Friday 10th October 2014
Last week the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority hosted the National Parks Wales Member Seminar at the Castle Hotel in Brecon. This year the theme was ‘Delivering for Future Generations’. The annual seminar was hailed a great success as the three National Parks in Wales looked at issues which will shape the future of National Parks and other protected landscapes in Wales.
More than 50 Members from across Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire Coast and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authorities came together to discuss how National Parks can deliver some of the Welsh Government’s objectives. This included how they can help communities be more resilient socially and economically. The theme ‘Delivering for Future Generations’ was deliberately chosen as the National Parks in Wales look to deliver on the long term goals which lie at the heart of the Well Being for Future Generations Bill in the face of increased budget pressures, the review of Protected Landscapes in Wales and the recent Williams Commission report which looks at merging Councils.
During the intense and informative two days, Members visited various sites across the Brecon Beacons including the Llangattock allotments, Llangattock Woodland group, Llangattock green Valleys, Eco Travel Network, Talgarth Mill and Hay Castle – a selection of projects that demonstrate community energy investments, enterprise development, job creation, sustainability and rural vibrancy.
Members also received valuable information from Julie Furber from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) about the HLF’s Skills in Action training project and future HLF support for natural heritage.
Highlights of the two days included a traditional dinner provided by Ghurkha Brigade regiment and the launch of the new Dark Skies observatory at the National Park Visitor Centre. During the evening proceedings delegates made a significant donation to the Gurkha Welfare Trust Charity which will be formally presented to the regiment in the next week.
Commenting on the theme of the seminar, the Chairman of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority Cllr Geraint Hopkins said: “We are delighted to report the success of the ‘Delivering for Future Generations’ Members seminar. Over the next few months, National Park Authorities have some tough decisions to make – and the decisions we make must be the right ones for the residents, businesses and visitors of the Brecon Beacons and a changing world. This seminar highlighted the willingness of the National Parks in Wales to work with each other and with partners on the current challenges we face, share experiences and gain new knowledge.”