Thursday, 28 February 2013

Fearless Duathlon photos now up

Duathlons are similar to Triathlons, but lack a swimming leg - so it's running and biking. The 2013 event took place on Sunday the 17th of February and the photos can be seen here.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Walkers are Welcome

You may have noticed these signs on B&Bs and other accommodation in Wales.

The Walkers are Welcome logo is an initiative by Visit Wales, the official tourist authority for Wales, to indicate which properties are particularly suitable as bases for walking holidays. Properties are assessed by VW grading officials, who ensure that the owners are welcoming to walkers, and have made provision for their needs, such as installing a drying room or area for wet and muddy boots and clothes. Walkers are welcome properties often also have maps and guide books available for guest to borrow.

If you would like to find out more about this grading scheme, or own accommodation yourself that you would like to be certified, you can go to The Welsh Government's website -

Walk on Wales

Fundraisers are calling on walkers to join in a mass charity ramble along the Wales Coast Path on the 25th of August in aid of Welsh War Veterans.

The "Walk on Wales" will cover the entire 870 miles of the route, divided between 11 relay teams who'll pass on a silver baton inscribed with the names of the 50 Welsh Guardsmen who've died in action since the end of the Second World War.

The aim is to raise one million pounds for the Welsh Guards Afganistan appeal to support soldiers suffering from combat stress and bereaved families.

To find out how you can join one of the teams, go to or telephone 0808 1295444.

Fighting Ash Dieback

Tree dying back from the branch tips.

With the trees being bare over winter, the problem of chalara, better known as ash die back, has slipped out of the new s recently, but it still threatens our beloved native ash trees. Ash is the third most common species of tree in the British Isles, and losing them would be even more devastating to our landscape than the Dutch Elm disease of the 1970s.
An infected young sapling 

You can help to prevent the spread of the disease by reporting infected trees to the authorities. Symptoms of infection include dieback of shoots and twigs at the periphery of the crowns. Dense clumps of foliage often appear further back on affected branches as the tree tries to compensate for the loss  of its leaves. Bark lesions can often be seen at the bases of infected branches.
Bark lesion

For more information on ash dieback, visit To find out how you can help stop the disease, tel: 01476 581111 or visit You can report the location of infected trees by visiting, or telephoning 08459 33 55 77.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Mystery Walkers

The Ramblers Association have a new initiative for people interested in maintaining a good environment for walkers.

The "Mystery Walker" project (see allows people to adopt a grid square and check it for path obstructions and other problems. These can then be reported to the Rambler's database to help build a picture of which areas are best for walkers, and which areas require help.

You can submit your details on the Ramblers website who will be in touch when they have allocated an area for you.

Peter has volunteered to do this for an area near Aberdaron, and he'll be making regular progress reports to let you know how he's getting on.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Green Bench Event...

... at the Ugly House, Saturday 23rd February. How to construct natural wooden benches from lying timber.

Come and watch a local craftsman at work – on Saturday 23rd February there will be a demonstration in the woodland at the Ugly House, of how to construct ‘natural’ wooden bench seats using lying and standing timber from the trees in the woodland.

Bob Cole will start the demonstration, which will continue throughout the day, at 10am. The nature of the demonstration will be that you can watch all day or come and go as you wish but you will get the most from it if you can arrive for the start at 10am.

The tea room will be open and as usual there will be plenty of work throughout the woodland and grounds for keen and active volunteers. Bring warm clothing and suitable footwear. Booking not necessary but it will be helpful to know if you will be attending so that we have an idea of numbers. Please email

The Bala Challenge: 11th May 2013

The Bala Challenge is the premier walking event of Southern Snowdonia. The event is a Charity Walk, organised by the Bala & Penllyn Rotary Club, which raises funds for beneficiaries such as the North Wales Air Ambulance, Mountain Rescue Service & local good causes. Participants can raise funds for their own good cause or just enjoy the walk.
The first event was held in 2005 and the number of participants has increased each year to over 250. The event has raised over £14,000 directly and taking into account participants own sponsorship it is estimated that some £50,000 has been raised.
Features of the event are:
  • Marvellous scenery of southern Snowdonia
  • Choice of route of various distances
  • A serious walk of 20 miles, over 4,000 ft
  • Family walk with return by steam railway
  • Feeding station & refreshments at the finish
  • Circular walk or transport provided
The 9th Bala Challenge Charity Walk will be held on Saturday, 11th May 2013
This will be an opportunity to experience the outstanding scenery of southern Snowdonia, North Wales, with views of the largest natural lake in Wales, surrounded by three mountain ranges (Berwyn, Aran, Arenig) and a possibility to observe the natural wildlife including Buzzards and Red Kites. The route has been chosen to maximise the views over a variety of terrain including farmland, moorland and forest.

Individual walkers or groups representing societies or clubs may also seek sponsorship to raise funds for a good cause of their own choice.

There is a choice of walks:
  • The Bala Challenge is a strenuous circular walk Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid), including part of the Aran ridge, starting and finishing at the Penllyn Leisure Centre, in Bala. The walk is 20 miles (32 km) long with a total ascent of 4,100ft (1,250m).
  • The Bala Lake Circuit is a circular walk around Bala Lake starting and finishing at the Penllyn Leisure Centre, in Bala. The walk is 14 miles (23km) long with a total ascent of 2,700ft (800m).
  • Bala Lake Walk: suitable for family groups, is a linear walk along the south-east side of Bala Lake starting at the Penllyn Leisure Centre in Bala and finishing in Llanuwchllyn. The walk is 8 miles (13km) long with a total ascent of 1,700ft (510m). Return to the start may be by steam railway or provided by the organisers.
  • Guided Walk circular of 2 hours with a local expert who will provide information on wildlife.
There will be an opportunity to take a break en-route at the Eagles’ Inn, Llanuwchllyn. Light refreshments are also available at the Bala Lake Railway CafĂ©, Llanuwchllyn.
Further information:                                                                 Gwybodaeth bellach:             
Peter Cottee Tel: 01678-521782                                             Cyswllt Cymraeg:
E-mail:                                           Gareth Griffiths            01678 521855