This website has been developed by volunteers within BALM with financial assistance from Carmarthenshire County Council, historical information from Oxford University and Dyfed Areological Trust and funding from the European Union to help provide information for local schools, residents, and visitors on the heritage of the ancient forest of Glyn Cothi, currently known as Brechfa Forest and Llanllwni Mountain. The Woodland Trust have also kindly given us permission to provide links to their suggestions for free activities for children and families visiting the countryside.
The culture and landscape of a forest based community is very different to that of an agricultural based society. Before records began our community was established by sharing the benefits and work of caring for our forest. Throughout the centuries the Norman Invasion, National politics and more recently technological advances have changed the way our forest supports our community, but have never diminished its central role in the communities identity and existence.
Our aim in developing this website is to start to raise awareness of the heritage of this ancient forest and its importance in the history of Wales and the UK over the centuries. We not only wish to make it easy for people to plan their own walks, rides or family days out in the area, but also ensure that the forest and mountain continue to support employment by encouraging people to visit village shops, pubs or stay in accommodation in the villages encircling the site of the Ancient Forest of Glyn Cothi.
Sustainable tourism supporting the development of sustainable communities where the money spent by visitors supports the creation of employment opportunities are currently key phrases in Welsh Government and UK Government policy. Our forest has played that role within our community for over 800 years. To continue that tradition, volunteers have committed to maintain this website.
BALM consists of a group of volunteers working together on projects for the benefit of the community and there is currently no charge for membership.
During this period of lock down we have removed all tourism businesses from the links on this website. When the Welsh Government announce that tourism businesses can reopen the links to members websites will be replaced. In the meantime, we are keeping a list of members who are willing to offer accommodation to NHS staff, or the county council seeking emergency accommodation for people during the lockdown. – All existing members and new members are asked to let the committee know via the contact us form if you want to join the list.
BALM have recently been appointed a grant by Brechfa Forest West Windfarm community benefit fund to develop additional resources to support visitors and tourists recreational use of Brechfa Forest and Llanllwni Mountain. These resources will not be launched until the current lockdown preventing recreational use of the forest by visitors is lifted.
We have the opportunity for additional funding and resources but to be eligible we will have to adopt a more formal structure, and once this occurs there will be a small charge for membership.
If you would like to suggest any additional information or links to other projects, or have any questions about membership of BALM please contact us.