THE plan to ditch the Brecons Beacons National Park name in favour of a Welsh alternative has been savaged by critics as a ‘woke eco crusade’.
Many also say local people who live in the NP should have been consulted, instead of having Bannau Brycheiniog - meaning the peaks of Brychan's kingdom (a ruler in the 5th/6th century who is thought to have fathered up to 60 children) - foisted upon them by park bosses .
Even No 10 has weighed in, with a spokesman for Rishi Sunak saying he was sure people would continue to use the national park’s English name, and questioning the move to drop a symbol of a flaming beacon from the park’s logo.
Park bosses say the image of burning fossil fuels isn’t in keeping with its environmentally sustainable ethos.
But Monmouth MP and Secretary of State for Wales David Davies, a Welsh speaker, said: “As an MP with parts of the Brecon Beacons National Park in the constituency, I had no prior notice of the name change and it has caught a lot of people off guard.
“What concerns me is the fact there was no consultation and people who live and work in the national park were not given the opportunity to voice their opinion. It would be somewhat alarming if this was an entirely executive decision.
“The Brecon Beacons has a long-standing international identity and that is the name it will always be known by to so many around the world.
“I do question the cost and feel this is money that could have been used to encourage tourism in a better way.
“As a bilingual country, I fail to understand why the Welsh name cannot be used alongside the English name.
“Not once have I linked the logo of a burning beacon with the burning of fossil fuels and climate change. This symbolic rebrand is nothing more than a political swipe.”
Peter Fox, MS for Monmouth, said: “The iconic Brecon Beacons possesses an incredibly strong brand that successfully attracts visitors from all four corners of the globe and like any other popular vicinity, efforts should be directed at introducing measures to attract an even greater number of people.
“However, I fear that the proposed rebranding exercise will have an adverse effect, causing confusion rather than strengthen this prestigious area.
“I certainly doubt that the rebranding plan is a top priority for locals.”
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcomed the change of name for the Brecon Beacons National Park to its original Welsh name though, stating that it is a positive move to use the history of the region to help build a successful future for the Park.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and Mid & West Wales Senedd Member Jane Dodds said: “It’s great to see the re-introduction of the name Bannau Brycheiniog today.
“The message put forward by the Park is a clear example of how we can use the region’s history to build a better future for the park.
“Other countries like New Zealand see the use of their indigenous languages such as Māori as not only key to protecting their history and culture, but also as a key marketing tool. There is no reason we shouldn’t be doing so in Wales.
“Beyond the name change, what has been highlighted by the Park this week, is that it faces numerous threats, whether that is the Government failing to take action on the sewage dumping crisis, or climate change. It is a clear message to us all that we must unite to protect what is a national treasure.”
But ex-BBC presenter John Humphreys, who comes from South Wales, is less impressed, saying the name change is “baffling” and “pointless”.
“This is a symbolic name change which won't save the planet,” he stormed.
Oldie editor Harry Mount, who regularly walks in the national park, also slammed it as "a victory for woke philistines".