Understanding

An appreciation of the landscape of Fforest Fawr Geopark comes from understanding its geology and all that arises from it.

The rocks have so many stories to tell and this section introduces you to some of them.  But it’s not just what’s under the ground that counts – what you see today when you look around the Geopark is an endlessly fascinating stretch of countryside with a past, a present and a future.

For an introduction to an inspiring landscape, let Ivor Coleman take you on a trip through Fforest Fawr Geopark in this short video.

Take a short cut to understanding the Geopark by joining us on a walk, especially during the Fforest Fawr Geopark Festival (in celebration of European Geoparks Week) which takes place across the western half of the Brecon Beacons National Park at the end of May/start of June each year.

Human stories are intimately interwoven with those of the natural world.  Study of the archaeology of the area tells us that people have lived here for at least 7000 years.  During this time they have brought about great changes to a wild land shaped by its geology. They have prised stone and minerals from these hills and built roads and railways, towns and villages – indeed the use of stone in building can be seen in every town and village of the Geopark.

The extraordinary industrial development of South Wales from the 18th to the 20th century has left its considerable mark on the southern fringes of the Geopark.

Centuries of farming have modified the natural look of the landscape. However it very much remains a place for wildlife – the interplay of people and nature has left a mosaic of habitats, some virtually unique to this area.

It is also an area rich in cultural heritage – throughout history stories have been woven around these hills  – the ‘Physicians of Myddfai’ and the ‘Lady of the Lake’ are but two of the better known legends.

Many of these stories are reflected in the place names which decorate this landscape – understand them and the landscape will come alive.

Dip into these pages and get a feel for Fforest Fawr Geopark.  You will be surprised at how much there is to it! And don’t forget that our growing team of Geopark Ambassadors can help you get to know the place too.