VOLUNTEERS turned out in force on the weekend to help spread grass seed over the fire-damaged hill fort on Twmbarlwm in Risca, Tomos Povey writes.

More than 40 people climbed to the top of the mountain on Sunday in response to the Cymdeithas Twmbarlwm Society’s (CTS) call for help in repairing the landscape.

Fire spread across the mountain in July and the resources of the fire services were stretched to the limit.

There are areas where the fire burned down deep into the substrate, destroying root systems and turning the soil to barren dust.

And to make matters worse, those areas are now being further eroded by the wind and rain and threatening the underlying archaeology.

CTS - which monitors and helps to maintain this local iconic landmark - proposed and agreed that the severely damaged areas should be re-seeded with native species grasses as quickly as possible.

The group then took it upon themselves to raise funds to pay towards the cost of re-seeding the mountain top.

Terry Evans, who is the chairman of the society, said: “It may seem late in the year to be sowing seed but we have had good advice and it is vital that we attempt to stabilise the bare surface before the wind and rain of the winter does any further damage to the landscape - and, more importantly, the underlying archaeology.”

“I never imagined the amount of support we would get, but it just goes to show that The Twmp holds a unique place in the hearts of the local community.

"I am extremely grateful to all those who gave up their time on Sunday, to the members of CTS and the Commoners of Mynydd Maen who helped out."

Mr Evans added: “It would certainly help now if visitors to the mountain do not venture onto the newly seeded areas, and please respect the landscape and its history.

"Please come in the springtime.

"Twmbarlwm and its famous ‘pimple’ will be well on the way back to its former glory."

For more information on this event and the group, check the website www.twmbarlwm.co.uk