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Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig – What’s been happening? by Dafydd

Gruffydd, AGW Manager.


can attract additional tourists to the area, especially outside the peak seasons. Astro-tourism has grown as a sector over recent years driven in part by more exposure on television e.g. Stargazing Live on the BBC.

Welcome to the Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig Newsletter! Over the last few months we’ve been working on many varied projects. From putting Fitbits on cows to discovering the Sun in Blaenau Ffestiniog (it will all become clear as you read on!) However, the emphasis has always been on piloting, learning and sharing. Since the last newsletter some projects have finished, with valuable lessons learnt and shared. As you read this newsletter you’ll see we have many interesting and exciting projects currently on the go.

Gwynedd Dark Skies: How can businesses derive economic benefit from Snowdonia’s Dark Sky Status? Snowdonia National Park has been awarded a Dark Sky status, which is an international recognition for areas that are noted for their quality of starry nights. Only eleven other locations globally have received this honour from the International Dark-Skies Association. The purpose of this project is to discover if the Dark Sky status

Llyn Tecwyn Isaf, © Aaron Warren

After organising an open call, 14 accommodation providers were chosen to take part in the project. They were all located within the boundaries of the Park, and were eager to learn more about how the Dark Sky status could help their business.



We organised an astro-tourism workshop with consultancy company Dark Sky Wales to help the businesses learn more about the Dark Sky Status and how they can benefit from it.

Snowdonia Giving has already raised over £3,000

Martin Griffiths and Allan Trow of Dark Sky Wales

Astronomy events are very popular, and to showhow accommodation providers can benefit from an event like this, we organised an astronomy night at Llyn Gwynant Campsite.The evening was a great success, with over 40 businesses present, many that they could see the clear advantages from hosting such events themselves in the future.

Gwynedd. Making the most of what we have, since it is very dark here.” Another of the accommodation providers has already organised their own event, so if you’re interested in learning more about the night sky go to Pant Yr Onnen Campsite, Bala on the 29th of September! Tickets available here.

Visitor Giving: Would those who enjoy Snowdonia be willing to make a small contribution to protect the area? Snowdonia Giving continues to go from strength to strength, with 53 businesses already having joined the scheme. In January we presented a cheque for £3,250 to

(left) The pop-up planetarium at the dark skies event at Llyn Gwynant.

Medwen Edwards, owner of Brynweirglodd Self Catering Accommodation, said on the night “I definitely feel we need more things like this to promote tourism in

the Snowdonia Society. This money will go towards funding the society’s accredited course which teaches traditional conservation skills to young people, as you will see from the video.



New businesses are joining constantly and we love hearing their reasons. Here is what Always Aim High had to say:

“The Snowdonia Giving initiative is a great way for us all to help in protecting our beautiful natural landscapes. The future of tourism in North Wales depends on our continued nurturing of our local environments and communities and it is a pleasure for us to be involved in a project such as this.” We wanted everyone to hear how passionate our partners are about protecting Snowdonia. We have decided to film short videos with many of the businesses, so they can explain in their own words why they decided to join Snowdonia Giving. Take a look at some of them here! Recently Anglesey Sea Zoo joined Snowdonia Giving. This was a very exciting development for the scheme because they are the first business who are not located within the Park to join. We see this step in the evolution of Snowdonia Giving as a very positive one, because it shows that businesses who are not even in the Eryri Park are keen to join us! Take a look at our video with Frankie from the Sea Zoo to hear her reasons for joining.

Click here to see the video!

Fitbits on cows - Do fitter cows give birth to healthier calves? This was certainly one of our quirkiest projects! Back in February, with the help of Glynllifon Agricultural College, we put trackers, which are quite similar to fitbits, on cows! The trackers were put on two herds of cows, one herd was kept indoors, whilst the other was outside over the winter. The purpose of the project was to see if cows that are outside all year round, are healthier and have less trouble calving than cows that are kept indoors over winter.

