A multi-award-winning visitor attraction is urgently seeking a new home in Mid Wales.
Falconry Experience Wales, which has been based near Machynlleth for 20 years, is hunting a smallholding to rent with accommodation for the owners and its family of birds of prey.
The business, which is run by Barry Macdonald and Luce Green, would ideally like to stay in Mid Wales but needs a smallholding which has farm buildings or an area for enclosures and flying the birds.
“We could link in with an existing tourism business because many of our guests, who travel from across the UK and abroad, stay locally in hotels and B&Bs,” explained Barry. “On some of our experiences, lunch is included.”
The business is a multi-award winner - Outdoor Venue of the Year and Small Business of the Year at the Welsh Hospitality Awards in 2018 and 2019 and Wildlife Experience of the Year 2022.
Falconry Experience Wales has falcons, hawks, Red Kites, a White Tailed Sea Eagle a Bald Eagle and many owl species in its collection.
The business works with popular TV wildlife presenter Iolo Williams and organises guided Raptor Educational days for small groups.
Falconry Experience Wales’ current home is set in 120 acres of oak woods and rolling hills. Barry and Luce have worked with raptors for more than 30 years, having had an active background in wildlife conservation in the UK and abroad.
Anyone who can help find a new home for Falconry Experience Wales is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Tel 01654 700317.
Falconry Experience Wales is a member of MWT Cymru, an independent organisation that represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.
Picture caption: Barry Macdonald and Luce Green with two of their birds of prey.
Globetrotting musician Rory McLeod and supporting local artiste Catrin O’Neill will be performing at Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth on Wednesday, July 6 at 7.30pm.
McLeod, an ex-fire eater and circus clown, has travelled the globe for different reasons at different times, visiting Asia, the Middle East, Gambia, Cuba, Central America, Australia, North America, Canada and Europe.
He has busked in China's Yunnan province and danced with local tribal musicians and singers, orally exchanging music, laughter and dances in parks and drawing crowds of curious onlookers.
He was Texas harmonica champion in 1981 and was named "street busker of the year" at the Edinburgh Festival four years later.
McLeod’s songs are catchy, poignant, celebrational, observant, incisive, witty and passionate. They are about all kinds of people - richly coloured characters, school friends, family – as well as parting, travelling, love, despair and politics.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote that he "eloquently expressed ideas set to vibrant, dynamic music with bouncy rhythms, infectious riffs and nifty tunes," while the Toronto Star reported that he "takes influences from everywhere, Latin, Klezmer, folk, roots. He's wonderfully rhythmic and lyrical".
O’Neill, an admirer of McLeod’s work, is thrilled to be supporting him. She has performed on stage since early childhood and is in her element in front of an audience, creating different atmospheres from one song to another.
From the joy or heartbreak of love to tales of adventure or tragedy, or a good old rowdy drinking song, she has them all in her repertoire. “It was in the company of my nain, sat by the Aga, that I learned many of the songs I perform on stage today,” she said.
McLeod explained: “I’ve travelled to look for work, to mend a broken heart, to be with someone I longed for. I’d travel to visit friends and on the way I’d make new ones, I’d roam because I was curious to see what was around the next corner, sometimes I travelled to follow the warmer weather and migrate… like the birds and the big whales and fishes do.
"I want my songs to keep memory alive, I'm trying to tell history from working people’s point of view."
Sarah Morton, event organiser, said: “Rory’s melodies are peppered with Flamenco, Rhumba, Blues, Celtic and Calypso Rhythms, even a Waltz and Polka. Each song is very different from the next, but each song is stamped with his own style.”
Tickets to see the show are £12 for early bird or £13.50 at the door and can be bought by calling Ceredigion Museum on 01970 633 088 or visiting ceredigionmuseum.cloudtickets.online/category/1/2022-01-01/to/2022-12-31
This event is funded by the Arts Council of Wales Night Out scheme.
Picture caption: Rory McLeod and Catrin O’Neill event poster.
Owners of lorries and classic tractors, cars and motorcycles, including motorsport models, are being encouraged to support the Mid Wales Autumn Fayre, which returns to the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells on October 29-30.
