A selection of websites which may be of interest
Please note that Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark is not responsible for the content of external websites.
Fforest Fawr is a member of the UNESCO Global Geopark Network, within which are regional networks such as the European Geoparks Network of which it is also a member.
A selection of relevant organisations’ websites:
- British Geological Survey (BGS) – the world’s oldest national geological survey and the premier UK centre for earth science information and expertise.
- Coflein (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales/RCAHMW)
- Mineral Products Association
- National Stone Centre
- National Trust
- National Museum Wales
- Natural Resources Wales
- Welsh Stone Forum
Local and regional bodies
A selection of relevant organisations’ websites from South Wales:
- Brecon Beacons Park Society – walks, talks and more across the area
- Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust – within the Geopark, CPAT covers the former county of Brecknockshire
- Dyfed Archaeological Trust – covers the Carmarthenshire section of the Geopark
- Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust – covers the Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda-Cynon-Taf sections of the Geopark
- Heart of Wales Line – the railway between Shrewsbury and Swansea which runs by Llandovery, Llangadog and Llandeilo on the northwestern edge of the Geopark.
- South Wales Group of the Geologists’ Association – field meets, guides and talks
- Cymdeithas Edward Llwyd – Wales-wide Welsh language natural history society
- The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales – nature reserves in Carmarthenshire, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda-Cynon-Taf parts of the Geopark and, since 2018, incorporating the former Brecknock Wildlife Trust in the Powys section.
The Geopark extends across parts of five different unitary authorities, each of which provides a variety of local services, usually including countryside management, museums and tourism.
- Carmarthenshire County Council
- Merthyr Tydfil CBC
- Neath Port Talbot CBC
- Powys County Council
- Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC
- Association for Science Education (ASE)
- Cardiff University (School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences)
- Earth Science Education Forum (ESEF)
- Swansea University
- Onegeology – new international project making geological map data for the Earth available in one place.
- Aside from our own Fforest Fawr Geopark Festival (end of May/start June each year), there are other excellent opportunities for an introduction to the landscapes and cultural heritage of the wider region such as the Crickhowell Walking Festival (March), the Talgarth Walking Festival (start May each year), the Gower Walking Festival (early June), the Roots and Routes Festival (throughout the year within the east of the Bannau Brycheiniog (formerly Brecon Beacons) National Park, exploring links between the Blaenavon World Heritage Site and the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal) and the Wales Valleys Walking Festival (each September).
UNESCO Sites in the UK
World Heritage Sites
UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation) designates sites around the world which are deemed to make a significant contribution to mankind’s global heritage. Three have been designated for their nature and wildlife (including geology) within the UK:
- Giant’s Causeway (& Causeway Coast)
- Jurassic Coast (Dorset & East Devon)
- St Kilda (off NW coast of Scotland)
As of August 2021, there are four sites inscribed on the World Heritage List within Wales:
- Blaenavon Industrial Landscape WHS – an industrial landscape originating in man’s exploitation of the geological riches of the area during the C19th. This WHS lies partly within the Bannau Brycheiniog (formerly Brecon Beacons) National Park.
- The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales – a celebration of a region which enabled Wales to ‘roof the world’ in the C19th. It was inscribed in 2021.
- Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Llangollen Canal, – another site celebrating former industry, inscribed in 2009.
- Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd – a remarkable survival of C12th/13th military architecture from a colonial period, and which was inscribed in 1986.
The Dyfi Biosphere Reserve in the Machynlleth area of west mid Wales is worth a visit – designated in 2009, it’s one of 6 in the UK as a whole but it’s the only Welsh one!
- Antrim Geopark (Northern Ireland)
- Arran Aspiring Geopark (Scotland)
- Charnwood Forest Aspiring Geopark (England)
- Jersey Aspiring Geopark (not part of UK)
There are two other areas in the UK which were once members of the EGN but now operate independently:
Other geological wonders of South & Mid Wales
- Aberdulais Falls are a few miles down the Vale of Neath from our own ‘Waterfall Country’ – cared for by our Geopark partners, the National Trust.
- Dolaucothi has been the scene of gold mining since Roman times or earlier – also cared for by the National Trust.
- Herbert’s Quarry on the Black Mountain was the subject of the Calch project.