Brecon Beacons National Park is celebrating its 58th Birthday today (17th April 2015)
Since it was designated a National Park, the Brecon Beacons have become a very special place to thousands of people all across the world.
Here a few facts about the Brecon Beacons that you may not know:-
- Home to some wonderful festivals – Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, the Green Man Festival, Brecon Jazz, Brecon Baroque Festival, Brecon Food Festival and Abergavenny Food Festival is on the doorstep
- First International Dark Sky Reserve in Wales – designated 19 Feb 2013, the fifth in the world to receive the designation.
- Home of the Fforest Fawr Geopark – recognising the extraordinary geological heritage of the West of the park.
- The Brecon Beacons National Park contains
o 357 Scheduled Ancient Monuments and 1950 listed Buildings
o 23 drinking water sources including the catchment for 90% of Cardiff’s drinking water and 78% of Swansea’s
o 65 biological sites of Special Scientific Interest covering 19% of the Park
o 1983 km of public rights of way – maintained by the National Park Authority.
John Cook the Chief Executive of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority commented
“We are delighted to be celebrating 58 years since our designation as one of the family of three Welsh National Parks and 15 National Parks in the UK. The original small team who mapped the Brecon Beacons National Park chose to include some real treasures within the boundaries and the success of the tourism industry within the Park today is testament to how many people appreciate the opportunity to spend time enjoying this tranquil and beautiful environment. That we have gone on to be designated a Geopark in the West and to gain International Dark Sky Reserve status (currently one of only nine in the world) adds international recognition of how important the Brecon Beacons are and how much the area deserves its protected status.
“Our Sustainable Development Fund has been helping out local communities across the National Park on all kinds of projects and schemes. We are particularly proud of our work with The Green Valleys, a community renewable energy scheme which was the brain child of two former staff members at the Authority. In recent years our Planning Service has made massive strides forward and today we are very proud of them too – they have been in the top 3 of the performance league table for National Authorities in Wales for the last year. We are totally committed to continuing to work with the communities in the National Park to thrive and together to protect and enjoy this landscape for the next 58 years”