I spent a very long (17 hours) but thoroughly enjoyable day down with staff and volunteers at The National Trust’s Aberdulais Falls earlier this week carrying out forebay and header tank clearance (shovelling silt and debris) in order that contractors works refurbishing sluice gates, installing trash rack cleaner and level sensors can take place. As I arrived with my wellies in hand I was not sure of the full extent of the task – it soon became apparent!
Following site induction, and toolkit talks we started in earnest. I had met several of the volunteers before and knew they and staff were up for it, but wondered how everyone would feel after a few hours of digging? Throughout the day their enthusiasm, drive and sense of humour (as well as ongoing cups of tea and coffee throughout the day) made the 7 hour non-stop clearing, if not a pleasure, a very very enjoyable process.
Its also hugely beneficial to the ongoing success of the hydro system to get up close (and dirty) and discuss how it all links together with what the National Trust in Wales is doing, and how Aberdulais staff and volunteers are key to making our properties “sing”. As I got in my car aching, exhausted and very smelly (no change there then) for the drive home through the Brecon Beacons I could not help but think that Aberdulais Falls is in safe hands all round.
A huge thank you to all of the “team”: Georgina, Paul, Simon, Steve, Keith, John, Leigh and everyone else who have taken this project and Aberdulais to their hearts and aching limbs.