A Green Guide to the Brecon Beacons

Celebrate World Green Building Week from 16th-20th September.

This annual event showcases the role that sustainable building plays in creating greener and more profitable, prosperous, productive, healthy and empowered communities for our future.

Our tips for a Green trip to the Brecon Beacons:

Green Accommodation

Winner of the Gold award for Green Tourism, Wern Watkin is located in the Brecon Beacons National park, high up on the Mynned Llangattock near the escarpment, the Bunkhouse is a small holding run on environmental lines to improve the diversity of the wildlife. There is also a major colony of bats which have their own floor in the bunkhouse!

llys lodgeA luxurious, elegant and stylish 5* eco-house with a Sustainable Building Award and Gold award for Green Tourism. The house sleeps 5 and has been brilliantly well insulated so is always warm and comfortable. There are locally sourced oak floors with underfloor heating and reclaimed granite work tops.

The property utilises solar panels, ground source heating, sheep wool insulation, all A-rated electrical appliances and as many eco-products as possible.

This family and eco friendly cottage is set on an organic farm bryniauwith sheep, cattle, free range pigs and laying hens and has won the Gold Award for Green Tourism. A stream running through the farm is used to generate electricity for the cottage using a micro-hydro-scheme, and timber from the farm is used to fuel the biomass central heating. Hot water is supplemented by a Solar Thermal system installed on the roof.

Where to Eat

Gliffaes Hotel in SpringA member of the Slow Food Movementthey are committed to using the freshest local produce and locally sourced meats. There’s also likely to be rabbit and pheasant on the menu – caught so locally that you can likely see the field where your food came from! Fish is only sourced from approved by the Marine Stewardship Council that come from sustainable stock.

Their walled garden now provides the country house hotelwith an enviable three quarters of its fresh fruit and vegetables in the summer!

The hotel makes sure that more than three quarters of its food comes from a 20-mile radius and owner Mike Morgan likes to ‘plunder the fantastic local larder’ – dealing with a range of 75 often very small suppliers to ensure he gets the best meat and vegetables.

peterstone-court-hotelOrganic vegetables are sourced from Primrose Earth Centre in Talgarth and Penpont. Game comes from local shoots, the majority of their meat (lamb, chicken, duck and pork) is from a family member who farms at Glaisfer Uchaf and their salmon is provided by the Black Mountain Smokery in Crickhowell. Bread comes from Talgarth’s own grain mill and cheese comes from the local artisan makers.

Eco-Travel!

July - The Brecon Beacons become a little greener with the introduction of the Eco Travel Network http://www.ecotravelnetwork.co.uk/  ©

Eco Travel Network Limited provides fun, lightweight, eco

friendly travel across the Brecon beacons national Park. Visitors to the Beacons are welcome to hire one of the starter fleet of Renault Twizys from local tourist business partners across the Park. There is a friendly charging network across the area with people who are happy to provide you with truly ‘local’ electricity – generated from the abundant Welsh rain, wind and sun!

Where to go

Learn about the fascinating geology and archaeology of the site and the ancient heritage of the Brecon beacons that bare rock tells as well as the cultural heritage of the park – throughout history myth and legend has woven itself around the hills, from the stories of the ‘Physicians of Myddfai’, to tales of ‘The lady of The Lake’.

The reserve forms part of an impressive limestone escarpmentthat outcrops along the north eastern

Sugar Loaf from Craig y Cilau by Alexis Dimyanedge of Mynydd Llangatwg and is one of the largest upland limestone cliffs in South Wales. The area boasts a wide variety of plants, some rare, notably there are several species of whitebeam growing on the cliffs, one of which is only known from this locality. The limestone is also peppered with caves, one of which – Agen Allwedd – is an important winter roost for lesser horseshoe bats.

Geo-Activities

GeocachingIt’s really just a massive treasure hunt for adults; using only a GPS device and grid reference (or a map and a compass if you’re really daring!) you hunt the huge area of the National Park for secret boxes. It can take you all over the Park, explaining about the different locations you will be taken to, such as the WW2 bomber crash site, or the tragic story of Tommy Jones.

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