Sustaining Caerphilly Landscapes - Rudry Commoners

Published: 25 April 2023 

/_UserFiles/Files/Commoners outcomes SCL.pdf  Some of the early outcomes. 

The condition of common land is fundamental in achieving environmental policy commitments within national and European designations.  Common land is at risk of becoming poor quality land through lack of grazing and upkeep and at great risk of abandonment.  Therefore, this project is to assist in developing a concept and strategy for Mynydd Rhydri so that commoning is recognised for its role in the area for natural resource management.  Fundamental to the commons well-being is the ability to work with partners (CCBC, Gwent Wildlife Trust, NRW and local farmers) in a way that will positively impact on commoning practice, within the context of a national vision and strategy which will provide confidence in the practice for the next generation. Mynydd Rhydri is highly important in the context of its visual importance, landscape integrity, biodiversity, habitat connectivity, access and wellbeing.

Thank you, Phil Griffiths, Owen Ashton and especially Kevin Eadon-Davies. But it’s not a job done! it will always need effort, commitment and passion to keep it and protect it for those that follow us when we have gone.

This film is to profile and support our Rudry Commoners Association - Rudry Common.  Since working with SW Fire Service, Gwent Police and AB Health Board there has been a huge reduction in deliberate grass fires, ongoing efforts to tackle illegal offroad vehicle users, and a reduction in fly tipping due to greater presence on the common, all through better access and safer routes for all users.  This is down to improvements made by working closely with the Rights of Way team at CCBC, a team with huge responsibility yet few resources but does an amazing job so it was great to assist in making our Rights of Way more accessible places to enjoy.    The Commoner's work required to protect this habitat and the rare species that live upon it will always be a work in progress and a coalition of the willing.  You may also remember the huge NHS tribute cut as fire breaks into the bracken during those days of COVID-19 when nature rescued us.  We worked with SW Fire Service and an ecologist to cut Fire Breaks into the fern and bracken ensuring wildlife was not disturbed.  These wider fire breaks also served to save much of the common when a small grass fire was started.  Instead of destroying many hectares of common land, we were able to confine the fire quickly extinguishing it saving habitat and wildlife and protecting other users too.   

A MASSIVE thanks to Iolo Williams for being my inspiration, mentor and friend since I first heard him speak in 2013 on the State of Nature.


The project was supported by Caerphilly County Borough Council & Cwm a Mynydd via the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014 -2020 which is funded by European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.