In maintaining the Coast Path, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority aims to balance the quality of the walking the experience with the safety of the walker.
The National Trail Officer inspects the entire route of the Coast Path every year and the resulting condition survey records all the remedial and repair work required and also identifies potential improvements.
The three Area Warden Managers deliver the work in liaison with the many landowners along the coast. Four Warden Teams carry out the work on the Coast Path. Extra temporary staff are taken on in the summer to help cut back seasonal growth and verge vegetation.
The Welsh Government (WG) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) provide 100% funding for the National Trail Officer and improvement works. Routine maintenance is funded 75% by WG and NRW and 25% by the National Park Authority.
Maintaining the Coast Path is a year-round job. In the summer the verge vegetation is cut. Where the Coast Path is not grazed, weeds can grow up to 1.5 metres high and block the Path very quickly.
Part of the attraction of the Coast Path is the display of wildflowers in early summer. The diversity of flora on the Path verges is a result of a cutting regime which has been basically unchanged for thirty years.
The Warden Teams do a fantastic job to ensure the wildflowers set seed everywhere by starting the cutting at different places each year. Some areas may therefore be quite high with growth before they are cut, so would always advise appropriate clothing and footwear is worn.
In the winter maintenance to access furniture such as signposts, gates, stiles and bridges is undertaken, as well as surface maintenance to drains and steps. Occasionally sections of the Coast Path become unsafe due to cliff falls and have to be rerouted inland to more stable ground.
We aim to improve ease of access where possible. If you walked the entire Coast Path in 1995 there were 536 stiles to cross; in 2005 there were 249; today there are only 38. Nearly 500 stiles have therefore been replaced with gates or removed altogether. We are grateful to the many landowners and farmers for their cooperation in improving the accessibility of the Coast Path.
Our aim is to keep the Coast Path as natural as possible and we also endeavour to provide a range of challenges and experiences to suit everyone. There are approximately 4,000 steps and they are generally only used where essential to prevent gully erosion of the path surface. The 533 oak signposts at junctions used along the length of the Coast Path area designed to be unobtrusive but obvious.
We always want to hear about the best and worst things on your walk. You can contact the National Trail Officer by email or by phone (01646 624800). You can also review your experience on TripAdvisor.
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