Member Details

Ms Pam Bell

I am a keen walker, swimmer and boater, and I enjoy these pastimes in conjunction with outdoor interests, including history, natural history, geology and archaeology.

I have enjoyed living and working in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park for more than thirty years, and currently serve as a community councillor. From first-hand experience and conversations with other residents, I understand the importance of access to the countryside in the area surrounding one’s home; and the problems caused to residents by inappropriate activity. Having grown up in an inner-city area, and been a voluntary youth worker for many years, I also understand the importance of wider countryside access to city-dwellers.

While serving on this Local Access Forum, one of my main aims will be to represent those who seek access to either upland or lowland areas, including water and waterside, for sustainable quiet enjoyment, recreation or adventure. I am concerned that the current ‘adventure tourism’ agenda in Wales places too much emphasis on ‘packaged adventure’ and ‘experiences’ with high-profile events and promotions which are increasingly distanced from sustainable tourism and the original ethos of the national parks. I would like to see emphasis on recognition of public rights to land and water; facilitation of access; ensuring that rights of way over land are kept open; pro-actively using opportunities provided by legislation to facilitate access to varied terrain and inland water, while providing factual information which allows people, local or tourist, to take ownership of, plan and undertake their own sustainable enjoyment of the outdoors.

Membership of Organisations:
Life member of Field Studies Council and Youth Hostels Association.
Member and occasional volunteer: Blaenavon World Heritage Environment Group (BWHEG) and Aberystwyth History and Archaeology Society (AHAS).
Currently serve as a Community Councillor for Llanelly Parish.
One of the founder members, and Trustee, of Bluespace Access and Conservation Trust.
Member of Canoe Wales and British Canoeing.

Mrs Rachel Chapel

I was born and bred in the Bannau Brycheiniog and my family have farmed the Cnewr Estate, to the west of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, since 1855 when my ancestors came down from Dumfries and Galloway. We are traditional hill farmers with hefted sheep and suckler cattle living out on the hill year round. My family started the Brecknock Hill Cheviot sheep breed – and still produce and farm them today. I strongly believe in the fact that we are very privileged to manage land in such a beautiful and valuable part of the country and we should do all we can to preserve and enhance the estate for future generations. Farming and environment need to be managed hand in hand to provide us with food, water and clean air as well as a diverse and rich landscape and rural communities need to be encouraged and supported to continue to do this. I believe that we need to work with and educate urban dwellers to understand the rural way of life and that we welcome responsible tourists to the National Park. They can bring so much to the local community – but this needs to be managed carefully to ensure that agriculture, local businesses and tourism can all work in harmony. I love the outdoors, walking and watersports including open water swimming.

Membership of Organisations:
Committee member of Country Landowners Association
Royal Yachting Association member

Miss Phillipa Cherryson

Philippa is a writer who is a keen horse rider and hill walker. A former reporter for Welsh newspapers and television, she now writes for UK-wide magazines and newspapers. She’s been on the committee of the Vale of Usk Riding Club, in Abergavenny, for more than 10 years. Phillipa owns her own horse and is a happy hacker and British Endurance rider. Her partner is a member of Longtown Mountain Rescue and she helps the team with publicity and press. As a smallholder she also understands the concerns of landowners and is a keen conservationist. Phillipa’s key interests are walking, horse riding and safety in the mountains.

Membership of Organisations:
Vale of Usk Riding Club, British Endurance, National Trust.

Mr Robert Dangerfield

 Interests: – Continuous improvement of arrangements of public access for the benefit of visitors, the local community, farming and business, bio-conservation and sustaining our environment.
Countryside walking, flora and fauna, sailing, kayaking and canoeing.
Local history and the future of our community and National Park.
Bringing attention to lesser known gems in the National Park.
Upkeep and physical improvement of public rights of way, access points and “footpath furniture.”

