A request is being sent far and wide for people to enjoy but not destroy one of South Wales’ most important landscapes. The Gelligaer and Merthyr Common has a fascinating history that tells the tale of surrounding communities through time.

The Common is a CADW designated Historic Landscape and is unique in its value to the rural communities which surround it, from an environmental, social and economic perspective: nature lovers, hang gliders and farmers all value the space. But the quality of habitat, biodiversity and grazing on the Common is being degraded due to the actions of a minority. Illegal off-road vehicles and fly-tipping are amongst the threats.

Work is now underway to help protect the Pen Garnbugail area of the Common. Keep Wales Tidy and the Gelligaer and Merthyr Commoners Association are linking up with funding from the Welsh Government’s Landfill Disposal Tax Communities Grant Scheme to restore the landscape and prevent further degradation. 

In this one hillside alone you can see glimpses of the Bronze Age, the Romans, Medieval times and our industrial heritage

said Mark Ward for the Gelligaer and Merthyr Commoners Association, adding

We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to freely wander through this landscape but off road vehicles are illegally using the area too. They might be unaware of what they’re doing, but they’re causing real damage to these remnants as well as scaring the landscape, stripping grazing land and disturbing wildlife. 

Now local schools are learning about the history of the Common. Dry-stone walls are to be repaired with local people learning the skill. Fly-tipping is being removed, erosion is being restored and the rich heritage of the site is being celebrated.

We’re asking everyone to do their bit

said Jake Castle of Keep Wales Tidy.

We all have a duty of care to dispose of our waste properly. If someone else takes your waste away and it ends up on the mountain, you’re still responsible and could get a fixed penalty of £300 or an unlimited fine in court so always check that they are a registered waste carrier. And we urge anyone who had a motorbike for Christmas to use official off-road tracks or get the landowner’s permission. Police confiscations are ongoing. 

For more information or to get involved, please contact [email protected] or 07824 504794

Pleser, nid dinistr - Gomin Gelligaer a Merthyr