On the day of its 66th anniversary, the Brecon Beacons national park in south Wales has ditched its English-language name in favour of the Welsh ‘Bannau Brycheiniog’, pronounced ‘Ban-eye Bruck-ein-iog’ or ‘The Bannau’ for short.
‘Bannau’ is the plural of ‘ban’, which translates to ‘peak’, while ‘Brycheinog’ was the name of the Kingdom of the fifth-century King Brychan. In English, the name can be understood as the ‘Peaks of Brychan’s Kingdom’.
The rebrand is part of the park’s efforts to address the climate crisis. To announce the switch-up, it released a poignant promotional film, written by novelist and poet Owen Sheers and featuring Welsh actor Michael Sheen. The clip highlights the impact of pollution, litter and wildfires on the area and how essential it is to revive its biodiversity.
The park has also planned to swap its logo of a burning beacon for a crest-shaped design that incorporates images of a crown, the night sky and the Welsh landscape.
The national park’s management has said that there isn’t actually any evidence of beacons ever actually burning in the area, and the fact that they emit greenhouse gases does not exactly fit with the organisation’s climate aims.
Catherine Mealing-Jones, the park authority chief executive, 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.’
The announcement echoes a similar move by Snowdonia National park last year when it adopted a Welsh-language name to become known as Eryri National Park. And while the name isn’t expected to catch on immediately, it is hoped that visitors to Brycheinog Bannau will eventually embrace the official new Welsh title.