A NEW permissive footpath has been opened at Tregynon, above the southern side of the Gwaun Valley giving public access to Pembrokeshire’s tallest waterfall.

The path descends steeply for 200 feet from an existing public path into a wooded gorge, revealing the full drop of the cascading stream, before crossing it on a wooden bridge and climbing back to another public path, close to an iron age fort.

In the past, walkers have been able to hear the falling water as they pass around the top of the gorge, but there has been no access to view its splendour.

The project was conceived by landowners Peter and Jane Heard and, after months of negotiation, planning and preparation with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, the work was carried out by the authority and the Friends of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park over a two year period.

It was opened by National Park Authority chair, Gwyneth Hayward, on May 25 at an informal ceremony attended by around 20 of the Park staff and volunteers responsible for building the route.

National Park Authority chair Gwyneth Hayward said: “The Authority would like to extend its thanks to Mr and Mrs Heard for allowing us to create this footpath across their land. Our gratitude is also extended to the Friends’ work party, who have contributed many hours of their time to this project and the various National Park Authority officers, rangers and wardens who have been involved at various stages of the work.

“This path will enable people to access a type of landscape that you rarely encounter in the National Park – a wooded gorge which features a cascading stream. This stretch of path links up with the existing network of public rights of way bringing an added attraction to a popular walk in the Gwaun Valley.”

Peter Heard said: “Jane and I would like to thank all the Park Authority staff for their assistance and support throughout this project. I also thank the Friends’ work party for their labours and congratulate them on the successful completion of their most ambitious and challenging project to date.”

The Friends’ work party has worked with National Park rangers and wardens on more than 25 occasions on this project, putting in 650 hours of hard work. The path includes 107 steps and 250 metres of railing.

Six tonnes of filling stone and three tonnes of dressed stone were used in constructing the path, all of which had to be moved into the gorge by hand using trugs and buckets.

The path starts at OS Grid Reference SN053346.

For more information on The Friends of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park visit www.fpcnp.org.uk