'If you've ever been on the Hill with me, you'll know full well that I have a love-hate relationship with dear old Pen Y Fan. I had been been meaning to spew forward my vitriol for some time, but had always held back due to the massive affection that people have for PYF. That was until I saw this image of National Trust and its wonderful volunteers, repairing the heavily eroded path to the top, with 'casual' walkers plodding down in their trainers, hoodies and yoga pants after another 'successful summit'. Now I mean no harm to any of these walkers, and anyone who makes the effort to turn off Saturday Kitchen and instead explore the beautiful environment of the Beacons gets a big thumbs up. For many people, particularly in South Wales, Pen Y Fan is their first mountain experience and it has no doubt kickstarted many to engage in the Great Outdoors and the love of mountains. However (and here it comes) the obsession for many to relentlessly park their car on the verge of the A470 at Storey Arms and trudge up this hill every weekend does very little to promote safe, educated hill walking, and very few who gleefully yomp to the top in their Crocs and Tshirts in Winter have very any idea of the sad state of the mountain beneath their feet. The main path is now so heavily eroded by feet that it is almost possible to drive a car to the top of PYF. You'll certainly see prams being regularly pushed up it! Sub-soil erosion continues, mountain flora and fauna washed away as a result. In addition its accessibility means that there is often even less interest in mountain knowledge and conservation or the skills so essential to enjoy and protect this wild environment. For the PYF and Horseshoe obsessives, many will never know the joys of wider exploration in the Beacons. How many know that just across the A470 there is a glacial Cwm, shaded from the sun where native alpine plant species still thrive harmoniously amongst the Peregrines? (Cwm Cerrig Gleisiad) Maybe however I've got it wrong. There is an argument, that by walkers concentrating themselves around one honey pot area, that the rest of the Brecon Beacons National Park has greater protection from the thousands of feet walking its paths each Saturday. No doubt there is some truth in this; but reverting to my old school thinking and traditional mindset, I would much prefer Joe Plodder to take an active interest in the conservation and protection of this spectacular environment, learn lasting mountain skills and pass this knowledge onto fellow walkers. Rant done. Stay safe.