Brecon Beacons National Park scraps burning beacon logo in heated rebrand

The National Park Bannau Brycheiniog has received criticisms for its new logo and name, designed to better reflect its heritage and climate commitments.

19 April 2023


The National Park Bannau Brycheiniog is overhauling its brand, replacing its old name (Brecon Beacons) with its original Welsh title and updating its logo to align more closely with its heritage and history. Since news dropped of the renewed brand direction, conflicting perspectives have piled in from the public and politicians alike.

The previous logo – which depicted a flaming beacon – has been replaced with a flattened graphic, closer in style to a crest. The National Park states that the old positioning wasn’t linked to the area’s history, with no evidence of burning beacons ever existing on the Park’s summits. The Park also argues that the image of a burning beacon suggests carbon pollution, in antithesis to Bannau Brycheiniog’s environmental goals.

While the updated logo still incorporates elements of the original forked torch, here they more closely resemble a crown, perhaps in reference to the name Bannau Brycheiniog which derives from the kingdom of King Brychan and translates to ‘The Peaks of Brychan’s Kingdom’ in English. Additional symbols such as a star and abstracted landscape have also been worked into the mark.

Bannau Brycheiniog initiated the refresh to celebrate its cultural heritage and to signpost its plan for tackling the climate and biodiversity emergency, aiming to achieve net zero by 2035. New commitments include 16,000 hectares of peatland restoration, plus a focus on sustainable farming and park inclusion; “encouraging everyone into nature”, a release explains.

Bannau Brycheiniog: an old name for a new way to be (Copyright © Bannau Brycheiniog, 2023)

Response to the new brand has been varied. While some residents in Brecon have criticised the decision to not consult locals, The Guardian reports that others, like volunteer guide Wynn Davies, told the publication: “I’m a Welsh speaker and have always known the park as Bannau Brycheiniog. I’d much rather the Welsh name was used. After all, we are in Wales.”

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak’s official spokesperson criticised the effectiveness of rebrands to signal climate action: “I think on the specific issue of climate change, I think it’s tangible action that’s important, rather than nomenclature.” They added that the public would probably continue to use the English name alongside the Welsh one.

Park chief executive, Catherine Mealing-Jones, states: “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.” The chief executive continues: “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.”

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Screenshot from Bannau Brycheiniog announcement video (Copyright © Bannau Brycheiniog, 2023)

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Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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