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Bannau Brycheiniog: Concerns raised over renaming of Brecon Beacons | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #hacking | #aihp

The National Park Authority that oversees the park chose to use the Welsh name of Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog from April 17 when referring to the park, rather than the Brecon Beacons name.

Many in the tourism industry in the boundary of the park have criticised the decision, saying it was done without consultation, but others have supported it with the potential boost to the Welsh language from rebranding.

Ashford Price, chairman of Dan Yr Ogof, the National Showcaves Centre for Wales, said he has had ‘countless emails and phone calls’ from ‘furious tourism operators’ concerning the rebranding, highlighting that they do not have an issue with using Welsh names.

He said he would have been happy if the authority had continued to promote both the Welsh and English translation.

“Some years ago, the Wales Tourist Board in an extensive national survey asked people what were the top iconic names that they associated with Wales,” he said.

“Snowdonia National Park, Pembrokeshire National Park, Brecon Beacons National Park, came up as the top three names most people associated with Wales in this survey.

“For the Welsh tourism industry to have the established name of Brecon Beacons National Park is an ‘iconic marketing tool’ universally known and without a doubt the name attracts the attention of millions of people who might be thinking of visiting Wales.

“Even the Prime Minister has commented that the name is universally known!”

He continued: “This park authority have always had an uncanny knack of upsetting local people with their attitude that they are the ‘elite’ and always knowing what is best for the locals. The decision to change their name to just Bannau Brycheiniog was done with no tourism consultation.”

Mr Price also pointed out the potential issues of referring to the park by its Welsh name, highlighting the history of the King it is named after.

Brycheiniog refers to the kingdom of the ancient King Brychan which was roughly the area within the national park’s boundary.

Western Telegraph: King BrychanKing Brychan (Image: Menter Brycheiniog&Maesyfed/Wikimedia Commons)

The Irish-born king, with a Welsh mother and Irish prince for a father, was born in 419 AD. According to Hywel David Emanuel on the Dictionary of Welsh Biography, he was said to have been given as a hostage by his father to Benadel, the king of Powys.

It is what was said to have happened here that Mr Price believes leads to where the issues with the name can lie.

Mr Price said: “Historical records state that he grew up to be a ruthlessly fierce warrior and would collect his enemies’ dismembered limbs after a battle and display their chopped up remains as trophies!

“However, Welsh history records that King Brychan of Brycheiniog has really only one very dubious claim to historical fame.

“The king was in fact a ‘notorious lecher’ who prayed on the women of his kingdom and may have fathered up to 63 children!

“It is recorded that he even raped the king of Powys’ daughter whilst being held hostage, and had three or four wives, but their fate is not recorded.”

The Dictionary of Welsh Biography does note that while he was held hostage he ‘violated’ the king of Powys’ daughter Banadlinet, who later gave birth to a son called Cynog.

There are questions as to how many wives and children Brychan had, with lists ranging from 11 to 63 children, although the Dictionary of Welsh Biography states that he had 11 sons and 25 daughters, after researching various historical records.

Brychan is also noted as a saint, with a feast day on April 6. His family is known as one of the saintly tribes, with a number of his children being venerated over the following years.

Mr Price continued: “Promoting the name Brycheiniog as part of the park’s new rebranded title may not be wise as it is so closely connected with a sexual predator, and this name may also upset the residents of park, as who would want their national park associated so closely with a rapist, and a king with such an appalling record regarding his treatment of women?”

Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Chief Executive, Catherine Mealing-Jones, said: “With four million plus visitors to the Bannau each year, we know we can’t put a fence around nature – we have to be proactive. Our new management plan tackles climate change head on as we transition to net zero by 2035.

“Action will be happening across the Bannau to restore nature’s ability to capture carbon from the atmosphere.  

“We want to create thriving and sustainable places celebrated for their cultural and natural heritage. If we get this right, Bannau Brycheiniog can be an exemplar for other National Parks to follow.

“Reclaiming our old name reflects our commitment to the Welsh language, but we understand people are used to calling the Park by the name everyone’s used for 66 years so we don’t expect everyone to use Bannau Brycheiniog, at least straight away.”

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