TIMBER holiday cabins, providing a £1.5 million boost to the Welsh economy, are to be built in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

National Resource Wales (NRW) has confirmed its visitor centre in the woodlands at Garwnant will be used as the location for 40 'bespoke and eco-sensitive' cabins, due to open later this year. 

Developed in partnership with Forest Holidays, the firm's second Welsh project, NRW chiefs are confident it will create up to 60 jobs in South Wales. 

Gavin Bown, head of Mid Wales operations for NRW, said: “One of our key roles is to sustainably manage our natural resources in a way that benefits the environment, people and economy of Wales. This partnership with Forest Holidays, whose cabin locations are designed to protect and enhance their forest locations, is a fantastic example of this.

Forestry Journal:

“NRW manages around 126,000 hectares of woodland on behalf of the Welsh Government, covering six per cent of the land in Wales. We want to encourage more sustainable commercial opportunities that benefit the Welsh environment for people and for nature now and into the future.

“This exciting project is a great example of how we are realising our ambition to support the right development in the right places.”

Wales’ National Parks have seen visitor numbers surge during the Covid-19 pandemic with more people looking to take day trips and holidays closer to home.

Garwnant Visitor Centre sits in the heart of the Coed Taf Fawr forest on the edge of the Brecon Beacons near Merthyr Tydfil.

It is the starting point for walking trails, mountain biking routes for junior riders and a fully accessible trail for wheelchair users and buggies.

Day visitors will benefit from an upgraded Visitor Centre, café and shop, with more choices of food and drink, longer opening hours and extra seating, as well as a brand-new bike hire facility and more outdoor activities and experiences, NRW chiefs say.

Jodie Bond, public affairs manager for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “The Authority welcomes sustainable rural development within the Brecon Beacons National Park.

"Forest Holidays will not only create jobs but inward investment to the local economy which is excellent news. We look forward to welcoming more visitors to the Park to explore the beautiful landscape, our local heritage and our culture.”

Forest Holidays successfully operates 11 locations across the UK in partnership with Natural Resources Wales, Forestry England, and Forestry & Land Scotland, offering holidays and short breaks in some of the UK’s most spectacular natural settings.

The firm's first Welsh site at Beddgelert opened in June 2018, with 16 cabins, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy the stunning Snowdonia National Park.

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Forest Holidays chief executive Bruce McKendrick said: “For anyone who loves the great outdoors, the Brecon Beacons National Park is an incredible place to discover, and we feel privileged to be able to help others enjoy and spend time in this iconic landscape with such rich history. 

"We are looking forward to making a valuable and eco-sensitive contribution to the growing tourism economy in South Wales, with the creation of new local jobs, enhancements to the forest environment and the economic benefits our new location will bring to the surrounding area.”