Good heavens! Garden gets special status
The National Botanic Garden of Wales has been awarded Dark Sky Discovery Site status - the first botanic garden in Britain to earn this honour.
The move is official recognition by The UK Dark Sky Discovery partnership of the quality of the night sky over the Llanarthne attraction.
The Garden is one of 25 new official ‘dark sky’ sites announced this week, to coincide with the start of the BBC’s Stargazing Live Week on Tuesday January 7th.
Dark Sky Discovery Partnership’s Dan Hillier said: “Congratulations to everyone - the individuals and the organisation - who has been involved in creating your new Dark Sky Discovery Site. I really hope it enables even more people to be inspired by your local views of the universe.”
Colin Miles, a volunteer at the Garden and a committee member of the Swansea Astronomical Society, which holds regular star-gazing events at the Garden, said: “This is marvellous news. The Garden is ideal for astronomy and we will continue to hold regular events there to try and get people closer to the stars.”
The National Botanic Garden’s Director, Dr Rosie Plummer said: “Clear skies are an excellent measure of a good environment and this award of Dark Sky status emphasises our credentials as a hub for science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities, as well as confirming the Garden as an excellent venue for a great day out – or, in this case, a great night out!” Dr Plummer added: “This will add impetus to our ambition of creating a site to house the 20" Schafer-Maksutov Telescope which was formerly at the Marina Towers on the Swansea seafront."
The next star-gazing event at the Garden is on Friday February 7, 6.30pm-9pm when visitors will have the opportunity to see the Moon, Jupiter, the Orion Nebula and other cosmic wonders, plus talks and telescope advice clinics in the Great Glasshouse; with cawl and coffee available from the Med Cafe.
Admission is £3, under 16s free.
For more information about star-gazing events at the Garden, visit www.gardenofwales.org.uk, email
or call 01558 667149.
* The new series of Star-Gazing Live is on BBC2 on Tuesday, January 7, at 8pm.
* To find out more about the Dark Sky Discovery Partnership, go to www.darkskydiscovery.org.u
Tour of nine of the finest gardens in Dorset
3rd-5th June, based in Dorchester.
Robin Whalley, lecturer at the Cardiff University Centre for Lifelong Learning, plans to lead a tour of nine of the finest gardens in Dorset to include Arts and Crafts Athelhampton, Italian Mapperton, Forde Abbey and Cranborne Manor.
Dates 3rd-5th June, based in Dorchester.
Participants would need to arrange own accommodation and transport to and from Dorchester, but a coach would be laid on for garden visits.
Cost has not been decided but anyone who is interested in receiving further information should contact:
the Centre for Lifelong Learning, Senghennydd Road, Cardiff, CF24 4AG. Tel: 029 2087 0000 by 1st March 2014.
CB300 WEBSITE GOES LIVE…………………………
The AGT are delighted to announce that the CB300 site Celebrating 300 years of Capability Brown’s stunning landscape designs has now gone live at:
www.capabilitybrown.org, click on the link to explore the site and to quote them, Discover, Learn and Enjoy.
Giving to Heritage Survey
The Heritage Alliance is currently developing a £500,000 HLF funded fundraising programme for the independent heritage sector: Giving to Heritage. This is a once in a generation opportunity to equip heritage enthusiasts with the skills and know-how to improve our fundraising capability and diversify our incomes for a more secure future.
To make sure the programme delivers what the sector needs we need to know more about what people want. We set out in our first round bid our general approach but now we want the views of as many people as possible from organisations large and small working across the range of heritage interests to refine this further.
To capture that information we've put together a straightforward 5 minute survey, which you can access immediately by clicking on the link below:
Please take a few minutes to fill it in yourself, and just as importantly, please forward it throughout your networks and e-bulletin so we get the maximum input and optimum end result for our various constituencies. The deadline for responses is the end of August.
Thank you. And of course please let me, or Gail Caig our new Giving to Heritage Development Officer, have any queries.
With all best wishes
The Heritage Alliance
Clutha House 10 Storeys Gate
Westminster London SW1P 3AY
DD: 0207 2330 800
Giving to Heritage background:
The project has been developed by The Heritage Alliance, in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising, in response to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s 10 Point Philanthropy Plan. It has successfully secured first round funding under the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Catalyst programme. It is now in development phase, working to submit a second round submission to the HLF by the 30th September.
Giving to Heritage intends to deliver over 8,500 training opportunities to heritage enthusiasts working with:
· The Historic Environment,
· Museums Libraries and Archives,
· Historic Landscapes,
· Industrial, Transport and Maritime and
· Intangible Heritage such as oral histories.
