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Published: 13th APRIL 2023

Ogmore Valley route made more accessible by collaborative work in community

As part of the work to make the National Cycle Network more accessible to everyone, the Ogmore Valley route recently benefitted from collaborative work with the community.

Three members of Ogmore Valley Priide, a local community group, sat on a bench in a residential area of Ogmore Valley. They're facing the camera, smiling, wearing fluorescent jackets in wintery sunlight.

Members of the Ogmore Valley Priide community group enjoying the sun after their work. Credit: Matthew Davies/Sustrans.

Sustrans’ mission is to make it easier for everyone to walk, wheel, and cycle, something that’s done by making cycle and walking paths more accessible for everyone.

Thanks to funding received from Welsh Government, Sustrans Cymru put that into practice in Ogmore Valley, South Wales.

Timber kits were bought to make benches, which could then be installed along the National Cycle Network in Wales.

The aim of this work was to enhance and improve the Network, providing a space for anyone and everyone to take a break wherever and whenever they needed.


Keeping collaborative working at the core of what we do

It was important to work with local organisations to help bring this project to life.

Sustrans Cymru’s Land Maintenance team worked with ACT’s woodwork apprentices to help put the benches together.

Local volunteers were then asked for suggestions on where the benches could be installed.

Their feedback led to two local community groups in the Bridgend area, Blackmill Bravos and Ogmore Valley Priide, being contacted about potentially having the benches in the area.


Local involvement at the heart of decision making

The feeling from the engagement work with the community groups was that the Ogmore Valley cycle route would be the best option.

As the route is managed by Bridgend County Borough Council they were contacted about the project and kindly gave permission for the benches to be installed.

When it came to installing the benches along the Ogmore Valley route, Sustrans’ volunteers were on hand to help.

Volunteering with Sustrans offers a range of opportunities that help communities across Wales become healthier and happier places to live.

Members of the Ogmore Valley Priide community group digging up earth in a residential area in preparation for installing benches along the Ogmore Valley cycle route.

The work to install benches along the Ogmore Valley route was a real collaborative effort with volunteers, the council, and community groups. Credit: Matthew Davies/Sustrans.

Blockquote quotation marks
The benches are great, and it goes without saying that they are a massive asset to the cycle path. Blockquote quotation marks
Carole Roberts, community member

Making a positive impact in our local communities through sustainable travel

Working with people from local communities is a key aspect of how Sustrans delivers its projects, and it was thanks to the input of local people that this work was possible.

Engaging with members of the public and local community groups Blackmill Bravos and Ogmore Valley Priide meant that there was trust in the community before any work took place.

“The benches are great, and it goes without saying that they are a massive asset to the cycle path and its many users along with the local community,” said Carole Roberts, a member of Blackmill Bravos.

“I always thought we were lacking areas to sit in Blackmill and what I like about the new benches is that they blend in so well.”

The Ogmore Valley route has benefitted thanks to the work of the students from ACT, the involvement of the local community groups, and volunteers.

With the benches now in place, the route is now more inclusive and accessible to more users.

Whether it’s for people who need them to be able to take regular breaks, or just to encourage people to take a beat and enjoy their surroundings, these benches are a welcome addition for everyone.

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