The event, organised by Andrew Powell with support from Cambrian Training Company, aims to be a celebration of food and drink, arts and crafts.
There will also be a Truck Fest with up to 100 lorries taking part. Mr Powell, who is already more than half way towards reaching his target, is keen to hear from owners of lorries, classic tractors, cars, motorcycles and motorsport vehicles.
To book a space or to receive more information about the event, contact email@example.com or call 07779 012019.Tickets for the event can be booked online at https://www.midwalesautumnfayre.co.uk/ .
The arts and crafts hall is fully booked with 40 exhibitors and the Food Festival is well on the way to reaching its target of 75 producers.
Leading Welsh chefs Ryan Jones, Colin Gray, Shaun Bailey, Jamie Tully, Matthew Jones and Gareth Johns will showcase their culinary skills using quality Welsh ingredients in a cookery demonstration kitchen.
There will also be a pop-up restaurant, street food vendors and a Choir Corner, with choirs performing live over the two days.
Four halls on the Royal Welsh Showground have been reserved for the event, which was organised in just five weeks last year, yet still attracted 6,500 visitors.
Mr Powell is hoping for at least 10,000 visitors this year, with tickets priced at £6 per day. Children 12 years and under get in free.
Up to 10 Welsh charities will be offered free exhibition space as the Mid Wales Autumn Fayre seeks to become the fourth biggest show held on the showground.
“We are aiming to make this a great weekend for Welsh food and drink, arts and crafts and everyone interested in lorries and classic tractors, cars and motorcycles,” said Mr Powell, who previously organised the successful Brecon Beacons Food Festival.
Arwyn Watkins, OBE, Cambrian Training Company’s managing director, said: “We see the Mid Wales Autumn Fayre as a market place for food, crafts and skills and an opportunity for a fun family day out.
“It also creates an environment for parents to have a conversation with their children about career opportunities within the food and drink sector in Wales.”
Picture caption: Some of the lorries that took part in the Truck Fest at last year’s show.
Credit: Zoe Matthias.
Multi-million pound investment projects, the ongoing staff recruitment crisis, a proposed tourism tax, planning decision delays and opportunities to bid for government funding topped the agenda when Mid Wales tourism businesses met with two politicians.
New investments include £4 million at Meadow Springs Country and Leisure Park, Trefeglwys, where a further £1m is to be spent on a 60-metre indoor swimming pool, sauna and gym later this year.
The Centre of Alternative Technology near Machynlleth is proposing a £40m redevelopment project and Dŵr Cymru has plans for a £20m project in the Elan Valley, near Rhayader, both of which are seeking support from the Mid Wales Growth Deal.
Craig Williams, MP and Russell George, MS, who represent Montgomeryshire in the UK Government and Senedd Cymru respectively, both said they were impressed by the investment planned by the tourism and hospitality businesses.
The meeting, hosted by Lake Vyrnwy Hotel, was organised by MWT Cymru, which represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.
A dozen invited businesses, all MWT Cymru members, spoke about restriction to services caused by a staff shortage, the negative impact of the Welsh Government’s proposed tourism tax, unfair competition from unregistered Airbnb accommodation and concerns about poor broadband and electricity services.
UK Government fees associated with recruiting hospitality staff from overseas to overcome staff problems was another issued raised.
Businesses were also keen to learn more about the bidding process for the Shared Prosperity Fund, the Levelling Up Fund and the Mid Wales Growth Deal.
“I was hugely impressed to hear about the investment planned by the businesses and to discuss how we can support these great opportunities for tourism in Mid Wales,” said Mr Williams.
“I believe the Shared Prosperity Fund, Levelling Up Fund and the Mid Wales Growth Deal represent a game changing opportunity to put Mid Wales on the map.”
During the meeting, he said the UK Government’s Shared Rural Network programme aimed to boost broadband speeds and mobile signals across Montgomeryshire. He hoped a pioneering local electricity grid could be trialled in the Llanidloes area to overcome supply issues and power new electric car changing points.
Mr Williams said he wanted partnerships to be developed with English airports, such as Birmingham, to attract more international visitors to Mid Wales. “We need to look at the region much more holistically as a partnership because I want to champion Mid Wales as a prime, world class destination,” he added.
