Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark
A park within a park, our Geopark covers the western half of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Stretching from Llandovery in the north to Merthyr Tydfil in the south and from Llandeilo in the west to Brecon in the east. A cracked and crumpled layer-cake of rocks, 470 million years in the making.
Designated a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2015, Fforest Fawr is one of over 150 geoparks worldwide recognised by UNESCO for their distinctive geology. It’s not just about rocks and geology though, a geopark celebrates an area’s history and archaeology, the natural and human life within its boundaries.
Our Geopark’s landscapes were sculpted by ice over 20,000 years ago; huge glaciers carving out the distinctive shapes of our mountains and valleys. The three mountain ranges, the Brecon Beacons, Fforest Fawr (its namesake) and the Black Mountain, are the places to go to see the legacy of several ice ages. Wildlife finds a refuge in these hills, some rare plants still hang on here from those colder times and birds like ring ouzel call it home.
People have lived and worked here in this landscape for over 8,000 years, each generation leaving its mark. They transformed these hillsides with hillforts and castles. And later our valleys were witness the birth of the Industrial Revolution. There are plenty of stories to tell; discover them in this quieter, ‘wilder’ part of the National Park.
To mark the very first UNESCO Geodiversity Day we launched a sound walk to transport listeners from around the world to Fforest Fawr. Click below to join writer and broadcaster Horatio Clare as he immerses listeners in a journey along Henllys Vale.
Sustainability is at the heart of our Geopark. We want it to be a place where nature and community thrive. To celebrate the spirit of this ambition, UNESCO commissioned the video below to showcase some of their Sites for Sustainable Development.