20 ways to make your visit to the Brecon Beacons National Park greener
There are loads of ways to make your stay in our National Park more eco-friendly. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Stay longer
A good way to reduce the damaging effects of your journeys is to make fewer of them, and stay longer instead. In the Brecon Beacons National Park, our landscapes are truly varied, with masses of activities and sights on offer. We’re sure you’ll find plenty to inspire you and we would be delighted for you to spin out your stay!
2. Stay somewhere eco-friendly
A growing number of hotels, B&Bs, self-catering properties and campsites within our Park make eco-consciousness a priority by investing in renewable energy systems, using biodegradable products and supporting local businesses and craftsmen, among other forward-thinking measures. To find out more, visit our section on green places to stay.
3. Enjoy locally grown and produced food
We have some superb farms, growers and producers in the Park, and plenty of lovely, local-produce-focussed delis, markets, cafés, pubs and restaurants, so it’s easy to keep your food miles under control. Tuck in! To find out more, visit our section on eating and drinking.
4. Be responsible when you're out and about
While you’re having fun in our Park, please respect this special place. Keep your dog under control to help keep our livestock safe. Stick to paths and tracks wherever possible. Take your litter away with you. And please don’t disturb or feed our wildlife, damage our riverbanks and grasslands or pick our flowers and plants. There’s plenty of good advice in the Countryside Code and the Waterways Code. To find out more, visit our section on safety and good practice.
5. Pull on your boots and go for a walk
Walking and hiking have a low environmental impact and immense benefits. Many of our best walking trails are accessible by bus. Pull on your boots and explore! To find out more, visit our section on walking.
6. Leave the car behind
It’s well worth checking out the public transport options before deciding to travel to our Park by car. You may be surprised at how easy and convenient it can be to get here by bus, train or a combination of the two. And once you’re here, it’s a breeze to get around by bus, bike, boat or on foot. To find out more, visit our pages on getting here and getting around.
7. Support our National Park
The Brecon Beacons National Park is a non-profit-making organisation dedicated to protecting the natural environment and thriving communties of this special area. Your donations make the Park what it is today. If you have time, you could join our volunteer programme, too. To find out more, visit our online shop or call in at a National Park information centre.
8. Fall in love with our flora and fauna
The sheer variety of habitats in our National Park ensures that there are a great many interesting species to be discovered here, from rare trees to adorable otters. To find out more, visit our pages on wildlife-watching, birdwatching and nature trails.
9. Bring binoculars
We can’t guarantee that you’ll get close to our wildlife, so binoculars will really enhance your experience. It’s also far better to examine plants through binoculars than to leave a path to approach more closely, possibly damaging a delicate habitat in the process.
10. Go cruising on an electric boat
You can cruise the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal on a quiet, eco-friendly electric dayboat or narrowboat. To find out more, visit our page on greener travel.
11. Zip around in an electric car
If you’d like to travel around our Park by car, consider hiring an electric car while you’re here. The Eco Travel Network (www.ecotravelnetwork.co.uk) hires out a fleet of environmentally-friendly Renault Twizy electric cars through a small selection of tourist businesses in our park. You’ll find pay-as-you-go charging points at local attractions, activity centres, accommodation and places to eat and drink all over our Park. To find out more, visit our page on greener travel.
12. Drive safely
Careful driving can have a very positive effect on your fuel efficiency. Please drive safely and remember that you will be sharing our roads with cyclists, walkers and horse riders. Livestock are sometimes driven along our country lanes. On open common land, sheep, cattle and Welsh mountain ponies often graze close to the road.
13. Visit in different seasons
Crowds of visitors can create pressure in any natural environment, so why not opt for one of the quieter times of year? Summer is a fabulous time to be in the Brecon Beacons but every season brings its own joys and surprises. Discover spring birdsong, spectacular autumn colours and the fresh clean air of winter.
14. Learn a traditional craft
Help keep our heritage alive by learning about eco-friendly traditional construction at Ty-Mawr Farm (www.lime.org.uk), which also hosts coracle-building courses. To find out more, visit our page on Llangorse Lake. Or get in touch with Good Day Out (www.gooddayout.co.uk) in Brecon for details of hedge-laying courses, pottery sessions and other fun activities that help support local wildlife, conservation and heritage projects. Alternatively, you could join a creative workshop – to find out more, visit our page on art and craft events.
15. Visit a water-powered mill
The small market town of Talgarth is home to a historic flour mill that has been restored to full working order. You can learn how to mill flour and make bread the traditional way, or just treat yourself to a first class lunch. To find out more, visit our page on Talgarth Mill.
16. Get on your bike
You can cover a lot of ground on two wheels, whether you choose to pedal gently along the towpath of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal or bomb along on one of our high-octane mountain biking trails. To find out more, visit our section on cycling and mountain biking.
17. Go paddling or boating
18. Stare up at the stars
Thanks to a concerted community effort to save energy and minimise light pollution, the entire Brecon Beacons National Park has been declared an International Dark Sky Reserve. On a clear night, look up, and enjoy. To find out more, visit our section on stargazing.
19. Go horse riding
Horse riding and pony trekking count among our most enjoyable means of vehicle-free transport. You can’t beat the sense of freedom you get from exploring our open hillsides on horseback. To find out more, visit our pages on horse riding and pony trekking.
20. Let your hair down at the Green Man Festival
Now one of the biggest annual music festivals in Wales, Green Man (www.greenman.net) hasn’t let its principles slide. Held in August, it remains determinedly independent, non-commercial and environmentally conscious. To find out more, visit our page on festivals.