Garw Valley Community Action Plan

The Garw Valley is a steep sided, narrow valley which has no through road to take visitors on to another location, therefore realistically it is not going to attract new housing developments and little industry to the valley. However it is a hidden gem, an area of natural beauty and there is a clear need to attract more tourism to the area.

The Community Council leases Parc Calon Lan from the local authority and it straddles both the Blaengarw and Pontycymer wards in the upper valley. There is a Visitor Centre with toilet, car park, two mountain bikes trails, a community path which can be used for walking or cycling and goes all the way to Bryngarw Park in Brynmenyn, two lakes, picnic areas and many walks.

The Community Council did not have the expertise or resources to carry out the required consultations to enable it to enhance the attractions already found in the area and make the Upper Garw Valley a tourist destination as well as an excellent natural resource for the local community.

The Community Council had many ideas on what could be done, but needed professional help in setting up and co-ordinating a full consultation to get a proper understanding of what can be achieved, how it can be achieved and to enable a fuller vision for the future of the valley to enhance it not only for the people living there, but also those who work in and visit the valley.

The project undertook desktop research, site visits and community consultation to produce a five year plan for the Community Council to maximise the use of the Upper Garw Valley by residents and visitors, for recreation, tourism and heritage.