Mr George added: “The clear message from the meeting is that the proposed tourism tax is going to be hugely detrimental to the tourism industry and that issues surrounding recruitment in the hospitality industry remain a serious concern.
“There seems to be a mixed picture from visitor attractions in terms of visitor numbers and I have asked MWT Cymru to collate more information for me.
“What is very positive is that we have been able to have our first face to face meeting for three years with MWT Cymru members.”
MWT Cymru’s chief executive Val Hawkins said it was a very positive meeting with Mr Williams and Mr George. “It was fantastic to hear our member business speak about their exciting investment projects which augurs well for the future of tourism in Mid Wales.
“However, there are storm clouds looming with the rise in the cost of living, the Welsh Government’s proposed taxes on the tourism industry and ongoing issues surrounding staff recruitment, broadband speed, electricity supplies and delays in decisions on planning applications in Powys.”
Businesses represented at the meeting were Cambrian Training Company based in Welshpool, the Centre for Alternative Technology, near Machynlleth, Dŵr Cymru, Mountain Bike Wales and The Lodge, Staylittle, near Llanidloes, Lake Vyrnwy Hotel, Plas Robin Retreats near Montgomery, Meadow Springs Country and Leisure Park, Trefeglwys, Maesmawr Farm Resort, Caersws, Open Newtown, Yamaha Off-road Experience near Llanidloes and Powis Castle and Gardens, Welshpool.
Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams and Member of the Senedd Russell George with MWT Cymru’s chief executive Val Hawkins, operations manager Zoe Hawkins and representatives of member businesses at Lake Vyrnwy Hotel on Friday.
The hunt is on to find the best companies, social enterprises and charities in Powys following the launch of the county’s annual business awards.
Showcasing the diverse range of successful enterprises in the county, Powys Business Awards are organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group (MWMG) with support from sponsors. This year, there are eight categories.
The launch event was held at Focus Business Hub in Newtown where Councillor David Selby, Powys County Council’s Cabinet Member for a More Prosperous Powys, said: “We have a unique, varied and thriving busy community here in Powys and it is right and correct that success is recognised. These awards give us the opportunity to do that.
“We must create the right environment for business start-ups and Powys County Council’s role as an enabler is to help businesses develop. I am excited about the opportunities for Powys businesses to bid for UK and Welsh Government funding for projects of different types, particularly through the Shared Prosperity Fund.”
Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething added: “As a Welsh Government, we’re committed to supporting businesses across Mid Wales to grow and thrive, as we strive to deliver a greener, fairer and more prosperous Wales. So, I’m pleased we’re able to sponsor the Powys Business Awards again this year.
“The awards are a great opportunity to showcase the diversity and quality of businesses operating, growing and succeeding in Powys. I encourage all businesses in the county to take a look at the breadth of award categories available, and to consider entering.”
This year’s categories are: Start up Business Award sponsored by EvaBuild, Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Welsh Government, Micro Business Award (fewer than 10 employees) sponsored by Welshpool Printing Group, Growth Award sponsored by The County Times, Small Business Award (under 30 employees) sponsored by WR Partners, Social Enterprise/ Charity Award sponsored by Myrick Training Services, Small Business Growth sponsored by EDF Renewables and Technology & Innovation sponsored by ForrestBrown.
From the category winners, an overall Powys Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Powys County Council, is chosen. In addition, the judging panel can make a discretionary Judges Special Award to recognise an outstanding achievement by a business or person who is not one of the category winners.
Entries must be received by Sunday, July 31 and the awards presentation will be held at Dering Lines, Brecon on Friday, October 7. Entry forms may be completed online or downloaded at https://www.powysbusinessawards.co.uk/entry-form .
The awards, which began in 2009, are an opportunity for all businesses, social enterprises and charities of all sizes in Powys to compete for a chance to be a finalist at the county’s main business event of the year.
Ceri Stephens, MWMG’s group manager, said: “The Powys Business Awards provides a fantastic platform for businesses to raise their profile. Those who enter the awards are independently judged on their excellent standards.
