Fforest Fawr Geopark launches learning lab, sound walk and film

Three new resources to mark International Geodiversity Day

To mark the first International Geodiversity Day (6 October), Fforest Fawr Geopark is hosting some spectacular activity.

Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark is managed by the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority and covers the western side of the Park. Today sees the opening of a temporary Geopark Learning Lab, staffed by volunteers for the day. The Park is also launching two digital resources; a film produced by UNESCO and a sound walk designed to virtually transport listeners into the landscape.

The Learning Lab encourages visitors to explore this area’s history and geology. Located at Craig y Nos Country Park, set within a rocky landscape just brimming with geodiversity, the Lab features information displays, a looping video of the landscape and self-guided walks known as geotrails.

UNESCO is highlighting Fforest Fawr as an example of good sustainable management with the release of a short film, shot in the south of the Geopark. Viewers will learn more about the pressures faced in Waterfall Country and discover why balancing human activity in natural environments is so important.

The Geopark places great value on exporting the benefits of its landscape beyond its borders, and in addition to the film, two sound walks are also being released today. Writers and broadcasters Jon Gower and Horatio Clare lead listeners on an immersive audio experience of Henllys Vale, delving into its natural beauty and industrial history. The sound walks and film are available to stream at breconbeacons.org/fforest-fawr-geopark.

Horatio Clare was raised in the Bannau Brycheiniog. He said, “It was a huge pleasure to explore this special part of the Bannau Brycheiniog and to have the opportunity to share it with listeners across the world. We were lucky enough to be accompanied by local experts; it was a joy to record their reflections and insights into the Vale.”

Alan Bowring, Geopark Officer for the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, said, “Geodiversity is all around you. It is all the parts of nature that aren’t alive; including everything from minerals and fossils, to soils and spectacular landscapes. It’s wonderful to be celebrating our unique landscape on this day at our Learning Lab, and to share it internationally with the launch of these new virtual experiences.”

International Geodiversity Day is a worldwide celebration, bringing people together on October 6 each year, to promote the many aspects of geodiversity. For more information about Fforest Fawr Geopark, please visit https://www.fforestfawrgeopark.org.uk/