A TEAM of volunteers, which includes a pensioner from Cwmbran, gave 2,500 man hours to ensure mountain routes remained open for tourists in 2013.

In the past 12 months, more than 200,000 visitors flocked to the Brecon Beacons to enjoy a stroll.

This sheer volume of traffic takes its effect on the environment but it’s hard to spot thanks to the hard work of more than 100 volunteers who are co-ordinated by the National Trust and supported by Natural Resources Wales.

Vic Heard, 70, from Cwmbran, started volunteering with the National Trust when he retired from a career in IT management three years ago.

He said: “I’ve loved walking and climbing mountains for as long as I can remember. I was getting close to retirement when I spotted a sign about volunteering while walking in the Beacons, I enquired and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Mr Heard has put in around 70 hours in the last 12 months, which he said he found really enjoyable.

He added: “I would definitely recommend volunteering to anyone, the Beacons are a lovely place to be and you get to meet people from all over the world.

“It’s amazing to see how much tourists appreciate the Welsh scenery. I’ve spoken to people from Canada and from Sierra Nevada and they all comment on how beautiful the Beacons are.”

If you would like to get involved in volunteering projects, email volunteers@nationaltrust.org.uk