Rights restored around Eglwysilan common today

Tomorrow, pesky access-blockers may be back, but today belonged to the people who have rights on Mynydd Eglwysilan Common: commoners, byway drivers and trail, quad and pedal bikers, horse riders, walkers, roamers were all there to let the landowners know they have had enough of illegal blocks and actions.

Things were bad in 2012, when I first posted about the common https://ossjay.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/what-is-going-on-around-eglwysilan-common/, and have got worse since the changes of ownership in December 2015 and April 2016.  Today was a good day, and a huge THANK YOU to Bonkas 4×4 Wales who got everyone together and a lot more.

I joined them at the B&Q car park in Pontypridd, and caught up on some problems, such as commoners fearing to graze their stint because of losing stock. We drove up Penyrheol Ely Road in a convoy of over 20 from the town to the wild beauty of Eglwysilan, where horses and protesters were already there – almost a hundred in all.


To access the byway which leads to Nelson, we needed to move the blockage.  The Bonkas guys had brought shovels.  To be honest, they did most of the work, while everyone else was admiring their expertise and co-operation.

The blockage of shit stank, but more evil was the mafia-like sheep, beheaded and its guts falling from its slit abdomen.  It was there to greet the first arrivals, with all identification carefully removed.

Because this is classed as a protest rather than a gathering, the police had to attend in numbers, and were drafted in from Talbot Green.  This wasn’t a problem, in part because they were able to hear and see the agreed problems of the common.  A few of them knew the common too.  Maybe they can send the bill to those responsible for blocking access.

The shit proved nastier than first thought when a 4×4 couldn’t get over it and was towed back, then bottomed out on a boulder.  There are good YouTubes and shots on Facebook of a long process.

One quad bike got over, another stuck.

Some cyclists were helped to get past the shit. I finally got a nice shot of a leaping 4×4.

Time went by as the boulders and tree stumped required three vehicles in line to winch them out.  Time to take in the Valleys views around the common.

Finally the byway was open again, and the convoy could set off.  It was proof that we have far more to gain from all the different types of users working together.  I was sorry that I couldn’t stay longer.

I expect there will be more to do either personally or as Open Spaces Society representative for Rhondda Cynon Taf, with Welsh Assembly members aware and involved and the police keeping in close touch with the Rights of Way officers in Caerphilly and RCT.

The Open Spaces Society has several actions on commons which the Welsh Assembly might consider.  Most important is the need for local authorities to be responsible for – to have a duty to take – action against unlawful works.

This entry was posted in Active Travel Act, countryside, open spaces: commons, open spaces: rights of way & highways, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Rights restored around Eglwysilan common today

  1. Anonymous says:

    His name is David Terrence Jones of Pen yr Heol Las farm, Caerphilly. His company Elwynd Properties Ltd is registered in Ross on Wye. He is operating a potentially illeagal waste disposal company, allowing dumping of waste on the common


  2. Anonymous says:

    Well he’s up to his old tricks only this time seemed to have upped the “anti” blocked the gates on the Eglyswilan side, Dug up the passing places on the actual road, blocked the path access above Ponty golf course. Feed stations for the cows on the path which are now 2ft deep with cow shit. Basically ruining the mountain.


  3. pattimcjones says:

    Very gripping & informative, power to you all!


  4. Geraint Ashcroft says:

    I was wondering if I could talk to Joy regarding rights of way in Cilfynydd. I am 3rd generation Cilfynydd born and bred and would like to discuss the routes that have been used and are legitimate rights of.way.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Wr is killing these animals (beheaded sheep) needs to be prosecuted!


    • Anonymous says:

      Who ever is killing these (beheaded sheep) needs to be prosecuted, please report to he RSPCA


      • ossjay says:

        I agree that whoever is doing this as part of blocking the byway should be prosecuted on all fronts. The byway will be cleared either by the council or volunteers, and council and police are fully informed. Expensive owners for the rest of us.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Well its blocked again with more dead animals inside the blockage now!


    • ossjay says:

      What and how many are inside the blockage?


      • Anonymous says:

        Absolutely disgusting person who ever it is who is blocking the byway/path using dead animals. Im guessing its a local farmer? please report this to the police and RSPCA or who ever you would think can deal with it.

        Great turnout of people.


  7. Anonymous says:

    see council link below with the regard that it is illegal to drive a vehicle on a common without the land owners consent not for 4×4 to churn up.it is actually illegal guys.

    Click to access vol1-pt2-common-land.pdf


    • ossjay says:

      The link to a biodiversity plan is not relevant to the blocking of byways, which are open to all classes of traffic including motor vehicles.


  8. Pingback: Rights restored around Eglwysilan common today | sideshowtog

  9. Tog says:

    Reblogged this on sideshowtog.


  10. Well done Jay and everyone who took part. I was walking up there walking Friday 14th April I added the blocked right of way in my blog. Power to the people, the common people who use this beautiful open space. Bank holiday Monday I walked the other side of Rhymney Valley Ridgeway. There were trees used to block paths I have put this in my blog too and let CCBC know as well

    Liked by 2 people

    • ossjay says:

      Thanks, Julie. Public rights and commoners’ rights will not go away and must be respected. Well done for reporting the blockages – it is tedious and sometimes soul-destroying to find this bullying, threatening and deterring in your way. It was lovely to have strength in numbers and a common purpose.

      Liked by 1 person

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