Festival of rocks returns to Bannau Brycheiniog National Park

Organised as part of the European Geoparks Week, the ninth annual Fforest Fawr Geopark Festival features a programme of 24 walks, talks and other events held between Saturday, May 25th and Sunday, June 9th.

The 16-day geological extravaganza is organised by Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority and its Geopark partners. This ‘rock festival with a difference’ celebrates the unique geological heritage of the western half of the National Park, as well as the proud legacy of Wales’ scientists, miners, quarry workers and road-builders. The festival schedule offers walks and talks exploring bogs, grasslands, quarries, mines and much more, with something for everyone; adult or child; geologist, walker or enthusiast.

As Wales’ first Geopark, and the only UK Geopark set within a National Park, Fforest Fawr will be one of over 50 locations across Europe running events about their special and diverse geology as part of European Geoparks Week.

Among the highlights of the two week Fforest Fawr Geopark showpiece is a ‘Heroes of Welsh Geology’ talk by Tom Sharpe of the National Museum of Wales at Theatr Brycheiniog on Tuesday, May 28th.  The ‘Shelves, Ramps and Inclines’ walk on Thursday, May 30th is a moderate three mile route along the old tram road from Abercrave onto the Cribarth exploring the nearby quarries, tramways and limekilns. Later that day Brynach Parri will discuss the changing place names of the Bannau Brycheiniog in his ‘Moveable Mountains’ talk at Brecon Guildhall. Elsewhere, Craig-y-nos Country Park will play host to a free ‘Come and Try it Activity Day’ at 10am on Wednesday, May 29th offering orienteering, geocaching, natural play, woodland, wildlife and adventure activities.

Alan Bowring, Geopark Development Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, said: “This year’s Geopark Festival is bigger and better than ever, with a programme exploring the geology, history and archaeology of the area. I hope the variety of locations and themes in the programme make the rich natural and cultural heritage of the Geopark accessible to a wide variety of people.”

Mrs Julie James, Chairman of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, added: “Every year the Fforest Fawr Geopark Festival gives visitors and our communities alike the chance to explore the history and landscape of the western half of the National Park. This year is no different with a festival programme full of exciting walks and events that highlight what a truly fantastic place this is to live, work and visit.”

All Fforest Fawr Geopark Festival events are listed in the dedicated festival brochure which is available from all National Park Visitor Centres and Tourist Information Centres (including Brecon, Llandovery, Abergavenny and Pontneddfechan). Events listings are also available at www.fforestfawrgeopark.org.uk/Geofest2013 and www.geoparcyfforestfawr.org.uk/gwyl-geoparc-2013/.

For further information please log on to www.breconbeacons.org or visit the European Geopark Network website www.europeangeoparks.org. Alternatively, contact Alan Bowring on 01874 620415 or email here.