Caru Coed y Brenin wants to take over the visitor centre and trails, with fears for access should it go private


Coed y Brenin and its historic trails could still be saved from closure if a local community group is given permission to take on the management of the site. That’s according to Caru Coed y Brenin (Welsh for Love Coed y Brenin), which wants to run the centre as a community project, rather than seeing it closed or sold to a private company.

Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) operates the site on behalf of the Welsh Government, but earlier this year it was announced a spending squeeze could force its closure, alongside two other sites and including Bwlch Nant yr Arian, which serve some of the best trail centre routes in the UK.

Caru told us in a statement there are currently only three options on the table for Coed y Brenin – closure, sale to a big company, or NRW to continue there. Caru told us there’s a real desire for a local community group to safeguard the trails and the centre for future generations of riders.

NRW has committed to keeping the trails open, but if it sells the centre to a private organisation Caru is worried the number of riders would be reduced. It’s clear to anyone riding there the trails are not being maintained properly, and to do so would not be in the interests of a private company running a holiday site for example.

Caru Coed y Brenin’s aims…

  • To maintain and increase access to green spaces for exercise and recreation for locals and visitors.
  • To make Coed y Brenin and the visitor centre economically sustainable.
  • To protect the local and global environment through sustainable development of Coed Y Brenin and associated facilities.
  • To protect local jobs and enterprises and keep the economic benefit of the centre local.
  • To protect the culture and language of the area.

“Coed y Brenin is special, its significance in the development of mountain biking is legendary,” Rhys Llywelyn, who is a local business owner and a member of the Caru Coed y Brenin group said. “The local community has embraced the centre, trails and the visitors and to see the decline in the effective management of the facilities here is heart breaking. We are passionate about protecting and developing the facilities here for all the users and keeping the benefit local.”

Exactly how likely Caru is to take over and run Coed y Brenin is unclear at the moment, but we understand there’s huge local support and a local MPs prepared to help out. There’s also a Trail Association forming as we speak, to help maintain the trails. More to follow…