Geopark Festival 2016

The Geopark Festival this year occurs between Saturday 21st May and Sunday 5th June. This festival takes place in the less explored, though no less picturesque, western part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. There are lots of events taking place throughout the festival, with many opportunities to walk and learn from wildlife and geology experts.

Please click here to find the programme of walks, talks and other events builds up between now and then.

For all walks, don’t forget to pack these essentials:
-a picnic lunch for all day walks
-something hot/cold to drink
-emergency rations (chocolate bars etc)
-appropriate weatherproof gear – you often need to pack
-not just sun-cream and a sun-hat but also a rainproof jacket
-and over-trousers for a day in these hills!
-camera, binoculars, walking poles etc as required
-appropriate footwear – generally that means walking boots

Events

Tuesday 24th May . . . 10am – 4pm (WALK)

Penderyn – falls and firebricks, forts and far-off views

A circular walk from the village taking in Sgwd yr Eira (walk behind the falls!), Craig-y-ddinas (see where the world-famous firebricks came from) and be amazed at the views from Moel Penderyn – not our highest hill but what a panorama! Rough going underfoot in places. And not too far to go for refreshment afterwards!

  • Start: Red Lion car park, Penderyn (at OS grid ref SN 945086)
  • Cost: Free – but donations welcome (£5 suggested)
  • Distance/ascent/time: 10.5km (6.5 miles) / 420m (1350ft) / 6 hours
  • Further info and booking your place: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366
  • Dogs: sorry – no dogs on this wildlife walk

 

Wednesday 25th May . . . 10am – 4pm (WALK)

Folds and folds

A walk over the back of Cribarth from Abercrave to the sheepfolds above Cwm Giedd taking in a rocky landscape like few others in the park. We’ll look at how through the Glastir scheme,  this moorland is being managed, how traditional farming features are being restored and also take a look at nature’s own folds – on spectacular display in Cribarth’s rocky outcrops.

  • Start: PO/The Hub cafe, Abercrave (at OS grid ref SN 816126)
  • Cost: Free – but donations welcome (£5 suggested)
  • Distance/ascent/time: 8km (5 miles) / 320m (1050ft) / 6 hours
  • Further info and booking your place: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366
  • Dogs: sorry – no dogs

 

Wednesday 25th May  7pm      (TALK)

From Pen y Fan to Olympus Mons

The highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons and the highest mountain in the solar system. Nick Busby will be bringing the Geopark together with the International Dark Sky Reserve in an inquiry into heavenly bodies. Our Old Red Sandstone is an iron-stained sequence of sandstones and other sedimentary rocks deposited by rivers eroding a mountain chain around 400 million years ago.  And it was an ancient body of water that deposited the red sedimentary rocks of Mars billions of years before.  But is that where the similarity ends or can we see other common themes in the geology of Mars and the other terrestrial planets?  This talk will examine the structure of the 4 inner planets of the solar system and review the forces that have shaped them and made them what they are today.  It will highlight the factors that have led to the Earth having the conditions that can sustain life – conditions that we do not see today on the other planets – but possibly existed in there past.

  • Venue: Elim Hall, Canal Road, Brecon  LD3 7HL
  • Cost: tickets £5 on the door (£3 concessions)
  • Further info: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366
  • Event sponsored by Brecon Beacons Park Society

 

Thursday 26th May  10.30am – 3.00pm (WALK)

A landscape in flux: limestone stories  

Take a big step back in time 350 million years to when Morlais, like other parts of limestone country, was a shallow tropical sea. Take a small step back to when ice helped carve the Taf Fechan valley and meltwater carved a gorge through the limestone layers. And take a tiny step back into the early C19th to witness the ironmasters dig it up and throw it into the furnaces of Cyfarthfa, Penydarren and Dowlais. Up the west side of the Taf Fechan to Pont Sarn and Morlais quarries then back down the other side. Oh, and it’s a nature reserve too with wonderful wildlife – something for everyone perhaps?

