Cwm Gwrelych

This valley near Glyn Neath in the northern part of the coalfield exposes an essentially continuous section through South Wales Coal Measures. Over a three year period BIGC opened up this geological Site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI) creating many new permissive pathways and improving existing public rights of way.

Excavating exposures at Cwm Gwrelych

A significant phase of geological improvement took place too, with significant volumes of spoil and accumulated soil removed from the many buried outcrops.  Two new trails have been created where visitors can examine not only the unique geoheritage, but also the spectacular landscape that surrounds it.

South Wales explanation board a Cwm Gwrelych
Explanation board a Cwm Gwrelych

This once bustling industrial valley where coal and iron ore was once worked, has benefitted from 70 years of neglect, allowing nature to naturally reclaim the ore shale tips and colliery waste.

South Wales Cwm Gwrelych Audio Box
One of the audio boxes that forms Merfyn’s Trail at Cwm Gwrelych

The highlight of this site is an on-site audio trail where a local resident (Mr Merfyn Walters) recalls what it was like growing up and living in the Glyn Neath area when the coal mines were still active. Merfyn’s involvement and contribution has galvanised local support for the project, and encouraged adoption and management of aspects of the site by dedicated local residents.

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