The UK’s only mainly coastal National Park is celebrating its 60th anniversary today, Wednesday February 29th 2012.
Designated on February 29th 1952, primarily for the breathtaking beauty of its coastline, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park remains a spectacular place 60 years on and is fast becoming one of the most talked about places on the planet.
Accolades for the landscape – and in particular the 186-mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail – continue to roll in, and the duty of the National Park Authority in caring for the Park amid its ever-increasing popularity is as challenging as ever.
The Park was hailed the second best coastal destination in the world by National Geographic Traveller magazine in 2010, while the Coast Path was ranked alongside the Inca Trail and Mount Kilimanjaro as among the top ten hiking trails in the world by online travel adviser Cheapflights in 2011.
National Park Authority Chairman Cllr Tony Brinsden said: “Over the years, the public face of the National Park will have meant different things to different people.
“Our visitors may have met a Warden or a Ranger while out walking on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, or chatted to an artist at Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre in St Davids. You might have had a holiday in a listed building, submitted a planning application or seen ponies grazing on the coastal slopes under the Park Authority’s Conserving the Park project. Or perhaps you’ve enjoyed a guided seal walk or a visit to Carew Castle or Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort.
“In short, we are a small public authority with a wide-ranging remit and we are challenged to be many things to many people. As we celebrate our 60th anniversary this year, we will continue to meet these challenges – by conserving the Park’s outstanding features and ensuring that the special qualities which we all value about it can be enjoyed by everyone, now and in the future.”
The Authority is hosting events throughout the year to celebrate the diamond anniversary, beginning with a charity concert on March 20th in Pembroke Dock where the Authority is based. Tickets for the concert, featuring Pembroke and District Male Voice Choir, which also celebrates its 60th birthday this year, and The Band of the Welsh Guards, are now sold out.
For details of family-friendly events taking place throughout the National Park during this 60th anniversary year, from pond-dipping to flint-knapping and from guided Coast Path walks to beach discovery days, log onto www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk