Andrew RT Davies vents frustration over Brecon Beacons National Park Welsh name
The leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies has vented his frustrations over plans for Brecon Beacons National Park to use only its Welsh name in the future.
From Monday – the 66th anniversary of the park’s national designation – Brecon Beacons National Park will drop the English version of the name and will only use ‘Bannau Brycheiniog’, pronounced Ban-eye Bruck-ein-iog – or the Bannau for short.
The park’s CEO yesterday announced the switch was a direct response to the climate and ecological crisis and would promotes the areas culture and heritage.
But the Welsh Tory leader has said the renaming of the park, known for its stunning Welsh hills and mountains, should not be a priority and suggested altering then name could confuse visitors from other parts of the UK.
In a Tweet posted online on today, RT Davies said: “It’s just a hunch, but I sense the Welsh people won’t think renaming the Brecon Beacons should be a priority.
“The Beacons are as recognisable outside of Wales are they are here. Why undermine that?”
The Welsh Tory leader also included a Welsh and British flag emoji in the Tweet.
One Twitter user asked RT Davies: “Why do you hate Welsh people having our own language and identity.”
To which the Tory leader replied: “I do not.”
The use of the Welsh name is part of efforts to overhaul the park’s management as it seeks to restore tree cover, wetlands, hedgerows, peaty bogs and wildflowers as well as introducing localised renewable energy sources like small wind turbines.
Welsh speakers have argued the name hasn’t been “changed” as to many its always been known as Bannau Brycheiniog – but rather the English translation is being dropped due to the fact the park is in Wales.
RT Davies was accused by Twitter users as being “anti-Welsh” with one person posting: “Why am I not surprised to see you against something positive for Wales.
It’s just a hunch, but I sense the Welsh people won’t think renaming the Brecon Beacons should be a priority 🤷♂️
The Beacons are as recognisable outside of Wales as they are here 🏴🇬🇧
Why undermine that?
— Andrew RT Davies (@AndrewRTDavies) April 17, 2023
The Chairman for the North Wales Conservatives, Bernard Gentry, seemingly agreed with the Welsh Tory leader’s opinion and posted: “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
Twitter users hit back at Mr Gentry with some arguing that ‘Bannau Brycheiniog’ was the area’s original name and that reinstating it was the actual “fix”.
One person posted: “It was broke, now it’s on its way to being fixed.”
Catherine Mealing-Jones, the park’s CEO, said the reason behind the name change – which has been welcomed by many people in Wales – is because the park had been shaped by Welsh people and Welsh culture.
The CEO said: “The translation Brecon Beacons doesn’t really mean anything in Welsh. We’d always had the name Bannau Brycheiniog as the Welsh translation and we just felt we needed to put that front and centre as an expression about the new way we wanted to be celebrating Welsh people, Welsh culture, Welsh food, Welsh farming – all of the things that need to come with us as we go through this change in the management plan.”
Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for the Welsh Language, Heledd Fychan MS said: “From Garn Goch and Carreg Cennen in the west, to the peaks of Pen y Fan, Cribyn and Corn Du – the Welsh language is already central to the Bannau Brycheiniog.
“Plaid Cymru has consistently called on the government to protect Welsh place names in law, and this decision by the National Park is a positive step in normalising the use of Welsh.
“That’s because, in reclaiming our original Welsh names, we can reclaim our heritage, which is vital if we want our language to continue to play a role in Wales’ future.”
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