National Park boundary

Where exactly is the edge of the National Park?

The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and Natural Resources Wales have recently completed a joint project to ensure that the boundary of the National Park best represents the designated National Park boundary (including the variation order) produced in 1955 and 1966 respectively.

The original documents consisted of a written description and two 1 inch to 1 mile paper maps. Although these remain the legal documents, we need an accurate digital boundary to make sure that there is clarity on where the boundary line actually is in relation to the ground.

Why did we need to improve the boundary?

Before we began this project, the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Natural Resources Wales, and the Ordnance Survey each had their own digital versions of the boundary. It is likely that each organisation produced a digital version of the boundary during the 1990s, but we wanted to check that this interpretation was carried out in a consistent way across all three organisations. We found that although each boundary is more accurate than the designation map, the boundaries differ when compared to each other, we felt we needed a shared and consistent interpretation of the boundary.

It is important that we can all have confidence in the accuracy of the boundary as it used by all the landowners involved in the management of the National Park and its resources. The National Park Authority use it for all its functions, from development planning to recreation management. We found that the original designation documents did not give us enough detail to be able to make some of the decisions we need to make.

What are the differences?

When comparing the Authority’s 1990s digital boundary to the reinterpreted 2015 digital boundary, we found that some properties were affected by the improvements of accuracy. For example there are buildings that are within the National Park which previously the Authority may have assumed were outside it. Conversely, there are buildings that are outside the National Park which previously the Authority may have assumed were within it. Finally, there are buildings that are either divided by the National Park boundary or adjoin the National Park boundary.

Map showing the improved National Park boundary

The improved boundary and the description of the boundary are shown on the map by default. You can compare the improved boundary with the old boundary by ticking the box next to ‘Old Boundary (~1990s)’ in the legend on the map. The legend also gives you a choice of base maps, for example, you can choose to view the boundaries on ‘Recent Aerial Photography’ if you would prefer.

To make it easier to follow, each paragraph of the original description of the boundary has been mapped. As you zoom into the map, there will be 61 blue pins scattered along the boundary. The pins labelled 1 to 56 are that of the original 1955 designation, and those pins labelled A to E are that of the 1966 variation order.

The description starts at the north-east corner of the Park at Hay on Wye and continues around the boundary in a clockwise direction. You can type ‘Hay on Wye’ into the search box on the map and click ‘Search’ to zoom to the start of the description which is labelled as ‘1’. To view the description, click on the blue bin.

You can also use the search box to type in a postcode or a town if you would like to zoom directly to a location of your choice.