  • Start: outside castle, Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil (at OS grid ref SO 041073)
  • Cost: Free – but donations welcome (£3 suggested)
  • Distance/ascent/time: 8km (5 miles) / 190m (610ft) / 4 hours
  • Further info and to book your place: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366
  • Dogs:  well-behaved dogs welcome

 

Friday 27th May  10.00am – 4.00pm (FIELD STUDY WALK)

Eternal Spring

A minibus will shuttle us to the start at Brynhenllys and we’ll take a walk beside the Afon Twrch from there, passing the old Henllys Vale colliery en route for the gushing springs at Ffrydiau Twrch below Cefn Carn Fadog. What interesting wildlife will we find this time in the company of experts Charles Hipkin and Michael Isaac? Relax afterwards with tea and cake at the newly opened Caffi Henllys at the community centre.

  • Start: Ystradowen Community Centre,  (at OS grid ref SN 750123)
  • Cost: Free – but donations welcome (£5 suggested)
  • Distance/ascent/time: up to 9km (5.5 miles) / 300m (1000ft) / 6 hours
  • Further info and to book your place: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366
  • Dogs:  sorry, no dogs on this wildlife walk
  • Note: challenging – very wet and rough underfoot in places!

 

Sunday 29th May    1pm – 5pm   (WALK)

Sinks and shakeholes, faults and falls

A geological walk from Ystradfellte exploring the limestone and gritstone layer-cake landscape of the area. There are links between 300-350 million year old tropical lagoons and river deltas and the modern landscape – join this walk to find out more.

  • Start: car park in Ystradfellte village (OS grid ref SN 929134)
  • Cost: Free but donations welcome
  • Distance/ascent/time: 10km (6 miles) / 250m (800ft) / 4 hours
  • Further info and to book your place: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366
  • Dogs:  sorry – no dogs

 

Monday 30th May  2pm – 5.00pm (WALK)

On the Black Mountain

Join experts Michael Isaac and Geraint Owen as they investigate the geology and wildlife of the abandoned quarries high on Y Mynydd Du between Brynaman and Llangadog.

  • Start: ’Lookout car park’ off the A4069 (at OS grid ref SN 732187))
  • Cost: Free – but donations welcome (£3 suggested)
  • Distance/ascent/time: 4km (2.5 miles) / ascent 100m (330ft) / 3 hours
  • Further info and to book your place: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366
  • Dogs:  sorry, no dogs on this wildlife walk

 

Tuesday 31st May  1pm – 5.00pm (WALK)

Every rock on a journey: from the quarry to the ironworks  

An exploration of the route taken long ago by rocks from the quarry along the old tramroad to the brickworks and the ironworks. A walk from Penderyn to Hirwaun and back. Nature reigns now where once the noise of industry was dominant.

  • Start: Penderyn Community Centre (at OS grid ref SN 950059))
  • Cost: Free – but donations welcome (£3 suggested)
  • Distance/ascent/time: 8km (5 miles) / ascent 100m (330ft) / 4 hours
  • Further info and to book your place: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366
  • Dogs:  well-behaved dogs welcome

 

Wednesday 1st June   10am – 4.30pm    (FAMILY EVENT)

Family Activity Day in the Park!

Come along to Craig-y-nos Country Park in the upper Swansea Valley – help us celebrate the Country Park’s 40th birthday and the Geopark’s tenth with a day of fun for all the family. Plenty of activities for young and old and will include zip wire, woodworking, crafts, geology and wildlife displays. Refreshments available on site.

  • Venue: Craig-y-nos Country Park, Upper Swansea Valley SA9 1GL (at OS grid ref SN 839155)
  • Cost: Free – but there is a charge for car parking (pay-and-display: £4 all-day)
  • Further info: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366
  • Dogs: well-behaved dogs welcome!

Wednesday 1st June    10.30am – 2.30pm   (WALK)

A taste of the Beacons Way

A walk with members of Brecon Beacons Park Society to celebrate the launch of the revised route of the Beacons Way, following it to Penwyllt and then (if the weather is good) to Ogof Fynnon Ddu National Nature Reserve. The return will be down ‘The Task’ to Pwllcoediog Farm and then along the Beacons Way back to the country park.

