Fforest Fawr in the Brecon Beacons National Park is celebrating success in retaining its status as a UNESCO Global Geopark. All Geoparks are assessed every four years to make sure that they meet the required standard for the prestigious title – this is the Geopark’s third green card, meaning it is recognised as a world class part of the National Park.
Fforest Fawr which translates as ‘Great Forest’, has been 480 million years in the making, its cracked and crumpled layers of rocks are recognised internationally. Fforest Fawr covers the western half of the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales, stretching from Llandovery in the north to Merthyr Tydfil in the south, and from Llandeilo in the west to Brecon in the east. The landscape is of course recognised for its dramatic views and breath-taking waterfalls, but the Geopark celebrates its geological heritage shaped by ice and changed by man through farming and the industrial revolution. Its communities are diverse, working together to promote sustainable economic development, especially in tourism.
Dr. Tony Ramsay, Scientific Director of Fforest Fawr Geopark said; “It was a pleasure to show the two UNESCO Global Geopark evaluators around the Fforest Fawr Geopark last summer and the positive outcome shows how impressed they were with everything they saw whilst here.”
Deborah Perkin, National Park Authority, Member Champion of Business and Communities commented;
“A UNESCO Global Geopark recognises somewhere with geological heritage of worldwide significance, celebrated by its local communities. For Fforest Fawr to once again receive the green card from UNESCO as one of these sites is a huge achievement for us here at the National Park Authority as one of the Geopark’s partners. We encourage everyone to visit and experience the Fforest Fawr Geopark for themselves – the annual ‘Geofest’ event takes place from 20 May to 4 June, with walks, talks and events, it’s an ideal opportunity to get to know the area better.”
Julian Atkins, Director of Countryside & Land Management, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority adds;
“The successful revalidation confirms that Fforest Fawr is on a par with other UNESCO designated sites around the world. But our engagement with partners and local communities is just as important and we are pleased that our work together has been fully recognised and acknowledged by UNESCO. I would like to thank all of those involved in the Geopark who have contributed in achieving this successful outcome. We will now continue to work together in partnership, promoting wider understanding of all aspects the area’s geological heritage through full engagement with the European & Global Geoparks Networks and the UNESCO Global Geopark community.”
For further information on the Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark visit www.fforestfawrgeopark.org.uk