12 Jan 2017

Garden Newsletter – January 12

Ardd Fotaneg · Botanic Garden

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Woodcraft Weekend

Wood-turners, lovespoon-carvers, stick-makers, power tools and pyrography are just some of the attractions gathering together in the National Botanic Garden of Wales for a weekend of demonstrations and displays – on Saturday and Sunday January 14-15.

The Garden’s popular Woodcraft Weekend runs from 10am – 4.30pm both days and admission is just £3 per person.

Organiser (and exhibitor) Les Bryan said there will be plenty to interest visitors: “It is a real treat to see some of the UK’s top carvers and turners in action. Last year’swoodcraft weekend was hugely popular and we expect this to be even bigger.

Families might also like to know that international pyrography artist Bob Neill will be demonstrating and running children’s workshops this year.”

In terms of big names from the world of wood, the two main demonstrators are Bob Neill and Simon Hope – with a masterclass in wood turning. But there are also demonstrations and displays of powertools and woodturning products, by the likes of Axminster, Robert Sorby, Chestnut, Hamilton Beverstock and Isca Timber to name but a few.

Also putting on a show will be the British Woodcarvers’ Association and Martin Pidgen will be giving talks of timber and its uses.

For more information about this and other Garden events email info@gardenofwales.org.uk or call  01558 667149.



The Garden will appear on this week’s episode of BBC One’s Countryfile, at 6:30pm.

Helen Skelton visits the Garden to discover more on our Science Department‘s DNA Barcoding project, as well as how we’re preparing our bees for winter.

Wales was the first nation in the world to DNA barcode all of its native flowering plants and conifers, through work led by the National Botanic Garden of Wales. This work provides a resource with huge potential for research into biodiversity conservation and human health, freely available to all researchers via the Barcode of Life Database.


Tributes paid to Garden Trustee 

John Ellis, vice-chairman of the board of trustees at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, has died.
Mr Ellis, 78, from Llanddarog, near Carmarthen, had been a volunteer at the garden for more than 20 years. He became a Garden trustee in 1995 – four years before it opened – at the request of the then chief executive, William Wilkins.John was awarded an OBE in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.Garden director, Huw Francis said: “This is very sad news. John had not been well for a while but he fought hard to maintain his usual high level of passion and commitment.”Mr Francis added: “He will be sorely missed here at the Garden where the impact of his unstinting efforts and hard work, over many years, cannot be underestimated.”Mr Ellis is survived by his two children and six grandchildren. He was married to Miriam for 48 years before she passed away in 2008.

Fit For Free

The Garden’s new ‘Fit For Free’ trails are proving to be a popular hit with visitors, with many taking advantage of the scenic routes, as well as FREE entry on weekdays!

We have created a series of trails around the Garden – some on flat paths to suit strollers, pushchairs and wheelchairs; and some more rugged, off-road routes around the estate, passing the waterfall.

What better way to try out your new fitness gadget, dig out and dust off that FitBit you were given last Christmas and clock up a serious number of steps?

The various trails are clearly way-marked and there’s a free map to
accompany you on your journey – the map is also downloadable if you want to check it out pre-visit.

And each route has a ‘cupcake’ rating that indicates the degree of difficulty.

If you can only make it to the Garden at the weekend, it’s not the end of the world because entry is only £3 on Saturdays and Sundays in January.

Doggy Day

This coming Monday will again see the Garden welcoming visitors and their four-legged-friends.
And, as it will be a January weekday, entry to the Garden will be completely FREE!

Dogs must be kept on a non-extendable lead at all times and, due to the rare and valuable plants and butterflies, are not permitted into the Butterfly House.

And don’t forget, through the winter – every Monday is Doggy Day!

Welly Wednesday

Welly Wednesday features an hour of fun, outdoor activities, storytelling and exploring for pre-schoolers and is a great way for parents to get their toddlers close to nature with 60 minutes of fun in the woods with water and mud – whatever the weather!

Activities start at 11am from the Gatehouse and admission on every Wednesday throughout January is completely free!

For more information, contact the Education Department on 01558 667150.