The Black Mountains Land Use Partnership has recently kicked off the first phase of its public outreach programme funded through the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Management Scheme.
Seventeen Mountain and Moorland Ambassadors completed their first training session on Table Mountain near Crickhowell, and local school children experienced the mountains first hand as part of an effort to make people more aware of what is special about the area.
The two day Mountain and Moorland Ambassador Course focuses on providing knowledge about the area covering topics such as bracken management, peatland restoration and visitor management. Participants also receive information about local farming practices, geology, archaeology and history with the inclusion of a visit to the mountains. The aim is to raise local awareness of the Black Mountains and the issues the area is facing. Through engagement with the tourism industry, the partnership hopes to improve the long-term sustainable management of the region.
Partners have also launched an education programme working with 12 local schools over the next 3 years, visiting local farms and sites like Hay Bluff. They hope to inspire more than 300 school children to appreciate and understand what is special about the Black Mountains, how farming is important for wildlife and for people, and what they can do to make a difference for the future. Schoolchildren will also be taught how visitors can have an impact on the land and about the effects of climate change.
Julian Atkins, CEO Bannau Brycheiniog National Park said;
“The Black Mountains Land Use Partnership has many different strands and functions. The Mountain and Moorland Ambassador course allows participants to gain an in depth knowledge of the area which can then be passed on to visitors; we hope the course will improve knowledge within the tourism industry of the needs of land managers and issues linked to managing visitor pressures.
At the same time, by taking local schoolchildren onto Hay Bluff, our Education Officers are educating future generations on important rural topics and are also inspiring them to become active outdoors which is fundamental for their physical and mental health.”
Phil Stocker, Chairman of the Black Mountains Land Use Partnership added;
“It is great to see this really important part of the project underway. Increasing awareness and understanding among adults and children about the Black Mountains, the intricate management that is behind this iconic area, and the challenges we face is a fundamental part of the Black Mountains Land Use Partnership. It is also encouraging to see how different partners are working together successfully to implement the various parts of the project.”
The Black Mountains Land Use Partnership brings together farmers and graziers who live, work and manage livestock on the Black Mountains, to work alongside landowners, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, Natural Resources Wales and Dwr Cymru Welsh Water collaborating on the management of the Black Mountains. The project is funded through Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
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