Garden visits hit a 17-year high

Staff and volunteers at the National Botanic Garden of Wales are celebrating a big rise in visitor numbers.

In the 12 months to March 31, the increasingly popular Carmarthenshire attraction has welcomed 161,762 people – the highest figure since 2001.

This latest number, as well as being a 17-year high, is a 20 per cent increase on last year and a whopping 41 per cent up on 2015/16.

Garden Director Huw Francis said: “Our focus on families is really paying off with the increase in visitors made up almost entirely of parents with children.”

He added: “The new positioning has come alongside some attractive developments such as our popular tropical butterfly house, Plas Pilipala and our children’s playground, which has been completely redesigned, but there’s still lots more to come.

“This June will see the opening of the British Bird of Prey Centre, offering experiences that will be unique in the UK. We have also this year launched the fantastic Growing The Future project – which promotes gardens and gardening for health and well-being, as well as celebrating Welsh horticulture – and our ongoing Regency Restoration project will this year see a massive transformation of the wider landscape.”

Mr Francis added: “I can’t praise the team here highly enough. The hard work in all departments to deliver our mission of ‘Conservation, Education, Inspiration’ is genuinely outstanding. They should be very proud of what they are achieving.”

After five years which saw visitor numbers plateau around the 110,000 mark, the Garden’s new initiatives saw an instant result at the end of last year with an immediate increase of 25,000.

The Garden’s visitor target for 2018/19 is 180,000.

In addition to leisure visitors to the Garden, the year saw 10,789 Education visits and 5,199 corporate visitors.

  • The National Botanic Garden of Wales is a charity dedicated to the research and conservation of biodiversity; to sustainability, lifelong learning and the enjoyment of the visitor.
  • It opened in May 2000 as one of three iconic Millennium projects in Wales. It is the only one outside the nation’s capital, occupying historic parkland (Middleton estate) covering 568 acres and incorporating a National Nature Reserve and organic farm, as well as being a showcase for some of the world’s most endangered plants.
  • The Garden is open every day of the year except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.