Fforest Fawr Geopark welcomes UNESCO evaluators

Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark has welcomed two UNESCO evaluators as they begin their revalidation mission of the area. Over three days the evaluators will inspect the Geopark, which covers the western half of the National Park, gathering evidence to assess if it continues to meet UNESCO Global Geopark designation criteria.

UNESCO Evaluators with Geopark, Authority and Natural Resources Wales staff at Porth yr Ogof.

Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark is one of a family of 169 geoparks worldwide, of which 8 are in the UK. All are designated and celebrated not only for their rocks and geology but also for their history, archaeology and the natural and human life within their boundaries.

Over the course of their revalidation mission the evaluators’ busy itinerary will feature visits to key Fforest Fawr sites including the new Geopark Discovery Point at Craig-y-nos Country Park, the National Park Visitor Centre and Storey Arms and A470 corridor.  Other locations on the tour take in tourist information and visitor centres, community centres, orientation panels and geotrail sites. They will also take the time to meet with Geopark Ambassadors, businesses, Geopark Management Group members and officers from the National Park Authority and partner organisations.

Following a revalidation visit UNESCO Global Geoparks can be awarded one of three ‘cards’: a green card being of highest value and a guaranteed continuation of UNESCO designation for a further four years. A yellow card comes with recommendations to act upon within two years followed by further evaluation and a red card would see the designation at risk of being removed.

Catherine Mealing-Jones, Chief Executive of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority and Geopark Director said;
“We are pleased to host the two evaluators for their revalidation visit of our UNESCO Global Geopark this week. The UNESCO designation is of great significance to the National Park, giving further important recognition to our landscape, people, heritage and culture.” 

Alan Bowring, Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark Development Officer added;
“Preparing for a revalidation visit during a global pandemic has been a challenge, yet so many people have shown their support to Fforest Fawr. Our communities, partners, ambassadors and staff; we are grateful to them all and hope to receive a result that positively reflects all their hard work and support.”