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Gate with a View: Brecon Depot Volunteers Celebrate 5th Anniversary!

Gate with a View: Brecon Depot Volunteers Celebrate 5th Anniversary!

By the volunteer team Andy, Lorna, Mark, Rob & Jerry

Unbelievably, it’s five years since the Brecon Depot Volunteers group was formed to support the work of the National Park Wardens based at that area of the Bannau Brycheiniog. The group has continued to flourish while getting their hands dirty on countless tasks from Brecon to Hay on Wye. 

During those five years, the group has covered a typically wide range of warden tasks – installing gates and steps, clearing and maintaining paths, repairing and replacing stiles and fences, building bridges, restoring peatland and planting moss, bashing balsam and supporting corporate days amongst others. Acquaintances have become friends, work has led to socialising, and the giving of our time for the benefit of others has immeasurably enhanced our own physical and mental well-being. Even the challenges of Covid lockdowns did not prevent group members from providing an additional source of support to each other, albeit remotely.

With so much bad news in the world, how refreshing it has been for us to meet up twice a month and immerse ourselves in practical outdoor tasks for the betterment of the natural environment and its visitors. While the work is invariably physical in nature, it has always proved to be incredibly mindful and satisfying. Though infinitely small-scale in the grand scheme of things, it offers immediate, tangible and cumulative results. The newly-installed gate, the freshly-cleared bridleway… all achieved within the bounds of our time and ability. Encouragingly, the latter has improved significantly since we first started.

Complimented by a generous helping of banter, awful jokes and catching up on recent events, the group has also established an impressive baking regime. With each of us taking turns to produce the goodies, the bar has been significantly raised recently, especially for the blokes given that Lorna set an impressively high bar from the start!    

Enjoying coffee and cake while taking in yet another stunning panorama led the group to coin the phrase ‘a gate with a view’. This represents both the physical and metaphorical views into the life and workings of the National Park. We hope to continue enjoying these views, and our part in enhancing them, for many years to come and feel privileged to have the opportunity to make such a positive contribution to a place we love. As volunteers, we are giving to others but invariably giving to ourselves too. Here’s to the next 5 years!”  

Nick Jones, Area Warden East:

“Congratulations to our ‘Depot volunteer’ group on their five year anniversary as National Park volunteers! The second and fourth Tuesdays of each month are now blessed with a culinary delights of something straight out of a Mary Berry cookbook. A big Thank You goes out to you all for all your hard work, enthusiasm and commitment over the past five years. It’s been a pleasure working alongside you.”


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