You are on page 1of 2

Celebrating 60 years

THE Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has always been a visitor hotspot. But when it was designated on February 29th 1952, this strip of the Welsh coast and countryside was little-known outside the UK. Today, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park remains the only National Park in the UK designated mainly for its breathtaking coastline - and is fast becoming one of the most talked about places on the planet. February 29th 2012 marks the start of a year of 60th anniversary celebrations for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, which is responsible for taking care of the Park; its landscape and its wildlife, for the benefit of people who live here and those who choose to visit. When it was set up, the Authority was given two purposes by the UK Government: to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park, and to promote opportunities for public enjoyment and understanding of its special qualities. In 1995 the Pembrokeshire Coast and the UKs other National Park Authorities were also given a duty to seek to foster the economic and social wellbeing of local communities. Chairman Cllr Tony Brinsden sums up the challenge of these responsibilities: Over the years, the public face of the National Park will have meant different things to different people. You may have met a Warden or a Ranger while out walking on the Coast Path, been on a pond dipping session or a school trip to Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort. You may have submitted a planning application or received a Conservation Area grant to improve your home. Or perhaps youve worked with the conservation team to improve wildlife habitats on your land. In short, we are a small public authority with a wideranging remit and we are challenged to be many things to many people. As we celebrate our 60th anniversary this year, we will continue to meet these challenges by conserving the Parks outstanding features and ensuring that the special qualities which we all value about it can be enjoyed by everyone, now and in the future.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National

THE Kings Quoit at Manorbier: stunning scenery, ancient history and wonderful wildlife all in a days walk in the 60-year-old Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

ST Davids Airfield echoed to the roar of Halifax Bombers when it opened in 1943. Now, on a warm summers day, visitors to the disused airfield enjoy the sounds of skylarks and the sight of wild flowers, after the National Park Authority restored native habitats.

From Bombers to skylarks...

Park planning can be plain sailing

THE National Park Authority has always been responsible for development in the National Park and also has a duty to conserve historic buildings. One recent, high-profile conversion is a great advert for how planning is used as a conservation tool in a protected coastal landscape. Tenbys old lifeboat station, a Grade II listed building, was famously converted into a house and featured on Channel 4s Grand Designs last summer. Tim and Philomena ODonovan took on the crumbling landmark building and it now stands as testament to their determination and their willingness to work with National Park planners to create something that was acceptable to everyone. Before the couple submitted their application, their agent and architect met planning and conservation officers to show them what they wanted to do. It was these pre-application discussions which helped the process run smoothly, as owner Tim ODonovan explains: We were advised what would and wouldnt be acceptable before we even put in the application

ST DAVIDS AIRFIELD was bought by the National Park Authority in the 1990s and is now an important nature conservation site with a thriving skylark population.
The airfield is a good example of the Authoritys work as a conservation organisation going hand-in-hand with its work to enhance the visitor experience. The airfield was in operation for less than a year and after the war it remained an emergency runway for nearby Brawdy until the early 1990s. The Park Authority bought the site in 1996 and now manages it for nature conservation and maintains it as a place of peace for walkers and horse riders. A great conservation success is that of the skylark. This ground nesting bird has been disappearing across Britain but it now thrives on the airfield. In 1998 there were 33 breeding territories identified; last year there were 55. The airfields grassland is managed traditionally as an organic hay meadow, which involves winter grazing by local farmer Haydyn Vaughans cattle, and the grass is cut once - after the breeding season. Download a map and information for a two mile walk around St Davids Airfield from the National Park Authoritys website www.pem, which features more than 200 walks in the Park.

TIM and Philomena ODonovan impressed Grand Designs Kevin McCloud with their sensitive conversion of Tenbys lifeboat station a listed building under National Park planning regulations. Pic: Josh Kearns.
so we knew where we stood, he said, adding: The place is brilliant. Michael Argent, of Argent Architects, added: The National Park planners have a difficult job and its important that they are rigorous, they have to keep the standards up. But they were as keen as us that it should turn out well, which of course it has. We are very, very pleased. To find out how to submit a pre-application enquiry or to find out more about the planning process log onto w w w. p e m b r o ke s h i r e c o a s t . or call 0845 345 7275.

of natural beauty
Park: not just a pretty face...
THE Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail, shown here near Little Haven; a great stressreliever and one of the countys most valuable assets.

Find out more:

To find out more about the National Park and events taking place this year: @PembsCoast

Path to health and prosperity

THE Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail is another major attraction in the National Park, and an important player in the Pembrokeshire economy. Stretching 186 miles from Amroth in the south to St Dogmaels in the north, the Path is not just a pretty face, as James Parkin, Director responsible for tourism and Coast Path management, explains. Its hard to overstate the value of the Coast Path to Pembrokeshire. For people living here it offers a chance to escape from the daytoday stress of life and take in some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in Britain, in turn providing enormous health and wellbeing benefits. The Path is also vital for tourism, contributing over 14million for the countys economy each year. We know that accommodation providers rate the Coast Path as very beneficial to their profitability, and last year A Day Out on the Coast Path won the Pembrokeshire Tourism Award for Best Day Out as well as being rated as one of the worlds top three walking routes proof of its popularity and its importance. The National Park Authority maintains the Coast Path with funding from the Countryside Council for Wales.

Follow our pages Pembrokeshire Coast and Conserving the Pembrokeshire Coast www.pembrokeshire

History in the making

IN the evolution of Pembrokeshires landscape, fashioned over millions of years, 60 years is not even a blip in the timescale. But this anniversary year, the Park Authority is embarking on a new project to help visitors enjoy delving into an important period in Pembrokeshires past. The Origins project will involve the creation of trails, guides and mobile phone apps enabling visitors to enjoy the prehistoric culture of the National Park. It will also see the development of an interpretation centre at Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort, which is owned and managed by the Authority. The project, funded by Cadws Heritage Tourism Project and the European Regional Development Fund, will be run in partnership with Dyfed Archaeological Trust, PLANED and National Trust. This year too will see change at Carew Castle, also managed by the Authority. The roof of the Lesser Hall is being replaced to provide an undercover area, enabling the attraction to host events and education sessions whatever the weather. Another inspirational venue for school groups is Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre in St Davids, which the Authority runs in partnership with Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales. The main gallery, featuring treasures from the national collection, and an Artist-in-Residence studio run separately by the Authority uses artists interpretations of landscape to inspire visitors to explore the National Park for themselves.

For more information about the Pembrokeshire attractions run by the Park Authority log onto

CASTELL Henllys Iron Age Fort, run by the National Park Authority, will be the hub for a new project enabling people to learn more about prehistoric Pembrokeshire.

Related Interests