Footfall counters installed on walking routes across Bridgend county borough indicate that up to three times as many people are using the local rights of way network as they did before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with some of the more popular routes seeing an increase of up to seven times more.
Over the last year people have rediscovered what is on their doorstep, walking more and exercising locally.
The top three most popular routes in the county borough are the Nant Brynglas Circular Walk, the River Ogmore and Merthyr Mawr Circular Walk, and the Miners Path in Pencoed.
Meanwhile, the Llynfi Valley Walk 2 which goes from Garth Station to Maesteg Station and the Cornelly Walk 2 which includes Kenfig Pool are among the routes to see some of the largest increase in walkers over the past year.
Bridgend County Borough Council’s director for communities Janine Nightingale said: “With plenty of beautiful places to explore in the county borough, it’s great to see so many people enjoying the outdoors.
“With higher numbers of people using footpaths, more maintenance issues are being reported, and we are in the process of addressing these as quickly as possible.
“We would also like to take the opportunity to remind people of the Countryside Code which allows people to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits that nature offers, while giving it the respect it deserves.
“We ask people to park carefully so that access to gateways and driveways remain clear. Gates and property should always be left as found, and people should give way to others when following paths and leave no trace of their visit.
“All litter should be taken home, dogs kept under control and dog fouling disposed of responsibly. Finally, no open fires should be lit, and care must always be taken if using a barbeque.”