Gower – a land of history, beauty, and amazing variety. It was the first landscape to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), in 1956, and every one of its 188 sq km is jam packed with places of natural, historical and cultural interest. Plus, it has some of the UK’s / Europe’s ‘best’ beaches…little wonder then that it is one of the most cherished landscapes in Britain!
The Gower Landscape Partnership (GLP) aims to inspire and help local people learn more about and look after Gower’s special and distinctive features. GLP has been successful in securing £1.3m from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Landscape Partnership programme, and additional funding and support from: Cynllun Datblygu Gwledig i Gymru 2007 – 2013 (which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development); Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru; and National Trust. The Partnership has a core team of 3 staff, employed and supported by Dinas a Sir Abertawe.
Pressures from factors such as the post-war economics of farming and the encroachment of development especially from the city of Swansea have not served the scattered communities and intrinsic qualities of this area well. The formation of a Landscape Partnership over the past few years has been significant in uniting a wide range of partners with interests in the peninsula to develop a suite of projects which will have a significant impact in addressing some of the challenges facing the area.
The Landscape Partnership has identified six “clusters” of works that will deliver significant changes to the appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of Gower and will leave a legacy to protect the landscape from modern day pressures and conserve its protected nature.
The works “clusters” are:
- Nature (Biodiversity)
Up to 60 projects will be rolled out during the next four years by the core team, individual partners and procured contractors. Some of the projects that will be delivered include:
- Conserving medieval agricultural systems, ‘The Vile’, found on the Peninsula
- Renewing traditional events such as wassailing and Mari Lwyd
- Apprenticeships in traditional heritage skills
- Recording and interpreting Gower’s industrial and cultural history
- Conservation of natural and built features
Schools, community groups, and individuals will be encouraged to participate in the projects. If you want to find out how to get involved, please get in touch – our details are on the contact page.
Headline figures to be achieved:
- Dry stone walling / hedges – 2,500m
- Meadow and hay planting – 200ha
- Training sessions – 50
- Number of people to be engaged – 13,250
- Number of surveys to be undertaken – 50
- Number of people to be informed about Gower – 2 million