Membership of Organisations:
Llangorse Sailing Club
Country Land & Business Association (CLA)

Ms Karen Harris

My love of the countryside was fostered by my father from a very early age, going on walks always with a camera in hand to record our discoveries. As a mature student I studied for a Degree in Environmental Science with Geography then a Masters in Environmental Pollution Control and an Adult Teaching Certificate, along with short courses in Educational strategies, writing access policies and project management. Along the way field work often took me to National Parks and voluntary work with Wildlife Trusts and Museums Natural History departments and more recently the National Botanic Garden of Wales has given me a broad experience of working and visiting national parks and the wider countryside. I have had a varied work experience working as Curator of Natural History, supporting students with Special Education Needs, self-employed environmental education consultant, with the Environment Agency and as a Rural Community Development Worker for a housing association both of these within the area of the South Downs National Park. It was with great sadness that I have had to retire early due to my deteriorating health /disability. Since moving to Wales I have been a regular visitor to the Bannau Brycheiniog living in Upper Brynamman and Ystalyfera. I still love the great outdoors, but increasingly find those wild places I love are becoming difficult or impossible to access on my mobility scooter. This is so frustrating especially as I live so close to the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park and find so little is accessible to me. This experience has prompted me to join the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Local Access Forum, with the aim of improving access for all disabled people enabling them to enjoy all the Park has to offer.

Membership of Organisations:
I am currently a member of Disability Wales and having just moved to Ystalyfera I will be joining my local Women’s Institute, book club and other local interest groups. I have also been accepted onto the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Stakeholder Reference Panel group as representative for the Local Access forum.


Mr Sion James

I was born in the Black Mountains & have a great regard for the History, Geology, Flora & Fauna of the upland areas of Wales & the wider UK. As a Mountain Leader & Mountain Bike Guide, I am very fortunate that my occupation enables me to share this with those living and visiting the area. I sit on the LAF with particular interest in improving Mountain Bike access throughout the National Park.

Membership of Organisations:
British Mountaineering Council
Mountain Training Association
Association of British Cycle Coaches
British Cycling 

Dr Ian Jenkins

Ian is a tourism geographer who has specialised in areas of sustainability and adventure.  A distinctive area of his work has been adventure tourism and access to national parks.  In addition Ian has managed a number of adventure tourism courses in Wales, which involved close liaison with adventure companies and the issues of access to environmentally sensitive landscapes, including the Bannau Brycheiniog and Pembrokeshire National Parks.  He has worked in Iceland and Switzerland on topics related to sustainable tourism in national parks, especially adventure tourism.  His publications encompass a number of books, book chapters and articles on: sustainable tourism, climate change, adventure tourism and health & safety management.

Membership of Organisations:
Visiting Associate Professor University of Iceland
Previously:  Associate Professor University of Iceland
Research Fellow University of Nicosia
Director of Research LRG/Glion IHE, Switzerland
Director of Celt@s and SaiL University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea

Mr Nicholas Lancaster

I am interested in promoting access to the national park and its facilities for disabled people. As a disabled person myself as well as the organisations I am a part of I know first hand the limitations disabled or impossibilities people face in accessing anywhere, often places that others just take for granted. I like taking advantage of what the area has to offer myself and with the leaders and youth members of the Scout Association promote adventure and wellbeing of the generation to come.

Membership of Organisations:
Chairman – Visual Impairment Breconshire
Member – Brecon Access Group
Campaigner – Guide Dogs
Campaigner – Royal National Institute of Blind People
Secretary – Brecknock Area Scout Council

Mr Ian Mabberley – Local Access Forum Chair

As both a regular user of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park rights of way network and a smallholder in one of the busier valleys within the Park, I can appreciate the pressures on the network and on the residents and landowners.
I have particular interest in making access across the park an enjoyable and safe activity for legitimate users. I work closely in my area with the Police and Natural Resources Wales to limit illegal activities on the Rights of Way network and access land.
I’m also keen to see that large group activities are well managed and benefit where possible the Local Communities on which they impact.

Membership of Organisations:
Director: Grwyne Fawr Community Interest Company (CIC)
Trustee/Director: Crickhowell Resource and Information Centre (CRIC)
Member: British Cycling

Mr Hywel Morgan

Beef and sheep farmer in Myddfai, in the home of the legendary Lady of the Lake and her sons The Physicians of Myddfai.
Grazing rights and active grazier on Mynydd Du Common.
Passionate about the mountain, Llyn y fan fach and the Bannau Brycheiniog.
Strong believer that graziers and town and city people and tourists can work together in the National Park.
As farmers we need to connect more with city people.
A father of two children and fluent Welsh speaker.

