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The people who make the Brecon Beacons thrive; The Brecon Beacons National Park has just turned 60 and there are so many people who are working tirelessly behind the scenes. Karen Price looks at a new exhibition celebrating their efforts.

ITH a range of hills, waterfalls, caves and a host of wildlife, there's no denying the beauty of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

WStretching from Llandeilo in the west and the Black Mountains in the east, it covers more than 500 square miles and therefore has plenty of attractions within its boundaries.

It's renowned as a place to go stargazing and has just been named by travel publisher Rough Guides as one of the world's top destinations for doing just that.

But behind the attractions, there are so many people who help make the Brecon Beacons what they are today and a new exhibition pays homage to them.

Diamond People is a photographic portrait display featuring 21 pictures and it tells the diverse story of the park.

The photographs by Billie Charity, from Hay-on-Wye, are part of the national park's 60th-birthday celebrations and have all been captured in iconic locations within the park and feature a range of people.

Billie said: "Working on this project has introduced me to breathtaking parts of the Brecon Beacons I never knew existed, and also to some of the truly brilliant people who live and work there."

The Diamond People exhibition will tour around the park throughout the year and into 2018. It's currently at Brecon Library until August 28 and it will be at the Black Mountain Centre, Upper Brynamon, from September 1. For full details visit www.beacons-npa.gov.uk/theauthority/60th-celebrations THE NEPALESE COMMUNITY FOOTPATH GROUP Moved by the response to the Nepal earthquake from residents, the Gurkha community of Brecon decided to give something back and contacted the National Park Authority. They worked with wardens to restore a popular footpath, now renamed the Gurkha Path.

LLANGORSE MULTI ACTIVITY CENTRE Ryan Thomas, a young local entrepreneur, has taken over running Llangorse Multi Activity Centre, the family business which overlooks Llangorse Lake, offering horse-riding, climbing and zip wires.

ROB DAVIES MBE - BRITISH PARALYMPIC ATHLETE Talgarth boy Rob Davies MBE is the British Paralympic table tennis player who competed in the 2012 London Paralympics and went on to win the 2013 European Championship title in both singles and team events. Rob was named world number one in the Class 1 category, and then went on to win Paralympic gold in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. He currently retains the title of world number one.

JOHN MORRIS - GRAZIER, THE BLACK MOUNTAINS John Morris started sheep farming in 1968 just outside Crickhowell. He has been involved with the local graziers for more than 25 years and helped to set up the Glastir Commons element in the Black Mountains.

More recently, in 2015, John became a founding member of the Black Mountains Land Use Partnership, which aims to address bracken management, peatland management and visitor management.

JOE DAGGETT AND ROB REITH - NATIONAL TRUST The central Beacons, including Pen y Fan, are owned and cared for by the National Trust. Rob has been working on the central Brecon Beacons for nearly 30 years repairing footpaths, while Joe trails at 25 years - first working with Rob in the early 1990s.

HARRY LEGGE-BOURKE - THE GLANUSK ESTATE Harry Legge-Bourke is pictured fishing his favourite "Bridge Pool" on the River Usk at his family home on the Glanusk Estate. Harry is Chairman of the Usk Fishing Association and now runs the day-to-day management of the estate with his wife Iona. Harry is actively involved as a partner on the Black Mountains Land Use Partnership project board, a group of land managers, graziers and conservationists who cover all of the Black Mountains. He is a very active countryman and businessman promoting Wales and the Black Mountains. He is also a former board member of Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Guardsman.

ELIZABETH DANIEL - BRECON BEACONS HOLIDAY COTTAGES Elizabeth Daniel is pictured with her dog, Willoughby. The owner of Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages, Elizabeth started with just one cottage in 1978. Over the past 35 years, Elizabeth has grown the business and it now has more than 400 cottages on its books and is run from the centre of the national park by a team of 10 people.

CHARLIE PHILLIPS - VOLUNTEER LOCK-KEEPER The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal winds its way through the national park.

Charlie is a volunteer lock-keeper for the Canal and Rivers Trust, working the locks at Llangynidr. Charlie will help you navigate your boat through the locks and tell you about the 200-year history of the canal, its heritage and wildlife, as well as places to visit along its route.

THE UPLAND PATHS VOLUNTEERS - BRECON BEACONS NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY The Black Mountains Volunteers are pictured going to work on the Blorenge. The volunteers invest thousands of hours each year in improving the national park. They are an amazing bunch of people who work together twice a week. They are trained to a standard that they can work largely independently, but are still centrally co-ordinated by the national park.

THE RODERICKS - NEWTON FARM Helen Roderick, pictured, and husband Richard of Newton Farm have worked with Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and Cadw to bring 10 highland cattle on to Allt yr Esgair as conservation grazers. The aim is to restore the site of an Iron Age hill fort which overlooks the Usk valley.

ASHFORD PRICE - DAN YR OGOF SHOWCAVES OF WALES Ashford Price, a local celebrity in his own right, appears sitting in front of one of the impressive underground formations at the famous Dan yr Ogof Showcaves of Wales, a family-run business that has operated since 1912 in the Upper Swansea Valley.

BRECON MOUNTAIN RESCUE TEAM Regularly in the news, the Brecon Mountain Rescue Team in fact operate throughout mid Wales. Entirely run by volunteers, they are a vital part of the emergency services network here in the national park.

They are pictured on a training exercise on Mynydd Illtyd in the central area of the Brecon Beacons with the coastguard helicopter which works with them when it is needed.

Entirely run by volunteers, they are a vital part of the emergency services network
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 26, 2017
Words:1003
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