Doethie Valley Access

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  • Doethie Valley Access
  • mtbmatt
    Member

    I’ve had several run ins with the farmer in the past. He isn’t the nicest of people and there is no way of reasoning with him.

    Maybe an issue for ROW officer.

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    I was suprised to see this track is not actually a PROW.

    Dont think its offically a right of way, its on access land but that doesnt count for bikes. Would need to look at the definitive maps and possibly contact the forestry commission to see if it comes under them as the forests in the area the fireroads are usually fully accessible to bikes

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    Rode this today. Is the access now a problem. When you leave the forest to drop down to Soar y Mynydd the gates are now all locked / boarded up and there were hurdles across the track going down. I knew that access through the farm was a problem but this appears to be getting worse.

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    I would think that it is definitely a FC track – too well built for a farm track – perhaps the access on the FC land extends to the access to it

    naffa
    Member

    The fireroad that runs alongside the reservoir is FC and is not a PROW.
    The track that goes up the hill from Soar-y-mynydd is a PROW and access should be uninhibited to all vehicles.

    Ambrose
    Member

    As naffa says. However, the waters are slightly muddied by a number of things. FC do allow mtbs to use their land but there is another property accessed by the track apart from Nant Llwyd farm. It is not permanently inhabited but is certainly used regularly. They need vehicular access to their property and generally drive via Llyn Brianne. The gate above the spillway was frequently unlocked- but no longer. Too many motor vehicles were using it.

    The cattle grid as you leave the forest to descend towards Soar yr Mynydd has been superceded by a locked gate- and the damaged fences therabouts bear testament to the passage of motorbikes. Boards/ pig netting are frequently placed on gates etc at this time of year to stop lambs slipping through. I’ve seen quad tracks heading down the zig zags from the farm to the river but this may have been from the landowner. I have also seen motorbike tracks higher up the valley closer to the old hostel.

    I too have been perturbed by the locked gates above Nant Llwyd farm, to the extent that the last time I was there I asked the farmer if he minded me passing through on the farm access track instead of the official RoW. He was fine about it, not in the slightest annoyed etc. We just lifted the bikes over, but it IS a bridleway and lifting a horse over would be more problematic. We did see that he had started to re-grade the track, it was very muddy indeed not having properly bedded in.

    The guy has a bit of a reputation, perpetuated wrongly perhaps, I don’t know. His predecessors at the farm were lovely guys, always good for a natter I’ve been told. I believe that he is their nephew and he is now pouring huge investment into some very marginal land- I wish him all the success in this. There are far too few younger farmers nowadays.

    Whilst the house was being refurbished several friends reported that the contractors were most impolite. They have gone now I believe.

    Matt- Wayne knows the guy from school I think. Wayne was with us when we rode through last Feb/ March. The bloke was fine when we asked where the proper RoW went, he told us to use the farm track instead.

    mtbmatt
    Member

    The guy has a bit of a reputation, perpetuated wrongly perhaps, I don’t know. His predecessors at the farm were lovely guys, always good for a natter I’ve been told. I believe that he is their nephew and he is now pouring huge investment into some very marginal land- I wish him all the success in this. There are far too few younger farmers nowadays.

    He tried to run everyone over in his 4×4 during Trans Wales then shouted his head off and threatened me when I tried to resolve whatever issues he had.
    I’ve also heard that he allows his dogs to be loose when they are aggressive and have bitten riders using the RoW.

    Ambrose
    Member

    Blinkin Hell’s Bells Matt- that’s nuts! The guy we chatted with was nothing like that at all. Did the TW organisers/ anyone follow it up?

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    Is the track from the forest down towards the Chapel a PROW though? I know the FC allow bikes on fireroads but is that part FC or is it Welsh Water or owned by the farmer? The lower part from near the farm access turn down to the Chapel is Bridleway but the part above that from the forest boundary doesn’t appear to be a PROW.

