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Celebrating 40 at Plas Tan y Bwlch

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3 September 2015

This week, Plas Tan y Bwlch near Maentwrog celebrated 40 years since being established as the Snowdonia National Park Centre.

There has been a house on the site of the mansion since the sixteenth century, but after being owned by various owners over the centuries, the house was finally purchased in 1969 by Meirionnydd County Council and then established in 1975 as the National Park Education Centre. Since then, at least fifty thousand adults and over 100,000 children have been to Plas and through courses, conferences and lectures, now appreciate and understand more about the countryside, and respect the environment.

During the celebrations on Tuesday (September 1) local MP, Liz Saville Roberts, talked about the importance of Plas Tan y Bwlch on the local economy, local organisations and the local community, historian Dr Dafydd Gwyn spoke about the educational contribution Plas Tan y Bwlch has made to the environmental, conservation and historical fields, and finally Owain Wyn, Chairman of the Board of Plas Tan y Bwlch, spoke on developments that are currently underway at Plas which includes continuing to attract visitors to Plas, its gardens and the woods nearby.

Also as part of the celebrations, a book, History of Plas Tan y Bwlch was launched.  The late Merfyn Williams, a former head of the Centre was responsible for the detailed research into the background and history of the house, and former lecturer at Plas Tan y Bwlch, Twm Elias was responsible for completing book.

Following the celebrations, Emyr Williams, Snowdonia National Park’s Chief Executive said,

“Since it was established as a centre for the National Park, Plas has made a major contribution to the local community. It has offered employment opportunities for local residents, it has contributed towards the businesses of local providers and many of its customers have returned to the area boosting the local tourism industry. Today, it has excellent facilities for adults and children courses and the new provision of opening the gardens to the public, the opening of a new Tearoom and providing Sunday lunch is an excellent attraction for local residents and visitors. As a public Authority, we are facing financial challenges, but with help and support we will make every effort to ensure the future success of Plas Tan y Bwlch.”

End

Notes to Editors

  1. Plas now employs 35 full time and part time staff.  
  2. Yr Ysgwrn exhibition will open on September 10th at Plas Tan y Bwlch.
  3. Details of the photo: From left to right, Cllr. Caerwyn Roberts (SNPA Chairman), Liz Saville Roberts MP, Emyr Williams (SNPA Chief Executive), Shirley Williams (widow of the late Merfyn Williams), Andrew Oughton (Head of Business at Plas Tan y Bwlch). The second photo, Twm Elias and Shirley Williams at the launch of the book, History of Plas Tan y Bwlch.