Since our last blog in June the national park we operate in has changed its name. It has become even more apparent to me that visitors are pointing out the amount of livestock in our national parks when visiting from abroad. Excitingly the first White Tailed Eagle has been born in the neighbouring country of England for over 200 years.
So for most of us involved in tourism locally, the national park of the Brecon Beacons has now been re named Bannau Brycheiniog, in fact while doing some research on this I am now not sure if this has been retracted due to the confusion it has caused? As a tourism business within the region we had no idea on the name change, my only insight to this was when visiting the tourism conference for the year 2023, which by the way was held in the same year “ A little re-think on this please BBNP” where a lady involved in the running of the park was excited about some news that would be coming out in April. A complete re brand was done, no one was even considered for their views on the impact of the decision, and frankly it has been a disaster with visiting tourists not knowing where they are visiting, come to think of it I still have no idea where I am operating. By the way I am also for all things Welsh but think it would be beneficial to keep things bi lingual to save on confusion such as the above. If anyone can let me know where I run my business I would be truly grateful.
I published a blog in April, National Parks or National Jokes https://wingsofwales.com/national-parks-or-national-jokes/ have a read.
Since then I have had many visiting guests asking me why we have so many sheep grazing our hills yet we call it a national park. This has also been more apparent since covid, I am not sure if people from abroad are picking up on this more than before due to no travel because of lock downs, maybe because of the discussions on environment. There has been many a conversation this year with Australians and Americans confused by situations of signage saying “stay to the paths please to stop erosion of the footpaths” and then looking at hundreds of sheep grazing on the same path. It is more clear than ever to me since April that we in the UK have no real understanding of what the term ‘national park’ really should be used for, what a shame. I am being cynical now but maybe we just need to call them our national farms instead of parks.
Anyway there has been a success in England with the first White Tailed Eagle being born since they became extinct in the early 1900’s. These birds have been released on the Isle Of White since 2019 and we have even had one of the birds visit us for a couple of days where we run our business. She stayed for a number of days and then returned back to the island, during her journey she was probably mapping out the countryside and looking for other birds to socialise with. Those who have visited us know we have our own WTE called Florence who we use for public engagement to discuss the possibility in releasing this bird of prey species back into Wales. For those who are not sure what WTE are, they are a very large bird of prey, big wings, short tail, large beak. They are NOT a true eagle though and in my mind do not have the same power of a true eagle which is an apex predator. The White Tail is actually a member of the Kite Family which mainly scavenge for their food. There is an organiseation looking into the feasibility of releasing WTE within Wales, https://www.eaglereintroductionwales.com/ who I really hope have the success in returning these birds of prey to Wales.
Lastly we look forward to seeing all the visitors over the summer holidays at a number of CADW sites we visit and country show events. Also a big thank you to those who have also visited this year so far, we hope you enjoyed your experience.
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Wings Of Wales was established in 2015 by conservation photographer and bird of prey handler Lewis Phillips.
Bird of prey flying team, based in the stunning region of the Brecon Beacons.