Pembrokeshire is unique in having such a special coastline that both a National Park and a National Trail have been created here.
The National Park Authority’s Countryside Management team are responsible for improving and maintaining the Coast Path. The National Trail Officer walks the whole of the Coast Path every year and notes the works needed for the next winter.
The three Area Warden Managers co-ordinate the work with farmers and Warden Teams. Four Warden Teams carry out the work on the Coast Path as part of their wider rights of way role. Extra staff are taken on in the summer to help cut back the undergrowth.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) provides 100% funding for the National Trail Officer and funds agreed improvement works. Routine maintenance is funded up to 75% by NRW, 25% by the National Park Authority.
Maintaining the Coast Path is a year-round job. In the summer we cut the grass and other vegetation; some areas may need to be cut three or four times a year (bracken can grow up to five feet high and block the Path).
We also do some essential repairs in the summer. We carry out routine repairs and renewals of stiles, gates and other path structures in the winter. Every year parts of the Path become unsafe due to cliff falls and have to be moved inland. By employing our own staff who know the Path well and by a process of risk assessment, we try to anticipate erosion problems and sometimes move the line of the path, with the agreement of the landowner, before a problem is obvious.
We aim to improve ease of access where possible. In 1995 there were 536 stiles to cross; by 2010 there were under 100. Over 400 stiles have been replaced with gates or removed altogether.
Our aim is to keep the Coast Path as natural as possible. We also aim to provide a range of challenge and experience to suit everyone. Steps (total 4,830) are only used where essential; you will find steps on slopes close to access points and on the steepest slopes where they are needed to reduce erosion but in more remote areas similar slopes may have no steps. The oak signposts used along the length of the Coast Path are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible while still being obvious (a neat trick if you can do it).
More about Access and Rights of Way in the National Park
These Byelaws apply to land owned or leased by the National Park Authority. This is around 2% of the National Park as a whole. County Council Byelaws ...
Pembrokeshire Local Access Forum
The Pembrokeshire Local Access Forum is a statutory body advising on the improvement of access to the countryside for recreation and enjoyment.
Public Rights of Way
Public rights of way include public footpath, bridleways and byways. They provide the best way to explore the coast and countryside of the National Pa...
Rights of Way Improvement Plan
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 places a duty on each highway authority to publish a Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) for their area.