Eglwysilan: more blocked access on common land

A couple of weeks ago, we went back to the top of Penyrheol Ely Road on Mynydd Eglwysilan common with another Bonkas 4×4 Wales working party.  Sure enough, there was again a distinctive pile of muck, boulders and wool on byway PON 112.

Apart from the obvious disgusting nature of the deposits, this is also a criminal offence.  Meanwhile, a bike rider shared a photo from further along the byway which soon achieved its own notoriety as “gruesome” in the local press and even in the Sunday Times and on Radio 2.  It’s a black ram’s head topping a scarecrow figure with the testicles below.

Why is someone having a go at 4×4 drivers who are trying to keep highways useable? The problems on Eglwysilan affect walkers, riders, commoners, cyclists, drivers – in fact, everyone with a right.  It’s not a game. The owners are not showing any responsibility for maintaining those rights and are not supporting the restoration of rights like unblocking these byways.  Why?

We headed off to a long-standing blockage near the Rose & Crown in Eglwysilan. I’ve walked and driven the byway PON 113 in the past unhindered. This is the same gateway a year ago, May 2016, and now in May 2017 from the common side. The metal gate and kissing gate are both piled with earth.

We got to work with shovel and pitch-fork, and got the main gate open.  If this is a criminal offence, it should be reported to our crime-fighting police.

The police station in Ponty answered but then announced that its mail box (sic) was full.  It is hard to report to the police on 101 because they say that obstructions to the byway and beheaded sheep should be reported to the council.

The obstruction of this access point ignores the clearly signed “Llwybr Treftadaeth / Heritage Trail”, and a wooden sign for Eglwysilan Common has been thrown to the side of the earth well away from the kissing gate.

This used to be the quickest route onto the common from the Garth the other side of the Taff valley: before the A470 was built, I’ve been told horses would be ridden across and up behind the Rose &  Crown on the bridleway, and then up the byway.

Back at home, as the Open Spaces Society Local Correspondent, I emailed the forms notifying the Director of Highway of the obstructions on PON 112 and 113. I thought both were in Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC, but had an email back to say that the PON 113 is in Caerphilly CBC – the boundary runs down the side of the byway.  I’ve posted that off to Caerphilly.  Why RCT couldn’t forward the email, I don’t know: they need to work together.

Others have been busy: most important is the public meeting called under the “Community Trigger” because of the unsatisfactory responses to the issues on this common. So far, Bonkas4x4, Ramblers, Open Spaces will be represented among the public and agencies like council and police should be there.


Taff Meadow Community Centre, Broadway, Pontypridd, CF37 1DB

26 May at 18:30 to 21:30

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5 Responses to Eglwysilan: more blocked access on common land

  1. Anonymous says:

    Someone ought to go check the common land ,back of Cilfynydd towards Llanfaban Nelson . Ditches have appeared, So deep to stop walkers , who owns these lands


    • ossjay says:

      Hi, At the back of Cilfynydd is Eglwysilan Common, which is owned by Terry Jones of Pen yr Heol Las north of Caerffili. NRW recently won an action involving him in illegal tipping and he is believed to be behind the dangerous works on the common that you describe. If you have any evidence, Caerffili CBC would be able to use it. The deep trenches do stop walkers using legal access, and cyclists and horse riders too.


    • Tony says:

      Just down the road from the Llanfabon In where the path does off left after the stream the path is totally blocked with a barrier approximate 25 wide by 2 metres high by 3 metres deep of cut down trees. Previously the you had the ditch and wrecked gate to negotiate. Now the route is totally blocked with no way round or through. This was last Sunday 15th May. I’m trying to find out who I can report this to so it can be cleared. I have taken photos.


      • ossjay says:

        Either Caerfili Rights of Way, or RCT Rights of Way. They can enforce removal (depending on which authority it is under) and the commoners and farmers’ organisations should be updated, also the Members of the Senedd


  2. sparks says:

    This is quite shocking to see. It is encouraging that photos show a good-sized group of people prepared to challenge such conduct.


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