If You're Still Calling These Welsh Mountains The Brecon Beacons, You're Wrong

It's going back to its roots.
Formally the Brecon Beacons, now the Bannau Brycheiniog
Yui Mok via PA Wire/PA Images
Formally the Brecon Beacons, now the Bannau Brycheiniog

The Brecon Beacons are officially no more, as the park authority is dropping its well-known name and logo in a bid to honour the area’s Welsh origins.

As of Monday, the national park is dropping the English language name in favour of the old Welsh moniker: Bannau Brycheiniog (pronounced Ban-eye Bruck-ein-iog).

The name comes from the plural of the word for peak in Welsh – ban – and the word to describe the kingdom of a 5th Century king, Brychan. The exact translation is the Peaks of Brychan’s Kingdom.

Informally known as The Bannau, the mountains will no longer have the logo which resembles a firey, carbon polluting peak either.

Instead, there’s now a king’s crown and a star in between two peaks, which authorities say now fits the park’s ethos – especially as there is no evidence of burning ever happening within the Bannau.

The new name and logo
@BreconBeacons YouTube
The new name and logo

The change is meant to honour the local authorities’ new approach to tackle the climate crisis and increasing biodiversity within the park.

It is hoping to reach net zero for greenhouse gas emissions across the area by 2035, along with clean, safe water by 2030.

The name change also represents a commitment to the Welsh language, and now applies to the 520 square miles of the park – an area which stretches far beyond the actual summits.

Alongside these alterations, a short film called ‘Cynefin’ starring actor Michael Sheen (who comes from south Wales), has been released. He explains that the film’s title means “a landscape which, as you step into it, feels like arriving at your hearth”.

Written by novelist, poet and playwright Owen Sheers – also raised in Wales – the four-minute video does not shy away from the pollution which marks the park, either.

It claims the area is “hooked” on fossil fuels, and young people have been forced out by the lack of well-paid jobs and affordable homes.

But, it also expresses hope about a better future for the entire of the Bannau – and Sheen describes how the name change represents “an old name for a new way of being”.

Park authority CEO Catherine Mealing-Jones said: “The more we looked into it the more we realised the name Brecon Beacons doesn’t make any sense.

“It’s a very English description of something that probably never happened. A massive carbon-burning brazier is not a good look for an environmental organisation.”

She added that no-one is demanding that the summits be exclusively known as that, but just that it will “gradually” catch on.

Mealing-Jones also touched on the changes they hope to implement for the local community over the next few years.

“People are making a living in the park. There are still sheep on the hills, still cattle grazing,” she explained.

“But there are more trees, peatland is being restored, species are coming back. There are small-scale market gardens, small wind turbines, vineyards, water being slowed down. It is a reinvention of what a national park is all about, a picture of hope for the future.”