Guptaman Gurung, Training Control Office Administrator at Sennybridge in Wales and West, has been recognised by the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and National Parks UK for his volunteering achievements in the Brecon Beacons.

Training Control Office Administraror Guptaman Gurung (left) collects the award from Louise Price and her son Henry Price at a special ceremony at the Head Office of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

Representing the Nepalese Community Footpath Group, Guptaman joined Authority members, volunteers, staff and many other people from the Nepalese Gurkha community of Brecon, at a special ceremony at the Head Office of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, to accept a local Huw Price Award and a UK National Parks’ Volunteering Award for the outstanding work the Group has done on footpaths around Brecon.

The Group dedicated nine days over three months to repair and clear approximately one and a half miles of footpath along the River Usk, including the erection of a footbridge, which has been aptly named the ‘Gurkha Path’ and is very popular with local families and dog walkers.

Guptaman commented, “We volunteered to give something back to the community where we’ve made our second home. As the project progressed, it became bigger and longer. Nevertheless, we all enjoyed it and finally when the project was completed, there was a sense of pride and achievement amongst all of us; all were truly satisfied with the outcome.

“Never in my wildest of dreams had I thought about winning such an award. As far as I am aware this is a first for a Nepalese community in the whole of the United Kingdom. I feel really proud to have led the team all the way along; it has certainly helped us to establish ourselves firmly in the local community. I am also grateful to Landmarc for allowing me some time off through our volunteering programme to work on the project.”

Mel Doel, Chairman of the National Park Authority added, “Volunteers are the unsung heroes of the National Park. We currently have 195 volunteers in the park and last year alone they contributed 13,000 hours or 345 weeks’ worth of their own time to helping look after this special landscape. We are immensely proud of our volunteer scheme and the staff who help run it. Their time, effort and enthusiasm makes a huge difference to ensuring the future of our National Park.”