“After the pandemic challenges of the last two years, it will be great for businesses to gather to celebrate their achievements at the awards ceremony in October.”
Powys County Council’s Cabinet Member for a More Prosperous Powys Councillor David Selby (seated second from right) and Mid Wales Manufacturing Group manager Ceri Stephens (standing far left) with sponsors of this year’s Powys Business Awards at the launch.
Operating from within the Dyfi Valley, The Dyfi Distillery is, unusually for a distillery of its size, frequently open to passing visitors. It is located within the Corris Craft Centre, a hub for thriving independent craft producers, near Machynlleth.
Picture caption: Bartholomew Broadbent with Dyfi Gin at the British Embassy party in Washington DC to celebrate the Queen’s official Platinum Jubilee.
Last year’s bicentenary of the final opening of the Montgomery Canal to trade in Newtown was marked at a meeting of the Montgomery Canal Forum in the town last week.
While most of the engineering works had been completed earlier, it was not until 1821 that the final water supply and other arrangements were in place for the regular narrowboat trade to Newtown.
This trade continued until the canal was suddenly closed in 1936 due to a breach in the bank at the northern end.
Supporters, council representatives and others interested in the canal attended the meeting which opened with an update from Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust chairman Michael Limbrey.
He highlighted the powerful strategy for the canal which was used an example to other restorations across the country.
His presentation highlighted that the strategy manages restoration not just for boaters, but also for its valuable collection of canal-age locks, bridges and other structures, special habitats and recreation and well-being for visitor and local communities.
Jason Leach, head of external programme delivery for the Canal & River Trust, which owns the canal, spoke about benefits associated with the successful restoration of the Droitwich Canal in Worcestershire.
He described preparations for Montgomery Canal projects supported by UK Government grants totalling £15 million.
Val Hawkins, MWT Cymru’s chief executive, spoke about the canal in the context of tourism, an important part of the region's economy.
Stuart Owen from Open Newtown gave an enthusiastic presentation of achievements to re-energise the town’s green spaces and future ambitions.
Mr Limbrey said: “While the forum looked back to the completion of the Montgomery Canal to Newtown 201 years ago, really we were looking forward to all that is about to happen along the canal as it comes back to life.
“With over half reopened and the towpath open for all 35 miles, the emphasis is now on reconnecting the isolated section in Welshpool with the national canal network.
“Those works will include extensive new nature reserves specially constructed for the restoration, adding no less than 17 acres of significant new space for wild plants and wildlife.
“The coming months will see the start of the long-awaited Schoolhouse Bridge project in Shropshire, removing the canal’s last highway blockage in England and Shropshire Union Canal Society work parties completing their lottery-supported project to reopen the canal to Crickheath Basin, the next point where boats can turn.
“What will all this mean for the local area? Our speakers told the forum how important visitors are to Mid Wales, bringing nearly £1 billion to the local economy.
“There are many places around the canal network where people gather with a coffee or a pint and watch the boats go by and there are so many opportunities for places like that along the Montgomery Canal.
“We could not have the achievements so far, nor what will be happening in the near future, without the huge support from the local community and further afield.
“Supporters from the local area and right across the country took part in the Montgomery Canal Triathlon in May, volunteers from far and wide have come to join restoration working parties.
“In the same way, supporters from Scotland to the South Coast have made donations to the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal. We are grateful to them all.”
Picture caption; Michael Limbrey speaking at the Montgomery Canal Forum in Newtown.
The Willow Globe Company is taking a production of William Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy ‘As You Like It’ on tour to the fantastic setting of Gregynog Hall at Tregynon, near Newtown on Saturday, July 2.
The company, which has its base at Llanwrthwl, near Llandrindod Wells, will be welcoming the audience to the Forest of Arden with “love, laughter, music and philosophy under the greenwood tree”.
The outdoor production, from 7pm to 10pm with interval, is the climax of a day of activities at Gregynog Hall, former home of famous art-loving sisters Margaret and Gwendoline Davies. In the event of rain, the performance will move indoors to the Music Room.
