Cycling UK calls on public to help record and celebrate Welsh valley communities’ heritage

Cycling UK is calling on current and former residents of Ynysybwl and Clydach Vale to take part in an innovative new project which celebrates the history and culture of Wales’ valley communities.
  • Cycling UK project supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund looks to leave lasting legacy of Ynysybwl and Clydach Vale past
  • Tales of the Trails will create network of trails and interactive storytelling to retell the history of the region
  • Charity is calling for public to share their stories to be part of the record

The UK cycling charity is keen to hear and record the stories from those who know these places best, and has set up an online form for people to fill in.

Cycling UK aims to create a permanent and innovative record of the area’s rich heritage through engaging film and interactive online content. It will then link these tales with the landscape they happened in through a network of trails, aiming to connect places and heritage with the local community and its future visitors.

Called Tales of the Trails, the routes will be designed for cycling of all levels, and show physical activity and culture are not mutually exclusive.

The project has been made possible by a £10k grant from the 15-Minute Heritage Fund run by Cadw – the Welsh Government’s historic environment service and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Gwenda Owen, Cycling UK’s engagement officer in Wales has spent a lot of time riding through the valleys, and is keen to see the landscape and its history are celebrated and not forgotten.

“Wales’ valleys and the mining communities which sprung up in them are a proud part of our past that we risk forgetting. Through Tales of the Trails, Cycling UK working with Ynysybwl Regeneration Partnership and the Cambrian Village Trust, is looking not just to preserve the stories for the next generation, but to make them real by taking people into the landscape where they happened.

“That’s why we’re appealing to locals and those who have moved from the area to get in touch and share their stories of this special part of South Wales. Whether they’re tales you’ve lived yourself or ones you remember your grandfather telling you round the fire – we’d love to hear them and urge you to get in touch.”

Through Tales of the Trails, Cycling looking not just to preserve the stories for the next generation, but to make them real by taking people into the landscape where they happened.

Gwenda Owen, Cycling UK

Tales of the Trails isn’t just about preserving culture but also aims to boost the local economy and put Ynysybwl and Clydach Vale on the tourist map for Welsh history buffs and cyclists alike, as Hayley Fidler, Project Development Officer from Ynysybwl Regeneration Partnership points out:

“Ynysybwl Regeneration Partnership and the Vision Steering group are looking forward to working with Cycling UK and the Cambrian Trust on this project connecting the people of our two communities to the landscape and heritage on our doorstep.

“Our Big Lottery, Create Your Space funded project Vision for the Valley project looks to promote Ynysybwl as a destination for visitors from outside the area, contributing to enhancing the local economy and we’re looking forward to developing our own Tales of the Trails to help achieve this.”

Andrew White, director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales said:

“We’re all probably more aware of our local areas of late and local heritage – whether that’s a building, a landmark, a nature reserve or even our local shop, is important because it helps create and shape our communities.

“Connecting with our heritage is also good for our wellbeing and thanks to National Lottery players and our partnership with Cadw we have been able to encourage a diverse range of people right across Wales to get out and about to explore and re-discover their local area.”

Cycling UK is gathering the stories over the next two months and with input from community groups and will work local people to develop a network of trails that should be ready by March.

If you have a tale from the trails to share, you can do so by visiting Cycling UK’s website.

For more information on Tales of the Trails visit:


Notes to editors

  1. Cycling UK, the UK’s cycling charity, imagines a world where the streets are free of congestion and the air is clean to breathe, where parents encourage their children to cycle to school and everyone shares the exhilaration of being in the saddle. For more than 140 years, we’ve been making our streets safer, opening up new traffic free routes and inspiring more people to cycle more often.
  2. Tales from the Trails is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Press contact information

For more information, please contact the national Cycling UK press office. Due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, currently the main press office number (01483 238 315) is not being monitored. If you would like to speak to a member of the press office during working hours (0900 - 1700) please call 07786 320 713.