Our four regional branch committees’ AGMs took place in appealing and interesting sites this autumn offering members a great day out on the day they conduct they revue the year, look ahead at priorities to come, and elect their officers. Says Events Manager, Sarah Davies, “We look for great event locations which can also shed light on issues or opportunities for members in the area. We’re very grateful to those who hosted us.”
“Dyfed branch members met at Ocean View, Gower, a diversified dairy farm and salt-lamb business – now a wedding venue with holiday accommodation. Here, Viv and Lynn Pearce have taken advantage of a beautiful site with breath-taking views over the Loughor Estuary. Members learned how the Pearces have worked with the authorities to work within the AoNB planning development guidelines to develop the business which attracts many from the South East of England who see Gower as a jewel at the end of the M4.”
Sarah continues, “Meirionnydd and Montgomeryshire members met for their AGM at Grandstand Luxury Lodges, Wales, Trefeglwys. Here, since 2007, Colin and Mandy Powell and their family have created a luxury short-break destination of authentic Swiss lodges on a private 80 acre estate north of Llanidloes in the Cambrian Mountains, Mid Wales.” Members discussed the effects on tourism businesses post covid, the WG introduction of tourism tax, changes in customer holiday requirements and planning aspects for rural housing needs.
“Mostyn Hall, near Llandudno, played host to the North Wales branch AGM. Here the principal areas of activity are its commercial, residential and agricultural holdings within Llandudno, together with its agricultural estates based round Rhewl and Tremostyn, Flintshire. The Mostyn family connection with Llandudno and Flintshire began over 500 years ago. The Mostyn family, who leased most of the plots for development and influenced the building design and uses of the land, laid out the majority of the town, as we know it today, in 1849. Mostyn Estates has always sought to promote the economic well-being of the town and in recent years promoted Mostyn Champneys Retail Park, Parc Llandudno and the town’s Victoria Centre. Here members enjoyed a tour of the house and gardens, and an update on the Mostyn business operation in Llandudno and the local area.”
“Finally, the South East branch committee AGM took place at Tredegar House and Gardens near Newport. Now managed by the National Trust this is one of the UK’s most significant 17th Century houses. For over 500 years Tredegar House was home of the Morgan family, part of a 40,000 acre estate in Monmouthshire, Brecnock and Glamorgan at the end of the Eighteenth Century. Here, in 2023, CLA members enjoyed a tour of the house and gardens and a discussion about the challenges of estate management today from the Assistant Director of Operations for South Wales, Jonathan Hughes”
“Our four AGMs saw lively discussion about Welsh Government policy towards farming and land management, the proposed interim farm support scheme, Habitat Wales, managing residential lets, tourism and the proposed Visitor Levy, and Government policy towards game management and shooting. Finally,” Sarah adds, “the AGMs discussed the likely findings of the Senedd Cross Party Group on Rural Growth (secretaried by CLA Cymru) which has led Wales’ first formal Senedd inquiry into rural productivity.”
“These have been great regional branch events. I look forward to planning a similar – different – event for each of the four branches in 2024.”