Clean-up operation underway after three-day illegal rave in Welsh forest

A big clean-up operation is underway in the aftermath of an illegal rave in Carmarthenshire over the Bank Holiday weekend.

At its peak more than 4,000 people from all corners of the UK were reportedly at the site, known as Graig, in Brechfa Forest between the villages of Brechfa and Llanfynydd in Carmarthenshire .

Despite the huge number of people descending on the area, Dyfed-Powys Police said no arrests were made.

Police were at the entrance to the forestry across the weekend preventing any more people from arriving, and the police helicopter was overhead to monitor activities on the ground.

Police were at the entrance to the site over the weekend to try and prevent any more people from arriving

The techno and hard dance party - dubbed UKTEK - was eventually brought to an end on Monday morning when Tom Jones’ hit Green Green Grass of Home was played over the speakers.

On Tuesday a handful of rave-goers remained at the site to clean up the mess.

A walk to the site reveals rubbish, drug paraphernalia and abandoned vehicles - including a Jaguar XJS - littering the narrow track leading to where the rave took place.

Despite the huge number of people descending on the area, Dyfed-Powys Police said no arrests were made.

It all started shortly before midnight on Saturday night.

As more and more people arrived in the area, the track leading to the quarry became gridlocked.

One woman who lives nearby and who did not want to be named said: “I am the only house on the lane and I couldn’t get out.

“If I needed an ambulance or anyone at the rave needed one, there was no way, it was impossible for any ambulance to get to them.

“The people I spoke to were very polite though, it was just the constant music and the fact the road was blocked and the mess left, which I know they are cleaning up.”

As more and more people arrived at the site the narrow track became gridlocked with cars

With the rave taking place deep in the forest, many found themselves short of food and drink.

Jeanette Hall who has lived on the edge of the forest for 32 years, said: “We have never seen anything like this here before.

“People were coming to my house wanting food and water and others said they needed to get home because they needed to be back in work but were stranded.”

Mrs Hall, 69, barricaded a driveway to the side of her home to stop ravers parking there and causing more traffic chaos.

Back at the top of the road at the rave site on Tuesday, one attendee, who would only give his first name, Robin, said: “I live locally and was in the pub when we saw hundreds of cars going past at around midnight on Saturday, so we followed them.”

He was back at the site on Tuesday to help with the clean-up and even directing local farmers with tractors who were helping to tow larger lorries out from ditches.

Speaking about the weekend, he said: “There must have been at least 4,000 here and I was the one that actually ended the rave.”

He said it was in the early hours of Monday morning when he made a decision to play a classic track over the speakers.

“I thought what song would work well, and then it came to me, I put on Ton Jones’ Green Green Grass of Home and everyone loved it.

“I thought being in Wales and having people from across the UK there, what better song to calm things down and wind it all up.”

He added: “I came back up to help with the clean up and everyone is respectful of the area and we want to leave it tidy.”

One party-goer also packing up on Tuesday morning said he travelled from Bedfordshire and had been there since Sunday morning.

He said: “It’s been really good and we don’t want to leave a mess.

“The thing is, we’d love to work with authorities and have permission to use land for events like this.

“We have been cleaning up because we know we can’t leave it in a mess, it’s a beautiful area."

Natural Resources Wales said raves can have a 'devastating impact' on forestry

Natural Resources Wales said raves such as these could have a devastating impact on forestry, together with denying access to a beauty spot for families over the weekend.

Russell Jones, area manager for Natural Resources Wales, said: “The impact these illegal raves can have on our forestry is devastating. In this case it has ruined the forest for everyone else, and made it a very unsafe place for people to visit during a busy Bank Holiday and half term.

“As well as huge amounts of litter left behind, and damage to forest tracks, we’ve also seen discarded drugs paraphernalia across the area.

“We’re now making arrangements for specialist contractors to begin a clean-up operation, but in times of austerity, it’s money we’d rather be putting to good use elsewhere.”

Police say they'll be meeting with the community discuss how future events can be prevented.