brought up in the Cynon Valley before graduating in Mathematics at Cardiff University. Having moved to Oxford in 1999 to read for his D.Phil, Meirion worked in the London area for a few years before deciding to return to Wales where he has been active in supporting many various ventures. He is a keen musician and while at Oxford was a member of Jesus College Choir. Pob hwyl Meirion!

Footnote  :-                                             Frank Roper

St Lawrence Church at Lavernock is often visited by our walkers. As well as stopping to read the plaque commemorating Marconi and Kemp’s pioneering work why not linger a while in the cemetery and visit the simple grave of artist Frank Roper? This has further significance this year as we celebrate the centenary of his birth. Roper came to Cardiff after the war as Head of Sculpture and later as Vice Principal at Cardiff School of Art. Working from his Penarth studio Frank Roper produced his sculptures for clients throughout Britain and many of his ecclesiastical work can be seen throughout Cardiff and the Vale. During the restoration of Llandaff Cathedral he collaborated with the architect George Pace to produce some of his best known pieces. Following his death in 2000 he was laid to rest next to his wife, Nora in the cemetery. The simple grave is marked with two stones gathered from the beach.

To commemorate the centenary of his birth a special exhibition is arranged at The Travellers Gallery, Barry Station from 11 August to 12 September.


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