Tourism businesses have signed up to take part in the free Geopark Ambassador course which starts rolling out from the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority on Thursday, November 22. The two day course aims to give participants the information they need about the geological and archaeological riches of Fforest Fawr Geopark so that they can share their specialist knowledge with customers visiting this special landscape and make their visit even more interesting.
The initiative is based on the successful National Park Ambassadors model run by the Authority in recent years. The scheme is funded by the Authority’s Rural Alliances project, and sees free workshops offered to local businesses to give them the information they need to engage and inspire visitors to explore the Bannau Brycheiniog.
Since the original scheme was launched in January 2010 more than 120 local businesses have completed the course and become official National Park Ambassadors, and it is hoped the Geopark Ambassador project will be just as successful and rewarding.
14 National Park Ambassadors have now registered to take part in the first day of the Geopark Ambassadors course at Craig-y-nos Country Park on Thursday, November 22. Those present will learn more about the international role of geoparks, the bedrock geology of Fforest Fawr Geopark, and take a field trip to the former quarrying village of Penwyllt. The inaugural Geopark Ambassador workshop will be supplemented by a second course day at Pontneddfechan in Waterfall Country in February next year.
The Geopark Ambassador course is open to local businesses that have already completed the National Park Ambassador scheme. The first course is fully-subscribed, but the Authority hopes to lay on another Geopark Ambassadors course in autumn next year to cater for the high demand.
Alan Bowring, Geopark Development Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, said: “Tourism businesses understand that many of their visitors appreciate that added value which Geopark status brings to an area, to get a chance to dig deeper and get a more in-depth feel for the place. Geopark Ambassadors will be well-placed to help them get the most out of their visit to a first class European and Global Geopark.”
Julie James, Chairman of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said: “I’m delighted to see that tourism businesses in the Fforest Fawr Geopark have taken up this opportunity. By participating in the Geopark Ambassador course tourism providers are not only showing a great deal of pride and interest in where they live, but they’re also showing a great willingness to better serve visitors to this geologically important part of the National Park.”
For further information about the Fforest Fawr Geopark please log on to www.fforestfawrgeopark.org.uk or www.geoparcfforestfawr.org.uk. Alternatively, contact Alan Bowring on 01874 620415.