    Ambrose
    Member

    ‘Is the track from the forest down towards the Chapel a PROW though?’
    No it is not.

    ‘I know the FC allow bikes on fireroads but is that part FC or is it Welsh Water or owned by the farmer?’
    I suspect that this is a FC track. The farmer will have a right of access over it I assume.

    ‘The lower part from near the farm access turn down to the Chapel is Bridleway but the part above that from the forest boundary doesn’t appear to be a PROW.’
    True, and this is why (when approaching from the south I asked the guy if we could use his ‘drive’ because the PROW looks very unused and not easily rideable.

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    Thanks for that Ambrose. I do wonder if the use of the area during the last couple of years for multi-participant bike events has brought more riders to the area which may have caused the farmer some ‘issues’ (the rights and wrongs of which is a whole other debate!) 8)

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Just looking at the map, there does appear to be a RoW from the chapel up the track?

    Its a bridleway, although peels off after a few hundred meters and heads off-road, on a track that presumably doesn’t actually exist.

    teenrat
    Member

    Just jumping in on this thread as you all seem to know the area well. Do you have any GPX files for both the Doethie route and also Mynydd Mallaen ( or any other nice all day wilderness routes)arounf Llandovery?

    Cheers

    Rich

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Mallaen is nice, the bridleways on the map don’t match with what is on the ground, but they are there.
    Some nice riding towards Usk Resivour and also Crychan/Halfway forests.

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    Mallaen is a great ride – not sure how a gps will help, take a map and compass. Out of the two routes onto the top I would go for the access via the forestry – from the end of the public highwat by Cwm-Dunant.

    Ambrose
    Member

    Teenrat- email me. I was up on Mynydd Mallean a few days ago.

    ‘Just looking at the map, there does appear to be a RoW from the chapel up the track?

    Its a bridleway, although peels off after a few hundred meters and heads off-road, on a track that presumably doesn’t actually exist. ‘

    You are right, and there is something showing on air-photos/ google earth.

    And I wholeheartedly agree that the best way up onto Mallaen is via the forestry tracks that go around Pen Lifau.

    simon w
    Member

    Couple of things to add:

    The Mallaen
    . If you’re going via Pen Lifau (the best way) just be aware that Caio forest gets used for moto-x events and was ‘closed’ recently when I was up there. They even had permission to use part of the (open) western section of the Mallaen.

    The Doethie. mtbmatt is right about the farmer, his dog took a chunk out of the girlfriends leg when we were walking up there. He didn’t say anything. I don’t need to say anything else really.

    I think the FC may have had issues with him as well as I met someone from the FC at that last gate from the forestry into the open section and it looked like they were trying to clear some old silage bales dumped at the gate. Not sure if this was him* but they seemed mightly peed off with him. His Welsh Blacks also seem to be taking over the track to the chapel.

    Shame as the old boys at the farm were always a feature of the ride for me

    *probably was

    Ambrose
    Member

    Si, Matt. I’d suggest a phone call to the boys in blue. It seems the bloke may have issues.

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    I know the FC land agent for this area through work – i will ping him an email and see what he says.

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    Oh, and watch out for the Harrises on Mallaen!

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    Anyone been up here in the last few weeks? Have the issues re access got worse. Thinking of the Doethie for the w/e.

    Did both last weekend, with no issues, but we rode from Llanwyd Wells / Irfon over to Soar y Mynydd.

    Both routes were hard going in places, and very wet, particularly Doethie. Cows have made a mess of the first 2km or so.

    Good xc routes and a great weekend on the bikes, but I’ve come to the conclusion that Doethie is a bit over rated (though I’m prepared to be battered for that statement).

    We rode the 3 trails at Trallwm too, again, slightly underwhelming and in need of more TLC and less logging work.

    I need to explore Mallaen properly and ignore the map in favour of what I can actually see on the ground. But the Coed y Rhaeadr descent never disappoints.

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