Teams from around the UK take on the Witches’ Pool Challenge

Teams from as far
afield as Melton Mowbray in the East Midlands, and Wolverhampton in the West
Midlands, raced to the Black Mountains last weekend to tackle the Witches’ Pool
Challenge, held near the picturesque town of Talgarth, which is part of the
COLLABOR8 project.


The contest is named
after the Pwll-y-Wrach Falls, known as the Witches’ Pool, near Talgarth. Local
legend has it that the Falls were used to try women who were suspected of being
witches during medieval times.


Fortunately, a much
better time was had by competitors in last Saturday’s Witches’ Pool Challenge,
with 49 participants making up 12 teams answering quiz questions around a
moderate to hard eight mile walk in some truly breathtaking scenery.


Following their
excursion, competitors then headed back to the Tower Hotel in Talgarth for free
sausages and mash, along with a pint of the aptly named ‘Witches Brew – the ale
for scoundrels’ produced by Rotter’s Brewery.


Winners of the
challenge were Rob Hughes, Janet Hughes, Bob Jacob and Glyn Fletcher, who are
all members of the local Hay Walkers club. Each team member was awarded a
winning T-shirt sponsored by The Old Radnor Barn, while the foursome also
collected the perpetual Witches’ Pool Challenge trophy sponsored by Lodge Farm,
The Granary, Wye Local and Talgarth Regeneration Group.


Cllr William Powell,
County Councillor for Talgarth and a founding member of Destination Talgarth
commented: “The Witches Pool Challenge is a real coup for Talgarth as a walking
tourism destination. The event was enjoyed by locals and visitors from all over
the UK. They remarked on the beauty of the Black Mountains landscape, the warmth
of the Talgarth hospitality and the quality of the organisation.

“All in all, it was a genuine step forward in the promotion of our area. I
would like to thank everyone involved in the Witches Pool Challenge- notably
Geoff Smart and the team at The Tower Hotel in Talgarth. Also Carol Williams
and the COLLABOR8 Project Group at Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, who
made it all possible.”


Carol Williams,
Tourism Growth Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said: “The
popularity of the Witches’ Pool Challenge, with competitors entering from far
and wide, has really reaffirmed Talgarth’s reputation as a top walking


“Anyone who enjoyed
last weekend’s contest, or who fancies tackling a new route in the area, should
grab a copy of the Walks around Talgarth guide, which features a further four
walks in the foothills of the picturesque Black Mountains.”


Witches’ Pool Challenge was supported by Bannau Brycheiniog National Park
Authority’s COLLABOR8 Interreg IVB NWE project, which is co-funded by the
European Regional Development Fund.  The project aims to work with local
businesses on initiatives that promote what’s local, distinctive and special
about our National Park and help visitors discover the best of the local