The anniversary lunch took place at Wolfscastle on Friday 23rd November, with over sixty members attending.
The raffle, thanks to the efforts of Kate Waldies and Marilyn James plus the generous donation of prizes by several members, raised £97 (and a penny!), for local NT projects. Past chairmen Dick Coggins and Martin Drew travelled to Pembrokeshire to join us for the event. (See photo).
After the meal Jim Price, long standing vice Chairman, described the early days when the PNTA was first being formed.
On the display boards there were pictures of Jonathan Hughes, Manager of Pembrokeshire National Trust, receiving cheques at PNTA AGMs across the years.
Roland Edwards, a former treasurer of PNTA, has totted up the donations and the overall sum exceeds £40,000.
Jonathan afterwards talked about his recent secondment to Wimpole Hall NT, in Cambridgeshire, comparing the landscape and the people to Pembrokeshire. Although he enjoyed his time there, at the end of the temporary appointment, he was content to return to West Wales.
Julian Cremona again delighted us with his stories and photographs, this time from his trip from South Africa to Namibia.He was struck by how the array of plants changed repeatedly with every hundred kilometres or so, travelling north. At times the road surfaces were not great and the campsites were far apart, but the reward was the variety of colourful birds, and animals, such as the sociable meercats..
Dr Davies gave a talk about mining in the Landshipping area, and of the fateful Valentine’s day in 1844 when the ceiling of the Garden Pit, which extended beneath the Cleddau River, collapsed. Fifty eight workers were below ground at the time, and forty of them, including women and children, lost their lives.
In a bonus meeting, arranged at short notice Clare Flynn, (Outreach Officer, Bee Wild West Wales for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust) gave an introductory talk about bees in general, and went on to concentrate on the 20+ varieties of Bumble Bee.
Bees have an important role in pollination, but numbers have been falling, associated with the trend to more intensive farming, since the second world war. Increasing use of insecticides further challenges bee survival.
It was fitting that Colby NT was the venue, as the walled garden was a good place for Clare to whisk bees into her net before transfer to a container for us to see and have identification explained, before their release. Also, Colby is following the example of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in seeking Bee Friendly status, in recognition for it’s work in enhancing wildlife habitats.
On another fine evening we strolled north from Lawrenny Quay, through the oak woods, taking in the views of Benton Castle, across the river. Alex Shilling pointed out the rare Wild Service trees, in the under storey. The path came out on the beach that led to Garron Pill, with the road taking us back to Lawrenny village. From there we took to the fields again, to climb for the view of the estuary towards Carew.
On another fine summer evening, Mark led us north from Abermawr. At the far end of Aberbach beach we had the excitement of walking the plank, across the stream, to access the coastal path beyond, which gave views of nesting sites for various sea birds.
The farmland of Treseissyllt is being let out to sheep farmers who are willing to conform to the strict organic principals that the National Trust require.