Books, maps and other things to look at, training opportunities for businesses…
Visit the downloads page for the chance to download a variety of audio-trails and podcasts at Henllys Vale and around Waterfall Country.
Displays & Exhibitions
National Park Visitor Centre
The Centre (also known as ‘the Mountain Centre’) is open 364 days a year. Maps, guides and other Geopark material can be purchased here.
Black Mountain Centre
A new display – “Calch” – featuring the legacy of the former limestone workings high on the Black Mountain was installed in the centre in 2014. It links with new facilities – audio trails and panels – at the old quarries at the top of the mountain road northwards from the centre which is at the heart of Brynaman. See too the series of panels in the centre which feature both old maps and colourful aerial shots of the surrounding area and highlights a long history of human influence on this landscape from quarries to tramways and trackways.
* Please note that the Waterfalls Centre (the ‘Geopark Centre’) at Pontneddfechan has now closed permanently.
Artist Sandra Masterson has worked with the Geopark on several occasions. You can view her latest piece ‘You, Me and Peat’ on YouTube – this short film compares town life and sustainability issues in our uplands. Why not visit her blog on this art/science collaboration in the Brecon area?
Sandra’s previous works include the Geoterrace at Craig-y-nos Country Park and an exhibition, ‘Space to Place’ which drew large numbers of visitors to Brecknock Museum & Art Gallery in 2012.
Several training days for businesses are held in the National Park each year in partnership with Medrwn. Generally free to local tourism businesses.
Brecon Beacons Ambassador Scheme
A very popular ‘Ambassador Scheme‘ operates within the Brecon Beacons National Park. As you’d expect, a number of elements relate to the Geopark and its attractions. More information is available on the National Park website.
Fforest Fawr Geopark Ambassador Scheme
Those tourism operators who have been enrolled as National Park Ambassadors are eligible to take the Fforest Fawr Geopark Ambassador training. The first seven tourism business-people gained their Geopark Ambassador certificates in early 2013 and more followed bringing numbers up to over 90 in early 2018. More training is planned for Autumn/Winter 2022/23 – please contact the Geopark Development Officer for more information.
Dark Sky Ambassador Scheme
Many National Park and Geopark Ambassadors are also Dark Skies Ambassadors, ‘genned up’ on the glories of the heavens above Wales’ first International Dark Sky Reserve. The reserve extends across the whole of the National Park but the darkest skies of all are in the Geopark, in the west.
‘A picture paints a thousand words’ — the same can be said for maps which are in effect a picture of the landscape. There are a range of maps available covering Fforest Fawr Geopark:
Most people will be familiar with Ordnance Survey maps — the key to exploring the countryside on foot or otherwise. Other mapmakers offer similar ‘topographic’ maps too, and at a variety of scales. Find out what’s on offer.
Looking at an old map can reveal what changes have taken place in an area over 50 or 100 years or more — utterly fascinating to see railways come and go, quarries and reservoirs appear and towns and villages expand. Buy one second-hand, inspect a library copy or buy a modern copy of an old map. See what’s available.
What’s that rock? Why do those valleys line up? Questions like these can often be answered with a map showing the underlying geology. The British Geological Survey have been publishing maps for over 150 years — take a look at what they’ve got for this area.
Books and leaflets
A few books, booklets and leaflets which explain what’s going on! Take a look at this list of geology guides — find the one that meets your needs.