Neath Port Talbot - Geography

Geography

The local authority area stretches from the coast to the borders of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The majority of land is upland or semi-upland in character, and 43% is covered by forestry with major conifer plantations in upland areas. Most of the lower lying flat land is near the coast around Port Talbot. An extensive dune system stretches along much of the coast, broken by river mouths and areas of development. The upland areas are cut by five valleys: Vale of Neath, Dulais Valley, Afan Valley, Swansea Valley, Upper Amman Valley.

Modern settlement patterns reflect the industrial history of the area, with urban development along the flatter areas of the valleys and some parts of the coast. The largest town is Neath with a population of 47,020, followed by Port Talbot (35,633), Briton Ferry (7,186), Pontardawe (5,035), and Glynneath (4,368). The majority of the population live in the coastal plane around Port Talbot and the land around the River Neath in the vicinity of Neath. Much of the larger towns in the borough lie within the Swansea Urban Area.

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