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'Pandemonium' as 2,000 people visit Llanrhaeadr Waterfall each day

By Charlotte Bentley | Mid Wales | Coronavirus | Published:

“Someone will die here”, say bosses at Pistyll Rhaeadr beauty spot after two major incidents in just over a week and upwards of 2,000 visitors a day.

Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall, Wales, is struggling to cope with the number of people visiting the site. Custodian: Phillip Facey

Over the last 10 days, Phillip Facey, custodian at the popular waterfall, said they have had upwards of 2,000 visitors each day and two major incidents in which people had to be rescued by the air ambulance and treated for multiple broken bones.

Visitors were today urged to stay away if the spot was “too busy” or risk putting lives in danger.

The four-mile single track leading to the site near Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant, is often gridlocked with traffic as people have started to park in the passing places which are designed to allow cars to get through.

Phil said it has been “chaos” and “pandemonium” since they opened the site on July 12, with people ignoring social distancing rules.

“On Saturday we had a major incident, someone had a broken leg and shoulder and a rescue helicopter had to take them from the top of the waterfall,” Phil said.

There have been two major incidents at Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall, Wales, in just eight days as the site is overwhelmed with visitors

“It was pandemonium. The person was at the top of the waterfall and slipped onto the rock. Then two days later, a girl climbed a tree near the top of the waterfall, fell and broke her ankle and knee.

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“It was the same mountain rescue and helicopter crew who came, they couldn’t believe it. Places like have been overwhelmed.”

Phil said they estimated around 3,000 people visited the falls on Sunday and the road, a four-mile single track lane from the village to the waterfall, was gridlocked for three hours that day. He said he has appealed to Powys County Council numerous times for some sort of restrictions or fines to stop visitors parking on the lane. He hopes this would ease the number of people visiting.

There have been two major incidents at Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall, Wales, in just eight days as the site is overwhelmed with visitors

“If we don’t control the waterfall road in a welcoming way we will have chaos,” he said. “Someone will die here and they will not be able to get emergency vehicles through the road.

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“But because the place is so open, there are three public footpaths people can access it from, so they can sneak through. We need our council to look at a way of prohibiting people coming in numbers.”

The calls were repeated on social media, with Fergus Nicholl tweeting: “Absolute madness on the roads to Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall: if you don’t have to go please don’t go.”

Phil, who has lived and worked at the falls for 21 years, said he had never known such madness. A spokesperson for Powys County Council said: “Only the police can act against a vehicle that is causing a danger or obstructing the highway. We will raise this issue with the police.”

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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