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Meet the Path Officer - South Wales Coast and Severn Estuary

Alison Roberts describes the sheer variety of the South Wales coastline and how it will captivate you to walk and enjoy it

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Hello, I’m Alison Roberts and I am the Wales Coast Path Officer for parts of Carmarthenshire Bay and the South Wales Coast, beginning at the River Lougher through to the River Wye in Chepstow.

Living in South Wales, you’re never too far away from the coast and, although I grew up in Herefordshire, many family holidays included trips to stay with my grandmother on the West Wales coastline near Tywyn. While studying at Bangor University, my halls of residence had a great view of the North Wales coastline, so that boded well for my future ventures in this role!

What attracted you to the job?

I have been involved with the Wales Coast Path since 2007, developing the Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot sections of the route. When the opportunity to work on the Wales Coast Path project on a more regional basis came about within Natural Resources Wales, I was keen to remain involved. I love being outdoors, and so being able to survey and work in such an interesting environment is an obvious bonus!

What’s your favourite part of the Wales Coast Path?

The South Wales coast has so much variety and different types of environment where there is always something to capture your interest. Having been involved in developing the Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot sections, I could be biased and mention the great National Nature Reserves and upland route views there. 

I could also mention the natural beauty, salt marsh and geology of Gower, or the looming cliffs of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.  There are so many hidden gems where you do not expect to find them which are either within or close to our seaside towns and cities along the route.

I’m often amazed by the richness of the environment, birdlife and other wildlife I have seen through the Gwent Levels to the east of the section, which is only a stone’s throw from Newport. Here, the views across the Severn Estuary reach over to the North Devon coast.

What’s your proudest achievement so far?

The local authority rights of way teams have worked incredibly hard to get the Wales Coast Path not just opened, but also maintained.  Much of this has been achieved through the building of relationships with local landowners whose land has been used, allowing rights of access for the route. I am proud to have been involved in developing and supporting those partnerships as without them there would be no Wales Coast Path! 

During the first year of my role, carrying out the first of my annual surveys was a highlight which involved monitoring the entire stretch of the South Wales coast section. This not only allowed me to capture the important condition survey data that each local authority requires for future work programmes but gave me an invaluable insight into the varied sections of the route.

Contact the Wales Coast Path Officer

You can get in touch with us with any questions or queries relating to the Wales Coast Path by using the Contact Us form.

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