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Site Safety

VISITING DARE VALLEY COUNTRY PARK

A GENERAL INDICATION OF THE RISKS

 

Vehicle access

Vehicular access is via the A4233 (Monk Street) out of Aberdare town centre and the fourth turning on the right, Highland Place.  From here take the second turning left and immediately right.

As you enter the Park, pass over the cattle grid and please observe the 10mph speed restrictions. Vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders share this common access road so please give way. There are many speed ramps throughout the park.

The main car park is at the end of the ¾ mile long drive.

  • Avoid excessive speed on access road
  • Take care in car park and access/exit

Dead Slow - Pedestrians may be obscured by walls or parked vehicles.

  • Disabled parking for badge holders only

Dedicated parking bays are located adjacent to the entrance to visitor centre complex.

 

  • Please park neatly and allow access of emergency vehicles.

 

  • No vehicles may be driven off road within the park.

 

Pedestrian access

There are nineteen different pedestrian access points into the 500acre Dare Valley Country Park.  Many are unmarked.

Generally, while walking in the countryside it is always advisable to keep to paths or well-worn tracks.  On upland moors it is safer to walk along a sheep track than to amble across open grassland, as deep fissures and obstacles abound.

The upper reaches of the park exceed 400m high and the steep slopes and rock faces are extremely dangerous. KEEP WELL BACK FROM CLIFF EDGES.

 

Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the prevailing or impending weather conditions.  Do not venture on to upland tracks in adverse weather.

Always notify someone of your intended route and expected time of return.  Remember to notify them of your safe return.  It is advisable to have a walking companion in the less frequented areas of the countryside. Carry a mobile phone. The telephone number for the Dare Valley Country Park is 01685 874672.  The facility is usually manned both day and night.

  • Avoid exposure to the cold and/or wet weather

Possible result - Injury due to slipping or stumbling.

N.B. Worn footwear can be dangerous.

It is recommended that groups carry basic first aid kits.

  • Avoid exposure to excessive heat and/or intense sunlight

Possible result - Dehydration, sunstroke, sunburn, disorientation.

In such conditions, individuals should each carry a supply of fresh drinking water and wear adequate sun protection.

 

Walking at night.

To prevent injuries due to unseen obstacles, do not walk in the countryside or on unlit roads as darkness descends.

 

Dare Valley Country Park is a popular attraction for walkers throughout the year.

There are a few areas where access is restricted, usually to secure grazing animals and minimise the risks to visitors. Do not climb gates or fences or venture on to adjoining, private land.

 

Be aware that it is possible for horses, cyclists and off road bikers to access the footpaths.  Strenuous efforts are being made to segregate usage and deter vehicular access. Incidents are now rare, however there are always individuals prepared to ignore reason.  Avoid confrontation.  Do not put yourself or your dependents at risk.

Please report incidents immediately to the police and the visitor centre staff.

Horse riding in the park.

Greenmeadow Riding Centre has specific, permitted routes for its horse riding operation.

Horses are not permitted on footpaths, nor may they gallop on reclaimed land or near pedestrians.

Horses may not be brought into the car park, courtyard, caravan and camping site, garden or children’s activity area.

 

Dogs

Dogs are welcome in the park but must be kept under control.

Restraining leads on all common land and woodlands must control dogs.

They must not be exercised in the campsite, garden or playground.

 

 

Dog fouling should be removed from paths and paved areas.

Countryside hazards

The British countryside contains many indigenous species of potentially poisonous or irritant plants and fungi. Dare Valley is home to a fair share of these.  To help maintain our attractive countryside, diverse range of species and to minimise the risks to the public, visitors are warned NOT TO PICK FLOWERS in the park.

 

We are fortunate that so many species of animals are resident in the park.  Hunting in any form is illegal in this conservation area.  Avoid direct contact with wild animals – contact can be dangerous. Please report incidents of injured mammals to the visitor centre staff.

 

Water

The River Dare runs along the entire length of the park, passing through two lakes on its route.

Swimming is not permitted in the river or lakes.

Although the Dare is used to provide water for household supplies, this is only after chemical treatment.  Do not drink river water as it may be contaminated with hazardous animal excrement.

 

Adventure playground

Playground equipment is checked for structural defects and the area regularly cleared of litter. Parent or guardians are advised that children should be supervised at ALL times.

Dogs are NOT permitted in the playground.

The Visitor Centre complex.

The Visitor Centre complex is compliant with all current fire legislation and equipment is checked on a systematic and regular basis.  Certified engineers regularly test all electrical apparatus and installations.

The hotel is accredited by the Wales Tourist Board and is subject to particularly stringent safety standards.  It is maintained in compliance with these at all times.

The catering personnel have gained food hygiene certificates to ensure that very high standards of food safety are maintained.

First Aid equipment is located at strategic points around the complex and a list of qualified first aiders is displayed in the reception area of the hotel.

 

Provisions for special needs.

Most work necessary to bring the facility in full compliance with the requirements of the Disabled Disability Act has been completed or is currently in hand.  There is a dedicated toilet for disabled visitors in the Visitor Centre, a similarly equipped toilet and shower facility in the caravan site service block and two, ground floor bedrooms adapted to disabled visitors in the hotel. All buildings have ramp access for wheelchairs and dedicated car parking bays have been provided in close proximity to the complex entrance.

We are happy to cater for visitors with special dietary needs, but request that, wherever possible, advance notice is given.  Each week day lunchtime the cafeteria provides a choice of vegetarian meals.

 

Allergies

We are unable to guarantee that the products we purchase or our kitchens are free of nuts.

We recommend that visitors who suffer from severe allergies, (such as those resulting from bee and wasp stings, plant extract rashes, etc.), make every effort to minimise the risk of exposure and carry the appropriate medication as provided by their physician.  All hotel residents should notify us of medical conditions that may need treatment on their arrival.  To be forewarned is to be forearmed!

 

May we remind group leaders that the management cannot be responsible for the safety and condition of any equipment that the course organisers may bring into the park, this includes, for example, audio visual aids equipment and outdoor activity equipment.

 

We hope that this information will assist group leaders in preparing their own risk assessments, as they look at the suitability of the park for the activity they

intend to undertake.

We are happy to provide additional specific information should it be required.

 

 

ENJOY THE COUNTRYSIDE and HELP US TO TAKE CARE OF YOU.

 

 

 

 

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