The training will be rolled out regionally, over 2014-15, by the Institute of Fundraising’s network of professional trainers supported by heritage experts. It will be delivered through training workshops, advice surgeries, peer to peer learning, mentoring and online tools.
It will cover a range of topics including:
developing fundraising leadership,
trusts and foundations,
full cost recovery,
using digital and social media and
audience analysis and marketing.
Information on the Giving to Heritage project can also be found on The Heritage Alliance website at:
The Alliance's comment on the plans for English Heritage following the Spending Review
The Heritage Alliance is a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales no 4577804 and registered charity no 1094793.
Inspirational Horticulturists – Rooted in Wales
at NBGW room 3 of the Apothecary's Hall
A new exhibition curated by our National Botanic Garden of Wales Library volunteers and designed by students from Coleg Sir Gar.
This exhibition is a snapshot of horticulturists and garden-makers, past and present, rooted in Wales, whose work is seen as making a significant contribution towards garden-making within the UK and beyond. We hope it will be a catalyst for developments in gardening in Wales in the 21st
century – to bring together preservation with development, food production with leisure and therapy activities and the spreading of knowledge and practice from the gardeners of yesterday, through the gardeners of today to the gardeners of tomorrow.
We see these gardeners as an initial selection from the many whose horticultural knowledge and enthusiasm through the ages has reached out to a wider audience through their writings in books and journals, their public lectures, through private visitors and by opening their gardens or creating gardens for the public at large. They represent a cross section by time, location, speciality and gender.
Historic, by date
- Sir Edward Stradling – St Donat’s Castle, Glamorgan, 1529-1609
- Sir Thomas Hanmer – Bettisfield, Flintshire, 1612-1678
- Ladies of Llangollen – Plas Newydd, Llangollen (Sarah Ponsonby 1755-1831 & Eleanor Butler 1739-1829)
- Thomas Mawson – Dyffryn Gardens, Cardiff, 1861-1933
- William Pettigrew – Roath Park & Cathays Park amongst others, Cardiff, 1867-1947
- Arthur Tysilio Johnson – Bulkeley Mill, Caernarfonshire, 1873-1956
- Loveday Gee – Llanllyr, Talsarn, Ceredigion
- Charles Hawes and Anne Wareham – The Veddw, Gwent
- Tony Ridler – Cockett, Swansea
- Ivor Stokes – National Botanic Garden of Wales and public parks
- Medwyn Williams – Llanor, Llanfairpwll, Anglesey
- Sue and Bleddyn Wynn-Jones – Crûg Farm, Caernarfonshire
The future of our past — consultation launched
Friday 19 July 2013
The Welsh Government’s Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths AM, visited Blaenavon Ironworks on 18 July 2013 to launch, The future of our past, the consultation on proposals for the first legislation on the historic environment that will be specific to Wales.
Wales's heritage attracts large numbers of visitors and employs over 30,000 people, contributing £1.8billion to the Welsh economy every year. However, the historic environment is fragile and the significance of historic buildings and archaeological sites can be lost through carelessness, neglect or unsympathetic change.
The Heritage Bill and associated measures will aim to modernise, streamline and simplify controls while making protection more effective where it is needed.
The consultation includes proposals that may affect many areas of our historic environment. They include:
- the simplification of the listed building process by giving clarity on what works require consent;
- the introduction of more effective measures to protect our ancient monuments and historic buildings from unauthorised works and ensure that fines act as an effective deterrent;
- the introduction of greater transparency when deciding which historic sites need protection, giving owners a clear voice;
- the introduction of agreements that allow positive long-term management of historic buildings and monuments whilst reducing bureaucracy; and
- the consideration of options for the merger of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales with Cadw.
Speaking before the launch the Minister said:
'The historic environment is an important contributor to local distinctiveness.
'It’s central to our tourism offer with heritage being one of the top reasons people give for visiting Wales.
'Moreover, the historic environment can contribute to life-long learning, through formal education and informal learning and by developing skills and confidence through active participation. It also plays a role in the fight against poverty, making an important contribution to regeneration, renewed community confidence and inward investment.
'This consultation includes proposals for the first ever heritage legislation specifically for Wales, which will guide the sector for years to come.
'The historic environment belongs to us all so I would urge people to respond to this consultation and get involved.'
The consultation document is now available as a pdf from the consultation pages of the Welsh Government website. You will also find a response form there that you can save to your computer and complete at your leisure.
The three-month consultation will close on 11 October 2013, so please be sure to submit your response before that date. Full details on how to respond are available in the consultation document and on the response form.
A consultation response report will be published later in the year.
If you have any questions about the consultation, please email
or telephone 01443 336090/1.