Y Bannau: The Future
The Management Plan sets out five bold missions to shape the future of the National Park and is an invitation to other organisations and individuals to collaborate in making that future a reality. The Management Plan for Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park – a plan for the geographic area of the National Park – is critical in galvanising the action needed to respond to the climate, nature, and well-being crises, and to maintain the National Park’s special qualities for now and future generations.
The Role of the Management Plan
The National Park Authority is required by section 66(1) of the 1995 Environment Act to prepare and keep under review a Management Plan for their area. The Management Plan should set out how the purposes and duty of the National Park (our statutory objectives) will be met within the geographic area of the Plan. The Plan is produced by the National Park Authority, however, it is developed in consultation with a range of stakeholders with the aim of defining a shared vision for the area.
Previous Management Plans
The last Plan: Managing Change Together was published in 2010. The first review was completed and published in 2015, putting well-being at the heart of the National Park.
Since then, there have been significant shifts in the context in which the Plan operates, most notably the recognition by world leaders that we are facing a climate emergency and biodiversity crisis. The world has also experienced the coronavirus pandemic and the UK is facing a cost-of-living crisis.
A Plan for Bannau Brycheiniog
The Management Plan is not just a Plan for the National Park Authority and it’s staff, moreover, the task of managing Y Bannau is not for the National Park Authority alone. It is a shared task to be undertaken by all those who live/work in and/or have some statutory obligation to the area. For some this is a legal obligation in accordance with S62(2) of the Environment Act 1995, for others it is a voluntary arrangement undertaken in recognition of the value of the area for nature and people. The Management Plan is the key document that coordinates this collaborative task, to ensure that our collective action is done to deliver on our purposes and duty, and to conserve this area for the benefit of future generations.
To this end, Y Bannau: The Future, the Management Plan for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park is a plan of national significance and must be taken into consideration in the development of other statutory documents, such as Local Development Plans, Strategic Development Plans and other plans, programmes and policies which could have a bearing on the National Park and its special qualities.
Welsh Government Priorities for National Parks in Wales
In May 2022, the Welsh Government wrote to the three Welsh National Park Authorities setting out how it sees the Authorities working to deliver their Purposes and Duty.
This Term of Government Remit Letter for the National Park Authorities in Wales includes a range of measures and in particular it asks Welsh National Park Authorities to align their work with the Welsh Government’s well-being objectives. The Minister says:
In particular, I want to see National Parks become exemplars in responding to the climate and nature emergency. You are uniquely placed to engage with the communities within your boundaries to develop solutions which deliver benefits for people and the environment.
Well-Being Of Future Generations Act (2015)
The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 is ground-breaking Welsh legislation that defines a series of well-being goals for the nation and requires public bodies to embed these goals into their own objective-setting and policymaking.
The Act also ensures that policy documents such as this one, are produced collaboratively and integrate across the range of public service providers.
The Management Plan forms the statutory Well-being Plan for Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park.
The Well-being of Future Generations Act includes the goal to become ‘globally responsible’ to create “a nation which, when doing anything to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Wales, takes account of whether doing such a thing may make a positive contribution to global well-being.”
Our objective in implementing the National Park’s statutory purposes and duty is to contribute positively to this globally responsible well-being goal, and to avoid actions that could be to the detriment of the global environment, society, and economy.
Area Statements produced by Natural Resources Wales in accordance with their duties under the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, set out a strategy for the better management of natural resources for the benefit of future generations. As the name suggests, the statements are based on spatial areas. There are seven covering Wales, of which four cover the National Park area.
- Mid Wales
- South East Wales
- South Central Wales
- South West Wales
Environment (Wales) Act 2016
Section 6 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 places a duty on the National Park Authority as a public body to seek to maintain and enhance biodiversity in the exercise of its functions in relation to the National Park area, and in so doing promote the resilience of ecosystems.
State of Natural Resources Report (2020) (SoNaRr)
Natural Resources Wales must prepare and publish a report containing an assessment of the state of Natural Resources in Wales (SoNaRr). SoNaRr is a key document in the preparation of National Park Management Plans. The most recent SoNaRr highlights the need for public sector bodies to leverage change to tackle the nature and climate emergencies, using transformative change across ecosystem, economic and social systems.