Membership of Organisations:
Myddfai Community Councillor
Vice Chairman and Member of Black Mountain Graziers Association
Secretary and Member of Porwyr Myddfai Grazing association

Professor Denis Murphy

I am a resident in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, a naturalist and wildlife enthusiast, and a keen outdoors person. I also run a consultancy business that is based in the Park. As an Emeritus Professor of Biology and occasional lecturer on topics such as biodiversity, biogeography, environmental conservation, and invasive species, I have a professional interest in the natural aspects of our local environment. I also work in scientific publishing with Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press and have written several books on plant biology and agriculture. My major interest would be in ensuring that the Park is available to the widest possible range of users. However, I am also interested in ensuring that such access is managed in order to maximise the long term sustainability of each type of use and to minimise their environmental footprint so as to secure the availability of an unspoiled Park for future generations.

Membership of Organisations:
Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB)

Mr Christopher Payne

Interests relevant to the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Local Access Forum:
My hobbies and interest are Cartography, investigating and researching ancient routes and Rights of Way.

Membership of Organisations:
Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF)

Mrs Catrin Price

Mr Steve Rayner

I am a canoeist, kayaker and hillwalker – so I have a strong interest in maintaining and improving access to both land and water for recreation within the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park.
I undertake outdoor activity for recreation; for competition (canoe slalom and polo); as a voluntary coach and leader (for Brecon Canoe Club and the Scout Association); and as a part-time freelance instructor (working independently and for local centres) – so I have an interest in accessing land and water for a wide range of purposes.
I own a grass-let farm and hold commoners’ rights near Libanus – so I also have an interest in protecting landowners’ interests alongside increased recreational access.
I am the part-time Waterways & Environment Officer for Canoe Wales (the National Governing Body for paddle sport) and the part-time Coordinator for the South Wales Outdoor Activity Providers Group (representing outdoor activity businesses in South Wales) – so I have a particular interest in representing the views and interests of these two organisations.

Membership of Organisations:
Brecon Canoe Club (Chair & Coaching Officer).
Canoe Wales (voluntary Chair of Canoe Wales Slalom Committee; and part-time Waterways & Environment Officer, giving me membership of National Access Forum Wales).
British Mountaineering Council (individual member).
Brecknock Area Scouts (Activity Assistant).
South Wales Outdoor Activity Providers Group (part-time Coordinator).
Mynydd Illtud Commoners Association.  

Dr Paul Sinnadurai

Paul has worked for the National Park Authority since 2000, serving as the Ecologist, Senior Ecologist and Policy Advisor, Conservation Manager, Natural Resources Team Manager and now Senior Ecologist for Climate Adaptation. He is a member of the Authority’s Corporate Governance Team and has previously line managed the Rights of Way Officer Eifion Jones, Countryside and Access Projects Officer Richard Ball, Warden Manager Judith Harvey and Senior Ecologist and Climate Adaptation Advisor (currently vacant).

Ms Roz Smart

My partner and I have an organic smallholding in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park. We keep a small flock of Black Welsh Mountain sheep and a tiny herd of Miniature Hereford cross cattle. We moved here 12 years ago, after I had worked for 30 years as a primary school teacher and headteacher in inner city schools. I am passionate about my adopted home in the Black Mountains and am committed to playing an active role in its future.
I walk daily both around home and further afield in the Park and enjoy swimming in the Park’s rivers and lakes. I also try out other leisure activities on behalf of our holiday guests.
My key interest on the Local Access Forum is helping to improve access to the park for all users which takes proper account of the environmental fragility of the landscape and the need to nurture and restore the region’s rich bio-diversity, and which also ensures that landowners’ concerns and livelihoods are respected in relation to access.
We need to share this space and show off its beauty, but always respectfully.

Membership of Organisations:
Farmers Union Wales
Sugarloaf Commoners Association
National Trust
Gwent Wildlife Trust
Monmouthshire Meadows Group
Bannau Brycheiniog Tourism
Abergavenny Women’s Network 

Mrs Kathryn Whitrow

National Farmers Union (NFU) – County Member
Great Forest Grazier
Beef & Sheep Farmer
Landowner in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park

Membership of Organisations:
National Farmers Union Cymru