The BGS has been working closely with the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and other partners including Cardiff University & the Sleeping giant foundation to achieve European and UNESCO Geopark status for Fforest Fawr, the western area of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Fforest Fawr is the first European Geopark in Wales, and the first area within a UK National Park to achieve this designation.
After two years of work, this coveted designation was awarded at the Sixth European Geoparks Network Conference held 4-8th October on Lesvos Island, Greece. Fforest Fawr is only the 24th area to be designated in the five year existence of the European Geoparks Network and the application was enhanced by the recent publication of new BGS geological maps which cover much of the Geopark area.
The European Geoparks Network was established in 2000 under the auspices of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) as a mechanism to use geology and geological heritage to promote sustainable economic development within a territory.