A video handed to BBC Wales appears to show Ron Davies blocking a mountain bike trail in Caerphilly – a claim Mr Davies has denied. The former secretary of state for Wales has confirmed he is featured in the video but claims that he is clearing the path, not blocking it.
The 70-year-old is shown in the short video moving rocks in the vicinity of an unofficial trail on Caerphilly mountain.
It is not against the rules for mountain bikers to ride on these unofficial trails, providing they do not cause any damage to wildlife or the environment however the trails have been targeted many times by saboteurs in the past 18 months. A group of local riders invested in the night vision cameras that filmed Mr Davies at quarter past nine in the morning.
Speaking to BBC 5Live on Thursday morning, Mr Davies said: “I’ve never blocked or obstructed a footpath in my life. In fact, I’ve unblocked obstructions on a few and that’s what I was doing when this covert video was taken. I was actually removing an obstacle from a footpath. I have spent all my life walking the footpaths in this part of the world.”
Ian Clarke, from Van Road Mountain Bikers, said: “I can appreciate that maybe some people don’t agree with the way we use the woods, but I think if you’re putting other people in danger, that’s a problem for us.”
Ron Davies was MP for Caerphilly from 1983 until 2001, served as Secretary of State for Wales from 1997 until 1998 and resigned from the Labour Party in 2004.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW), which owns the land, has encouraged both sides to meet to resolve the issue.