People and the Landscape 4

Welsh language and culture

The Cambrian Mountains have been an immensely important factor in the survival of the language and culture of Wales. Welsh place-names establish a strong sense of place, and give an insight into the history and traditions of the area. Substantial areas of the region are predominantly Welsh speaking, and indigenous Welsh culture survives in all areas. The life and culture of the farming communities of the Cambrian Mountains over the last 150 years are superbly portrayed in the writings of the shepherd, Erwyd Howells*.

languageThe region also contains a number of sites of considerable historical, linguistic and cultural importance, such as Strata Florida Abbey, Capel Soar y Mynydd and Hyddgen.

The language and culture of the communities living in and around the Cambrians are integral elements of the region’s distinctiveness, and an essential part of what makes it worthy of protection. As such, the issues facing the Welsh language and Welsh culture in the region are indivisible from those facing the wider environment. Socio-economic change has served to erode the cultural and linguistic security of indigenous communities over recent decades, and a future continuation of this trend would result in an incalculable loss to the culture of the British Isles.

The Cambrian Mountains are one of the heartlands of Welsh language and culture; their communities and way of life are inextricably linked to land use and management.

* Good Men and True by Erywd Howells. Privately published 2005. ISBN 0-9551736-0-4