URGENT calls to rebuild the steps to Rhossili beach by the Easter holidays have been made after a distressed pensioner appeared at the hotel above one night covered head to toe in mud.
Worm’s Head Hotel owner Julian Short and his son Adrian said the man had been walking along the beach from Llangennith and expected to find the original steps, many of which were washed away during the winter storms, in place.
He then struggled in the darkness to climb the 190ft route.
“He came into the bar at 10pm, and was covered in mud,” said Adrian. “He was ex-Army, in his mid-70s, and had been hoping to catch the last bus home.”
Staff helped him out, but called an ambulance as a precaution. The man, believed to be from Port Talbot, was taken to hospital and discharged.
“We had a wonderful email off him on the Monday morning,” said Julian. “But that guy could have died.”
Julian added that one hotel visitor had already cancelled after finding out the steps were still out of action.
Gower councillor Richard Lewis said: “People are going to come down from Easter onwards. What are they supposed to do? Go home?”
There is an impromptu route down to the beach at present, and Swansea Council said tenders for the rebuilding of the steps had gone out last week.
A spokesman said the ground – part of a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Site of Special Scientific Interest — was unstable. The council has liaised with Natural Resources Wales and resolved concerns raised by heritage body Cadw, but it is not yet clear if the work will be done by Easter.
He added: “We plan to complete the work as soon as possible.”