This project grabbed to attention of many people, with lots of interest from the press. The programme ‘Ffermio’ came to film the cows, and Radio Cymru broadcasted live from the field! As well as trialling the trackers, which are new technology in the agricultural world, we also took this opportunity to encourage an interest in two new digital agricultural technologies. We organised 2 sessions with guest speakers, one whose expertise were in dairy farming, and the other in aerial drones. The sessions were very interesting, with ideas for future projects emerging.



Another applicant was Shoned Owen, founder of TANya WHITEbits, a professional spray tanning service and selftanning mousse. The loan was to help the rebranding of her products and to help fund the company’s presence at the National Eisteddfod, Royal Welsh Show and the Anglesey Agricultural Show. Many of the businesses who have previously received loans from Be Nesa have continued to grow and succeed. Shari Pollitt, who’s dance fitness company Booty and the Beats received a loan from Be Nesa in 2015, was recently awarded Gwynedd Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 by the Federation of Small Businesses.

Cysawd Eryri - Can we inspire everyone to get involved in the Dark Sky Status? Together with the Snowdonia Partnership Fund, over the next few months we will be welcoming the Solar System to Snowdonia. Planets will be placed in cafes, restaurants and shops, with the Sun being located in Blaenau Ffestiniog - a town with a reputation for being the wettest place in Wales! We’ll be working with artists, primary schools and businesses to create ‘Cysawd Eryri’. Tanya Whitebits: received support from Be Nesa Llŷn.

Be Nesa Llŷn – Are there alternative investment models which can keep money in the local economy? This was one of our first projects, and it’s still going strong! Over the last 2 years, £23,000 has been lent to young entrepreneurs in the Pen Llŷn area.

The aim is to highlight Snowdonia’s designation as an International Dark Sky Reserve and encourage an interest in Astronomy. By placing the planets around the Park, we’ll be creating an interplanetary trail for people to follow. At every stop, they will learn more about that specific planet and gain an

One of the most recent applicants was Llyn Sundecks, a decking company, who specialise in caravan decking for static caravans. Established in 2014 by 2 brothers, Darren & Dion Morley, they wanted a loan to buy a new van and a chop saw.

understanding of the Solar System’s scale. It will also encourage people to visit areas of the Park they might not have visited before.



In addition to supporting the marketing campaign and the production of a promotional film, Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig also evaluated the success of the approach and created a film of the process, which you can view here. This will inform future projects and be shared with others in Gwynedd interested in running their own Crowdfunding campaigns. We’re currently looking for businesses who are open to the public to take part in ‘Cysawd Eryri’. The locations needed are: Maentwrog, Beddgelert, Penrhyndeudraeth, Trawsfynydd, Harlech, Bala, Llanberis, Bethesda, Barmouth, Dolgellau, Dinas Mawddwy and Tywyn. Click here for more information.

Crowdfunding - is crowdfunding an effective way of raising money for community projects in Gwynedd? This project will support three Crowdfunding campaigns with the aim of learning from the process and sharing best practice.

The second crowdfunding campaign that we are currently supporting is for the Llety Arall project in Caernarfon. This project wants to raise funds to buy and renovate a building in Caernarfon into a hotel and meeting place. It will target people who want to experience and learn about the Welsh language and heritage of the town and surrounding area. We’re supporting the marketing campaign, which is an integral part of any crowdfunding project, by commissioning a promotional film.

We have already collaborated on one Crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for two community hydro energy schemes. Ynni Ogwen and Ynni Padarn Peris decided to raise funds for their projects via a community share offer.





Want to know more about Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig? Click on the following documents:

  

What is LEADER Gwynedd AGW Specific Objectives AGW Eligibility Criteria

Have an idea you think AGW should pilot? Complete this Enquiry Form. Click on the following links for further info:  

Rural Development Programme for Wales 20142020 Rural Community Development Fund

Profile for Menter Môn

AGW Newsletter #02  

Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig Newsletter #02 (June 2017)

AGW Newsletter #02  

Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig Newsletter #02 (June 2017)

Profile for mentermon

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