  • Start: Craig-y-nos Country Park (at OS grid ref SN 840155) (£4 all day parking charge on this day)
  • Cost: Free
  • Distance/ascent/time: 8km (5 miles) / 280m (900ft) / 4 hours
  • Further info and to book your place: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366
  • Dogs:  well-behaved dogs on short leads welcome

 

Wednesday 1st June 7pm     (TALK – in English)

Ice Age Legacy of the Brecon Beacons

After the Crickhowell Walking Festival, another chance to hear Geopark officer Alan Bowring talk about what happened yesterday – in geological terms that is! The last Ice Age began 28,000 years ago and ended about 17,000 years later. It left its mark in these hills and in these valleys – in some familiar ways and in some that will not be familiar.

  • Venue: Ystradowen Community Centre, 38 New Road, Cwmllynfell SA9 2YY (free parking behind centre)
  • Cost: tickets £3 on the door (£1.50 concessions)
  • Further info: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366

 

Thursday 2nd June    10am – 2pm   (WALK)

Cups and hollows, rocks and rituals

A walk with the National Trust in the heart of the Brecon Beacons. This leisurely walk will explore the legacies of glaciers and landslides between Storey Arms and Craig Cerrig-gleisiad and look at the marks that our Bronze Age ancestors and later inhabitants have left on this landscape too.

  • Start: Storey Arms layby off A470 (OS grid ref SO 982203)
  • Cost: Free
  • Distance/ascent/time: 5.5km (3.5 miles) / 200m (650ft) / 4 hours
  • Further info and to book your place: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366
  • Dogs:  sorry – no dogs

 

Thursday 2nd June      7pm   (TALK)

Rock of Ages

A talk by Dr Geraint Owen of Swansea University looking at the geological story behind South Wales. The Centre hosts an exhibition called ‘Calch’ – the story of quarrying and lime-burning on the Black Mountain. Light refreshments will be served.

  • Venue: Black Mountain Centre, Brynaman SA18 1BU (at OS grid ref SO 057113)
  • Cost: Free – but donations welcome (£2 suggested)
  • Further info: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366

 

Friday 3rd June      10am – 4pm   (WALK)

Pontsticill – cairns, kilns, caves, 

A walk looking at the archaeological treasures and touching on the geology and botany of the moorlands west of Pontsticill. Bronze Age cairns vie for attention with relics from the Industrial period. This study walk will also explore the churchyards at Vaynor and look at the subterranean drainage of the area. Join Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust and Brecon Beacons Park Society on this all-day exploration. Don’t forget a picnic lunch. May be rough or wet underfoot in parts.

  • Meet: outside Red Cow Inn, Pontsticill (at OS grid ref SO 057113)
  • Distance/ascent: 8km / 5 miles  and 225m / 750ft
  • Cost: Free – but donations welcome (£5 suggested)
  • Further info and to book your place: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366
  • Dogs: sorry no dogs!

 

Saturday 4th June  10am – 1pm    (WALK)

Allt Rhongyr – flora, forts and folds

Explore the natural history of Allt Rhongyr, across the valley from Craig-y-nos Country Park in the company of a wildlife expert and a geologist. One of Brecknockshire Wildlife Trust’s newest reserves has got it all – limestone grasslands, spectacular geology and views over a landscape boasting a legacy of the first Iron Age and the second one.

  • Start: Craig-y-nos Country Park, Upper Swansea Valley SA9 1GL (at OS grid ref SN 839155)
  • Cost: Free – but donations welcome (£3 suggested)
  • Distance/ascent/time: 6km (4 miles) / 215m (700ft) / 3 hours
  • Further info and to book your place: phone the NPVC on 01874 623366
  • Dogs: sorry – no dogs on this wildlife walk

Click here for more info and how to book: Forest Fawr Geopark Festival

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This entry was posted in 31 adventures in the Brecon Beacons, activiites, family events, family walks, Geopark, Things to do, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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