The Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark, the park within the Park, covers the western half of the National Park, stretching from Llandovery in the north to Merthyr Tydfil in the south and Llandeilo in the west to Brecon in the east. A cracked and crumpled layer-cake of rocks, 470 million years in the making.
Designated a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2015, Fforest Fawr is one of over 150 geoparks worldwide, recognised by UNESCO for their distinctive geology. The geopark celebrates the area’s history and how geology bears on the history, archaeology, natural and human life of the area. UNESCO Global Geopark status provides a high-profile platform for broadening understanding and deepening the connections people have with landscapes and the story of carbon, whilst providing opportunities to improve health and wellbeing alongside socio-economic benefits. It explains how geodiversity underpins biodiversity, giving rise to a variety of soil types and the habitats which arise from that diversity, and providing the basis for human exploitation of mineral wealth and the communities and culture which arose from this activity.
The Geopark offers a unique opportunity for looking back in time, helping us to understand how issues we are addressing today arose and offering insights into our future relationship with the land. It explains why places are where they are, their identity and unique sense of place in both built and natural heritage. It provides a platform through which partners and communities can be engaged with our shared natural and cultural history, and a delivery mechanism for tourism-led regeneration along the Park’s southern fringe.
The Geopark celebrates its industrial legacy, makes connections across landscapes beyond the Park’s boundaries, and uses its international status to bring about social, economic and ecological benefits. It enables the celebration of the area’s industrial legacy, makes connections across the landscape, beyond the Park’s boundaries and using the Geopark’s international status, can bring about social, economic and ecological benefits.