Carmarthenshire’s unique heritage celebrated this Summer at the Bishop’s Park & Gardens, Abergwili

PRESS RELEASE 29-06-2021

Carmarthenshire’s unique heritage celebrated this Summer at the Bishop’s Park & Gardens, Abergwili

The rich history and diverse wildlife of rural Carmarthenshire are celebrated in a series of activities this Summer at the Bishop’s Park & Gardens, Abergwili. The programme is being organised by the Tywi Gateway Trust, a tiny charity restoring, conserving and maintaining the historic 13 hectare park and gardens, laid out by successive Bishops of St David’s since 1283.  The Park surrounds the old palace of the Bishops of St David’s, now home to Carmarthenshire Museum, CofGâr, and while the Museum is currently closed for refurbishment there’s lots going in the Park around it.

A Haymaking Picnic marking National Meadows Day will take place on 3rd July, inviting local people and visitors to celebrate the rich heritage of farming in the area, with vintage machinery, scything demonstration, Bishop’s Park apple juice tasting, childrens’ activities and a haymaking exhibition.  Share your memories of haymaking in the area and find out how the Trust is managing the Bishop’s Great Meadow to benefit the rare flood plain meadow habitat, with conservation grazing and meadow monitoring.

A Kite Festival on August 14th will focus on handmade, traditional crafts and nature and heritage- themed trails for children are planned weekly throughout the Summer holidays, linking in with the aims of the Trust to promote sustainability and natural play, and bring more families into the Park.

The Bishop’s Park Horticultural, Craft and Produce Show will be held (in person, or virtually, as restrictions allow) on 4th September 2021.  This popular village show, first held in 1893, is being revived for the 21st century to bring together the community and celebrate all things grown and produced locally. Enter your prize tomatoes, your best lemon drizzle, and see how your dahlias measure up! With craft stalls and activities for all, including a consultation event by West Wales Willow on the intriguing history of the Carmarthenshire ‘Butter Basket’.

More heritage activities are being planned for the Autumn include willow weaving and fermentation and preserving workshops, a celebration of apple day, Halloween and Christmas activities.  Booking is essential for all organised activities; for the full programme visit: https://tywigateway.org.uk/visit-us/whats-on/

Trust Manager Louise Austin said, “We’re thrilled to be holding a series of activities aimed at bringing the community together and celebrating 800 years of history, horticulture and wildlife at the Bishop’s Park.  We hope local people will join us and help us make the restored park a place for all to enjoy and to cherish for the future.”

About the Restoration of the Park

The activities taking place at the Park are part of the wider programme of restoration and enhancement of the Bishop’s Park managed by the Tywi Gateway Trust to conserve and restore the park and gardens to the period of their last major re-design in the 1840s.

The project includes restoring the Bishop’s brewhouse and laundry for use as a café and learning and interpretation centre, the installation of the new Jenkinson Garden greeting visitors to the Museum, designed by Head Gardener Piers Lunt with TACP UK Ltd, a new Woodland Garden with a giant felled beech at its centre and improved public access to the adjacent Great Meadow.  A huge amount of garden conservation and restoration work has also taken place in the Park itself, including clearing invasive species and diseased trees, and the installation of a whole series of attractive new paths and benches. The Trust relies on Piers and a team of volunteers to undertake all the garden work – and we need more help – to volunteer with the Trust please contact enquiries@tywigateway.org.uk

The project is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Welsh Government – Enabling Natural Resources and wellbeing in Wales Funding and The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe Investing in Rural Areas (Cronfa Amaethyddol Eewrop ar gyfer Datblygu Gwledig: Ewrop yn Buddsoddi mewn Ardaloedd Gwledig) and Carmarthenmshire Council, with Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm Community Fund, Carmarthenshire County Council Targeted Finance Fund and the Welsh Church Fund – to whom we extend our heartfelt thanks.

For hi-res images visit:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/JY6mDVjZjDbBGxXN6

Notes to editors

About the Tywi Gateway Trust

The Trust was set up in 2016 to: “promote for the benefit of the public at the Bishop’s Park and its cultural setting in Abergwili the conservation, protection, improvement and understanding of the built and natural environments.”

The Tywi Gateway Trust are currently delivering the Tywi Gateway Project at the Bishop’s Park, Abergwili, a £2.4m Parks for People project funded with a £1.2m grant by the National Lottery.

The Trust are a tiny charity with the equivalent of just 3 full time staff, relying on the generosity of volunteers and supporters to continue our work.

To find out more about the work of the Trust visit:  https://tywigateway.org.uk/

To give monthly to the Trust visit: https://localgiving.org/charity/the-tywi-gateway-trust/

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Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Louise Austin at the Tywi Gateway Trust on 07399 265237, email: louiseaustin@tywigateway.org.uk

The Bishop Park & Gardens, Abergwili, Carmarthenshire SA31 2JG

The Tywi Gateway Trust is a Registered Charity: CIO Registered No. 1167244 https://tywigateway.org.uk/

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