Fforest Fawr Geopark gets new Ambassadors

Tourism business owners taking part in the Geopark Ambassador scheme completed a free two-day course to learn more about the geological and archaeological riches of Fforest Fawr Geopark and pass on their specialist knowledge to their customers.

During their two-day course the Geopark Ambassadors got out and about in the Geopark with field trips to Penwyllt, the Sychryd and Nedd Fechan gorges and the Waterfalls Centre in Pontneddfechan. They also learnt more about the international role of geoparks and the geology of Fforest Fawr Geopark.

The Geopark Ambassador scheme is based on the success of the National Park Ambassador programme run by Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority in recent years. The scheme is funded by the Authority’s Rural Alliances project, with free workshops offered to local businesses to give them the information they need to engage and inspire visitors to explore the Bannau Brycheiniog.

The eight new Geopark Ambassadors, the first of their kind, were honoured during an exclusive Ambassador event at Buckland Hall, Bwlch on Monday, February 24th. The evening also saw Ambassadors learn more about the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park’s exciting new International Dark Sky Reserve designation and plans for a new Dark Sky Ambassadors scheme, while Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority Member Champion for Biodiversity Margaret Underwood gave an ‘Inspirational Park’ talk.

The Geopark Ambassador course is available to businesses that have already completed National Park Ambassador training. To maintain their status as Ambassadors participants must attend at least one free training course for tourism businesses or an exclusive Ambassador event every year.

Alan Bowring, Geopark Development Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, said: “This inaugural course has been very well received. I’m sure our new Geopark Ambassadors will be able to use what they have learned to enhance the experience of visitors coming to the annual Fforest Fawr Geopark Festival in May.”

Julie James, Chairman of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, added: “Our National Park Ambassadors show a great willingness to go the extra mile for their customers and their knowledge adds value to visitors’ experiences. The Authority puts a lot of work into running these Ambassador courses, and it’s wonderful to see that they’re utilised so well by local tourism businesses.”

If you are interested in becoming a Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Ambassador please contact Carol Williams on 01874 620478 or email here. For information about the Geopark Ambassadors scheme contact Alan Bowring on 01874 620415 or email here.  For further details on the upcoming Dark Sky Ambassadors course contact Ruth Coulthard on 01874 620481 or email here.