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Meet the Path Officer - South Wales Coast and Severn Estuary

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

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Hi, my name is Tricia Cottnam and I’m the Wales Coast Path Officer for the South Wales coast, from Gower Peninsula to Chepstow in Monmouthshire.

What attracted you to the job?

I’ve been involved with the Wales Coast Path on and off since 2007; initially developing the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan sections of the route until the official path opening in May 2012, then a short contract as Regional Wales Coast Path Officer (Ogmore to Chepstow). After this, I compiled and produced Cardiff Council’s 10-year Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2020-30.  And now, I’ve come full circle and back working on the Wales Coast Path.  

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

I’m fortunate to live near the Welsh coast and most of my holidays are usually near the Wales Coast Path; enjoying the lovely coastal scenery on the Isle of Anglesey and in Pembrokeshire.  My ultimate ambition is to walk the whole of the Wales Coast Path!

Of course I do love our South section of the Wales Coast Path. It includes gems like the gorgeous Gower Peninsula with it’s beautiful beaches of Rhossili, Oxwich and great views from the cliffs at Pwll Du and Mumbles Head. There's the lovely beach at Aberavon, an alternative upland route through Margam with great views, the popular seaside town of Porthcawl, the remote beauty of Merthyr Mawr dunes, the Heritage Coast with its Jurassic cliffs and well-known areas of Ogmore and Southerndown. Then there’s Penarth and its Pier, the vibrant bustle of Cardiff Bay, the fascinating wildlife in Newport Wetlands, seeing the 2 Severn Bridges (and under the Prince of Wales bridge), the ancient and modern history of Sudbrook and the market town of Chepstow. Of course, I could be biased…!

What’s your proudest achievement so far?

I’m proud of having worked on the Wales Coast Path since it started and I’m proud of the hard work that the Local Authority Public Rights of Way teams (7 in my area) have done to keep the Wales Coast Path open and maintained – despite challenging situations like coastal erosion, storm damage and managing conflicts. Without them, we wouldn’t have a linked up Wales Coast Path.

I am enjoying exploring this section of the path - really getting to know it in such detail will be my biggest achievement and I’m looking forward to discovering more about it.  I hope you enjoy our Wales Coast Path too!

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 clicking on Contact Us to send us an email.

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