As it’s an open-air performance, the audience is advised to bring chairs and blankets, a small number of seats will be available on site. Tickets, costing £12 for adults, £6 for under 16s and £30 for a family, may be purchased online at https://www.shakespearelink.org.uk/ticket-office/asyoulikeit/gregynog .
Visitors are invited to spend the day exploring the magical gardens and woodland at Gregynog Hall and its 750-acre estate before taking part in Willow Globe’s ‘Have-a-go Shakespeare’ workshop in the Gregynog Hall’s historic Music Room from 2-4pm. Participants will be asked to make a £3 donation to the Gregynog Trust.
The workshop will be followed by a buffet in the ornate oak carved Blayney Room between 4.30-6pm. Booking is required for the buffet which costs £10 for adults and £5 for children. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Actors rehearsing the wedding dance from As You Like It which is to be performed at Gregynog Hall on July 2.
A team tries to solve the clues to one of Beyond Breakout’s Outdoor escape games.
Parents looking for fun ways to entertain their children during the summer holiday are being encouraged to check out an enticing offer by a popular Mid Wales escape rooms attraction.
As part of Powys County Council’s ‘Summer of Fun’ programme, Beyond Breakout in Newtown will be making its Outdoor escape games available to play for free on certain dates.
Each outdoor game is for a team of up to six people and lasts two hours. To qualify for ‘Summer of Fun’ funding, at least one team member must be aged between 10 and 25 years.
Beyond Breakout’s Outdoor escape games have proved very popular since their launch last year. There are two games to choose from, ‘Magic Portal’ and ‘Operation Mindfall’, both of which use the latest Augmented Reality technology, making it a unique, immersive experience for all ages to enjoy.
Teams are provided with an action pack and a tablet to navigate a route, solve puzzles and save the world before the time runs out!
Most of the dates the company is releasing are for games to be played around Newtown, starting and ending at Beyond Breakout’s base in the Pryce Jones building.
However, there are also plans to take the games to Machynlleth, Welshpool and Llandrindod Wells, so that as many people as possible have the opportunity to play.
To find a list of available dates, visit Beyond Breakout’s website https://www.beyondbreakout.co.uk where there is a booking form to complete. As places are limited, teams are advised to book early to avoid disappointment.
Beyond Breakout is a member of MWT Cymru - https://www.mwtcymru.co.uk/ - a membership organisation that represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.
The plenary speakers at the c.800–c.1800 Welsh Manuscripts Conference will be Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, Bernard Meehan and Paul Russell. Notable scholars from Wales and beyond will also take part.
More than 30 papers will be delivered relating to aspects of manuscripts of Welsh provenance, including their construction, palaeography, scribes, patrons and collectors, textual studies and digital presentation.
Pedr ap Llwyd, the National Library’s chief executive and librarian, said: “This is undoubtedly one of the most important, if not the most important, scholarly research to be published by us.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to Daniel for his outstanding work and I have been privileged to get to know this dear and unique scholar over the past few years. Our best wishes to him on his special birthday and our thanks to him for a lifetime of service to Wales, our culture and learning.”
Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, director of the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, said: “This is a masterpiece indeed. We celebrate the scholarship of Dr Daniel Huws and are proud of the collaboration that has taken place so as to present this work to the world.
“I would like to thank all those who have worked with us to publish these extraordinary volumes and we look forward – not only to the launch and conference this year – but also to the new work and research that will come as a result of the Repertory for decades to come.”
This will be the most important publication on Welsh manuscripts for more than a century, and it will revolutionise the study of the country’s culture and literature.
The three volumes will include a detailed study of the manuscripts safeguarded by the National Library of Wales, Bangor University and centres such as the British Library and the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
It will also look at manuscripts that are kept further afield in places such as the Universities of Harvard and Yale, Stonyhurst College and Northamptonshire Archives.
On the basis of these manuscripts, the work and motives of the individuals that created them are analysed – from the Middle Ages up to the Industrial Revolution. Readers are introduced to notable individuals in the history of the nation, some that have been long forgotten and other more interesting characters that deserve further attention.
For more information visit https://llawysgrifaucymru.wordpress.com/rhaglen-programme-2/ or visit https://www.library.wales/events to book a ticket.
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