Geopark Festival celebrates a proud Welsh heritage
Organised as part of the European Geoparks fortnight, the eighth annual Fforest Fawr Geopark Festival delivers 16 days of walks, talks and other events held between Saturday, May 26th and Sunday, June 10th.
Organised by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and its Geopark partners, the festival offers more than 20 events that help commemorate the unique geological heritage of the western half of the National Park, as well as celebrating the proud legacy of Wales’ scientists, miners, quarry workers and road-builders. The festival programme includes a series of walks and talks, which explore bogs, grasslands, quarries and mines and much more, and which are suitable for child or adult; geologist, walker or enthusiast. With the help of dedicated rock experts, attendees can step back in time 300 million years to a South Wales basking in equatorial sun – and see, hear and touch what those times left us with.
As Wales’ first Geopark, and the only UK Geopark set within a National Park, Fforest Fawr is one of 50 locations across Europe running events about their special and diverse geology during European Geoparks Fortnight.
Among the highlights of the two week showpiece is a talk on the limestone landscapes of the Geopark in Abercraf on Monday, May 28, a Bountiful Bogs and Marvellous Mires walk on Wednesday, May 30, while Monday, June 7 will see a talk by Toby Driver exhibiting his breathtaking aerial photography at Brecon’s Theatr Brycheiniog on the Geopark from the air.
Alan Bowring, Geopark Development Officer for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “We’re lucky to have here on our doorsteps an extraordinary landscape packed with so many stories – some familiar, others obscure. On occasion we’ve led the world here in Wales, punching above our weight in pioneering the understanding of geology and forging the course of the Industrial Revolution. The legacy of those times is written into our landscapes and the Welsh influence into the language of geology itself.’
Mrs Julie James, Chairman of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, added: “I’m impressed by the range of events taking place during this year’s Geoparks Festival: it underlines what a fantastic place this is to live and work in or to visit: we are very proud of it and proud to be a part of a prestigious European and global network of Geoparks, each of which has its own amazing stories to tell. I’m especially excited to see our communities and visitors come together to join in events that are not just about geology but about celebrating the amazing heritage and culture of the western area of the Brecon Beacons National Park and the people who live in it.”
All events are listed not only in a dedicated festival brochure but also in the National Park Visitor Guide – both of which are available from all National Park Visitor Centres and Tourist Information Centres (including Brecon, Llandovery, Abergavenny and Pontneddfechan). Events listings are also downloadable from the National Park website www.breconbeacons.org, with Welsh language information and downloads also available.
For further information please log onto www.fforestfawrgeopark.org.uk or www.geoparcyfforestfawr.org.uk. Alternatively visit the European Geoparks Network website www.europeangeoparks.org or contact Alan Bowring on 01874 620 415 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.