Explore the heritage of South Wales on new cycle trails
- Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Tales of the Trails project has worked with Ynysybwl Regeneration Partnership and the Cambrian Village Trust to capture stories from residents of Ynysybwl, Clydach Vale and surrounding areas
- Online “story maps” and videos show how the stories relate to the landscapes visited by new cycle trails
- Project launched with Facebook Live event tonight (Wednesday 30 June) at 7.15pm
Cycling UK today launches a new heritage project which records the human stories of communities transformed by coal mining in the Welsh valleys. Tales of the Trails, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, celebrates the heritage of Ynysybwl and Clydach Vale while inspiring residents and visitors to explore the area by bicycle.
The project brings together videos of local residents telling their stories, interactive online “story maps” and a network of cycle trails designed to connect place, people and heritage, ranging from a 2.8-mile lakeside loop to a longer 13-mile route suited to mountain or gravel bikes.
These communities have a long history, from prehistoric Iron Age settlements through the opening of vast collieries in what were previously remote rural valleys. The Clydach Vale collieries became synonymous with the rise of industrial activism, with the miners’ strike of 1910-11 and the Tonypandy riots instrumental in workers’ struggle to improve wages and conditions.
The stories about how the rise and decline of the coal industry transformed the Valleys and the people who live in them deserve to be heard. Thanks to a 15-Minute Heritage Fund grant, we can tell those stories and allow people to explore them in the best possible way: by bike
Gwenda Owen, Cycling UK's engagement officer for Wales
Gwenda Owen, Cycling UK’s engagement officer for Wales, said: “Tales of the Trails was inspired by my bike rides through the valleys and conversations with people living and working there. The impact of coal on South Wales can be seen from the trails, and the stories about how the rise and decline of the coal industry transformed the Valleys and the people who live in them deserve to be heard. Thanks to a 15-Minute Heritage Fund grant, we can tell those stories and allow people to explore them in the best possible way: by bike.”
Notes to editors
- 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. www.cyclinguk.org
- The Tales of the Trails routes include:
- Clydach Vale lakeside loop. Suitable for hybrid or touring bikes Distance: 2.8 miles (4.4km)
- Clydach Vale long route. A hardtail mountain bike or gravel-adventure road bike is recommended. Distance: 13 miles (20.8km). Ascent: 572m
- Llanwonno short route. A hardtail mountain bike or gravel-adventure road bike is recommended. Distance: 8.8 miles (11km). Ascent: 200m
- Llanwonno long route. A hardtail mountain bike or gravel-adventure road bike is recommended. Distance: 13.4 miles (21.5 km). Ascent: 477m
- Ynysybwl Regeneration Partnership oversees the Big Lottery Create Your Space-funded project Vision for the Valley, and works in partnership with community members and groups, representatives of which make up the Vision Steering Group. This includes the Paths and Trails group with representation from Aberdare Cycle Club, Ynysybwl Pony Club, Daerwynno Outdoor Activity Centre, Clydach Ramblers and the Roberttown Runners.
- The Cambrian Village Trust, based in Clydach Vale in the heart of the Cambrian Countryside Park, aims to connect people with each other and their through cycling and other outdoor activities. Its outdoor activity coordinator works in innovative ways to enable a diverse range of people to experience the benefits of being outside, especially in the Cambrian Countryside Park.
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 Rob Kingston on 07880 424 912 or email email@example.com. Out of hours, call 07786 320 713