Geopark Festival celebrates Wales’ hard rock

The 7th annual Fforest Fawr Geopark Festival is running from 21st May – 5th June embracing many exciting outdoor and geology-based events from walks, talks, town history tours, plant life, fossils, waterfalls, art, burial cairns, the last ice age and of course the Bannau Brycheiniog themselves – all designed to suit the whole family and highlight the special qualities of Fforest Fawr Geopark. 

Alan Bowring, Geopark Development Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:  “Although this is a celebration of the European Geoparks Network, at a local level this is the perfect opportunity for the public to explore the wildlife, landscapes and geology of the Fforest Fawr Geopark in the company of inspiring and leading experts in their fields.  There is something for everyone during the Fforest Fawr Geopark Festival, so whether you’re a child or an adult; a geologist or an enthusiast, come along and enjoy the fun.”

Cllr Krishn Pathak, Member for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:  “The range of events taking place during this year’s Geoparks Festival is fantastic and we are very proud to be part of such a prestigious network of Global Geoparks.  I’m particularly excited about seeing our communities and visitors come together to join in events that are not just about geology but about celebrating the amazing heritage and culture of the western area  of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park and the people who live in it.”

Fforest Fawr joins 42 other European Geoparks which run events about their special and diverse geology during the European Geoparks Festival. Other special events include a ‘Waterfalls, Gorges and Woodlands Walk’ in Waterfall Country on Sunday 22nd May,  an evening talk by Dr Jenny Pike of Cardiff University at Brecon Guildhall on Antarctic Climate Evolution talking about clues from the ocean floor  on Tuesday 24th May, an exploration from the new Garwnant Visitor Centre in the Taff Valley with Forestry Commission Wales on Saturday 28th May,  and a ‘Mysterious Valley and a Medieval Message’ tour exploring the secret hidden message concealed on stone hidden in the Criban Valley  on  Wednesday 1st June and much much more besides. 

All events are listed in the National Park Visitor Guide which is available from all National Park Visitor Centres and Tourist Information Centres (including Brecon, Llandovery, Abergavenny and Hay on Wye) or downloaded from the National Park website or is available

For further information please log onto  or visit the European Geoparks Network website  or contact Alan Bowring on 01874 620 415 or by e-mail  


Picture credits:  Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority
Photographs taken near on the Nant Lech Trail (Tawe Headwaters) and in Waterfall Country


1. The European Geoparks Festival is an annual event that occurs throughout the European Geoparks Network at the same time each year.  The European Geoparks Festival aims to raise awareness of the European Geoparks Network by celebrating both Europe’s common geological history and the role that each individual Geopark plays within this.

2. In October 2005, Fforest Fawr Geopark was awarded membership of the highly prestigious European Geoparks Network and UNESCO-assisted Global Geoparks Network. Fforest Fawr Geopark incorporates some of Wales’ most stunning natural and man-made attractions, including Carreg Cennen Castle, the Black Mountain, Pen y Fan, Craig-y-nos Country Park, Brecon Mountain Railway, National Park reservoirs and our own National Park Visitor Centre, near Brecon. 

3. Fforest Fawr was the FIRST European Geopark in Wales and is still the ONLY Geopark within a national park in the UK – something for Bannau Brycheiniog to be proud of!

4. Other events include:
Monday 23 May       19:00 – 20:30                 
• Coelbren, Henrhyd and Nant Llech
A talk by Joe Daggett of the National Trust and Alan Bowring of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority on aspects of the area with an emphasis on its geology, landscape and industrial archaeology
Venue: Coelbren church, Heol Eglwys, Coelbren (OS Grid ref SN 850116)                      
Entry: FREE
Tuesday 24 May       19:00-20:30      
• Antarctic Climate Evolution: clues from the ocean floor
A keynote talk for the Festival from Antarctic researcher Dr Jenny Pike of Cardiff University.
Venue: The Guildhall, Brecon (opposite HSBC bank), plentiful parking in Cattle Market car park                         
Ticket price: £2.50 on the door
Wednesday 25 May                19:00-20:30                        
• Brynaman & the Twrch Trwyth Trail
A talk by Dr Tony Ramsay and Margaret and Alun Isaac on the trail of the mythical boar Twrch Trwyth from the Irish Sea to the Severn Sea.
Venue: Black Mountain Centre, Brynaman (OS grid reference SN 714143), parking opposite. Ticket price: FREE

Thursday 26 May                      19:00-20:30                        
• The Geological Evolution of South Wales
A talk on a fascinating topic by Dr Geraint Owen of Swansea University.
Venue: Miners Welfare Hall, Abercraf in the upper Swansea Valley/Cwm Tawe
Ticket price: FREE

Friday 27 May                            19:30-21:00                        
• Perceptions of Nature; a cross-cultural approach via stone
Join us for a talk at Brecknock Museum & Art Gallery by Prof. Marc Lucas of the Ecole des Mines, Paris in conjunction with the
exhibition of ‘Art in Natural Stone’ (which is to be held at Garwnant Visitor Centre) and subsequently touring the area.
Venue: Brecknock Museum & Art Gallery, Brecon                    Entry: FREE
Thursday 2 June                       19:00-20:30                        
• Mapping Breconshire
A talk by Dr Adrian Humpage of the British Geological Survey on the process of putting together new geology maps of the county.
Venue: The Guildhall, Brecon, Postcode: LD3 7AL                      Ticket price: £2.50 on the door