It’s time for the annual Brecon Beacons National Park Geofest 2018

Over the next two weeks the annual Geopark Festival (Geofest) takes place in the Park. Geofest is a celebration of the Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark, which covers the west of the National Park.

The festival includes a programme of walks, talks and the popular Family Activity Day at Craig y nos Country Park on Wednesday 30th May.

This year’s talk and walk topics include earthquakes and the restless planet we live on, a chance to explore Glyn Tarell with the National Trust’s Lead Ranger and walk the most fascinating hill in the whole Geopark; Cribarth.

The Family Activity Day in May half term promises lots to do for children of all ages with a zip wire, canoeing, stone carving, orienteering and wildlife spotting. Entrance is free and car parking is £5 per car. A great day out for all the family.

Full Programme below: Just turn up and pay on the day.

Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Restless Planet (talk)

Join us for a talk by Dr Geraint Owen of Swansea University. The recent earthquake in this area reminds us that the Earth is an active planet. Continents on the move, folding and fracturing rocks and volcanoes are all on the agenda!

Venue: Ystradowen Community Centre, SA9 2YY (OS grid ref SN 750123)

Time: 7pm

Cost: £2 /person

Further details: free parking behind the centre

Thursday 24th May 2018

Henllys Vale Revisited (walk)

Join us for a walk up beside the Twrch from Ystradowen Community Centre to visit the remains of the old colliery and limekilns at Henllys Vale. We may see some of the dippers which fly along this river and will certainly see dipping rocks – hear the stories behind them.

Start: Ystradowen Community Centre, SA9 2YY (OS grid ref SN 750123)

Time: 2pm – 4.30pm

Distance: 6km / 4 miles

Ascent: 110m / 350ft

Cost: £3/person

Further details:  free parking behind the Centre. You can catch a drink and a bite to eat at Caffi

Henllys (cafe in the centre) before setting off!

Monday 28th May 2018

Explore Glyn Tarell with the National Trust

Join Rob Reith, the National Trust’s Lead Ranger, to discover the history and management of this special area. We will walk along Glyn Tarell and the Trust’s permissive woodland paths, ascend Y Gyrn, drop down to the Storey Arms and return along the Taff Trail. This walk is put on by the Brecon Beacons Park Society.

Start: Craig Cerrig-gleisiad layby on A470 (OS grid ref SN 971222)

Time: 10am – 3pm

Distance: 9km / 5.5 miles

Ascent: 420m / 1400ft

Cost: free

Further details: phone Dilys Harlow on 01454 775731

Wednesday 30th May 2018  

Family Activity Day at Craig-y-nos Country Park

Firmly established in the GeoFest calendar now, a fun day out including craft stalls, geocaching, canoeing, a zip-wire and hands-on activities for children. Rocks, wildlife and archaeology.

We shall also be celebrating Fforest Fawr’s current involvement in the Atlantic Geoparks project which brings together Geoparks from around Europe’s western fringes.

And as part of the development of the country park as the new ‘hub’ for the Geopark during 2018, we will be launching a new circular walk exploring the geology and quarrying history of Cribarth.

Venue: Craig-y-nos Country Park, upper Swansea Valley SA9 1GL (OS grid ref SN 840155)

Time: 10am – 4pm

Cost: FREE but parking charge of £5/car or £10/minibus

Thursday 31st May 2018

Cribarth – Quarries and crags, folds and fractures

Join us for an inaugural walk from Craig-y-nos Country Park following the newly-launched trail leaflet to explore what is arguably the most fascinating hill in the whole Geopark. Recent path improvements ease the ascent.

Start: Craig-y-nos Country Park, upper Swansea Valley, SA9 1GL (OS Grid ref SN 840155)

Time: 1pm – 4.30pm

Distance/ascent: 5.5km / 3.5 miles

Ascent: 250m / 800ft

Cost: £3 / person

Further details:  pay & display parking at country park. Sorry – no dogs.

Friday 1st June 2018, 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Archaeology at Dinas Rock

Join archaeologist Dr Edith Evans, Geopark geologist Alan Bowring and zoologist/botanist Dr Michael Isaac in an exploration of the Dinas Rock area where nature and former industry vie with faulted and folded rocks for your attention.

Start: Dinas Rock car park, Pontneddfechan (OS grid ref SN 911079)

Time: 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Distance: 3.5km / 2.5 miles

Ascent: 120m / 400ft

Cost: £3/person

Further details:  free parking. Sorry – no dogs.

Saturday 2nd June 2018

Wildlife walk: from Limestone to Ironmaking in the Tawe Valley

Join Brecknock #wildcommunities for a linear walk in the Tawe Valley to see how the various layers of rock have influenced its industrial heritage. We’ll visit Craig y Rhiwarth and Allt Rhongyr Nature Reserve on limestone and walk to Ystradfawr and Wern Plemys nature reserves where nature has reclaimed the old coal mines. We also take in Henrhyd Falls and glimpse the ironworks in Ystradgynlais. Some steep and rough sections.

Start: Craig-y-nos Country Park (CyNCP), upper Swansea Valley, SA9 1GL (OS Grid ref SN 840155)

Finish: Diamond Park, Heol Glyn Tawe, Ystradgynlais  SA9 1ET (OS Grid ref SN 786094)

Time: meet 9.30am at Diamond Park for car share to walk start (10am) at CyNCP. Walk finishes at Diamond Park at 5pm, Car share back to CynCP as required for 5.20pm

Distance: 15km / 9 miles

Ascent: 100m

Cost: FREE

Further details: Well-behaved dogs on leads welcome.

For more details: contact Pauline Hill on 01639 844273 or e-mail her on p.hill@welshwildlife.org

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