A new Historic Environment Partnership has been initiated for the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, tasked with preparing an action plan to promote the understanding, protection and management of the historic environment. A draft of this plan has now been published and is open to feedback from the public through a six-week consultation period.
The Bannau Brycheiniog National Park is one of Wales’s finest and most treasured landscapes. Thousands of years of human history can be traced in the fabric of these landscapes, from our earliest hunter-gather communities through to the 20th century. The National Park has inherited a wealth of archaeological and built heritage. Prehistoric remains, testifying to ancient ways of life and death, are well preserved in the Park’s uplands.
The Park has many thousands of historic assets recorded within its boundaries. There are nearly 17,000 assets on the Historic Environment Record, including 359 archaeological sites recognised as being of national importance and protected for the benefit of the nation. Eight Landscapes of Outstanding or Special Historic Interest and 18 Historic Parks and Gardens have been identified as some of the best examples in Wales. Nearly 2000 Listed Buildings, five Conservation Areas, and many more regionally or locally important settlements, buildings and structures contribute to the National Park’s special architectural and historic value.
Heritage is extremely important to Wales. It creates employment for around 40,000 people and is an economic driver for the tourism sector: figures show that in 2019 of 75 million day visitors to Wales, 27 million were motivated to visit by the historic environment.
Everyone who owns, manages and visits ancient sites and historic places are responsible for helping to safeguard this precious resource. Working in partnership with colleagues, communities and visitors is essential in promoting understanding, conservation and celebration of our historic environment and cultural heritage.
The aims of the plan are:
- To define a suite of shared objectives and secure commitment to delivery
- To promote the conservation management of the historic environment
- To engage with communities and visitors in promoting understanding of the historic environment and cultural heritage of the Park
- To improve collaboration, resourcing and capacity in order to support projects to enhance, manage, research, monitor, and celebrate the beautiful and varied character of the historic environment and heritage.
Catherine Mealing-Jones, Chief Executive of the Bannau Brycheiniog, said, “Part of the joy of our history is seeing the way things evolve and change. Our historic assets are a finite resource; once destroyed, they are lost forever. Damage, neglect and loss, including loss of access, can affect the value and significance of historic sites. A commitment to managing change carefully is therefore essential, so that we protect what is important and special about our historic assets.
“The historic environment has an essential role to play in contributing to nature recovery, and in the transition to a carbon-neutral future. The continued preservation of the archaeology and historic landscape of the park depends upon sympathetic management by all those whose activities occur within it. We want to work collaboratively on this, and really encourage people to engage with the consultation.”
To read the draft plan and feed back to the Historic Environment Partnership, please visit: https://www.beacons-npa.gov.uk/historic-environment-action-plan/