Explore the heritage of South Wales on new cycle trails

St Gwynno's church in the hamlet of Llanwonno, one of the sights on the new trails. Photo: Simon Ayre
St Gwynno's church, Llanwonno
St Gwynno's church, Llanwonno
Rob Kingston's picture

Explore the heritage of South Wales on new cycle trails

Launching today, Tales of the Trails is a Cycling UK project recording stories from mining communities in the Welsh valleys and bringing them to life with 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.”

 

 

The event will be officially launched with a Facebook Live event tonight (30 June) at 7.15pm. The event can be attended by anybody, free of charge, via Cycling UK's Facebook and YouTube channels.

The trails and stories can be found on the Tales of the Trails website.

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 publicity@cyclinguk.org. Out of hours, call 07786 320 713

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. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Tales of the Trails was made possible by the 15-Minute Heritage Grants scheme, run by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Cadw. This scheme provided funding for projects that help to connect communities in Wales with their local heritage and deepen people’s engagement with the heritage to be found within 15 minutes of their homes.

Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Cycling UK continues to support the UK to cycle
This remains true during this difficult period with the ongoing threat of coronavirus Covid-19
Join Cycling UK to help us change lives and communities through cycling
Join Cycling UK to help us change lives and communities through cycling
Membership gives you peace of mind insurance, discounts in cycle shops, rides & routes