Best Selling Author Inspires National Park Ambassadors

Welsh author and journalist Horatio Clare knows all about the power of the written word but it was his inspiring speech about his love for the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park that won the hearts at an annual conference of Bannau Brycheiniog Park Ambassadors held at Buckland Hall last week.

Speaking at the annual Bannau Brycheiniog Park Ambassadors conference, the bestselling author of ‘Running for the Hills’, ‘A Single Swallow’ and the highly acclaimed ‘The Princes’ Pen’, Horatio Clare kept the audience in his rapt attention with his quick-paced presentation on eavesdropping in Iocal pubs, the wise musings of poets and his aunt, and more importantly how lucky we are to call the Bannau Brycheiniog home.  He ended by paying tribute to the great work of the Park Ambassadors for “…bringing anyone here, in giving anyone another reason to return, in enhancing anyone’s experience in any big or small way…”

Funded by the EU Interreg IVB project as part of Collabor8, the Park Ambassadors – who represent more than 50 diverse tourism businesses throughout the Park – were welcomed to the conference by Martin Flemming, the owner of Buckland Hall, which was followed by an opening presentation on walking opportunities and events for 2012 in the Bannau Brycheiniog by Western Area Warden, Jon Pimm.  

The Ambassadors also had presentations from Alan Bowring, Geopark Development Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority with a closing speech from Powys Cllr Gareth Ratcliffe, Visitor Champion and Member for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority. Overall, the conference gave Park Ambassadors an opportunity to network and set the tone for future Park Ambassador events and the collaboration between the National Park Authority and its tourism businesses.  

The Park Ambassador Scheme is organised by Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority who deliver a series of free one-day training workshops throughout the year designed to offer local tourism businesses the information they need to engage and inspire visitors to explore the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park. 


Organiser of the event and Tourism Growth Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, Carol Williams said:  “We would like to say a special thank you to Horatio Clare for speaking at our annual conference and inspiring our Park Ambassadors.


“This event has been a wonderful opportunity for Park Ambassadors to network and exchange business contacts.  The Park Ambassador Scheme is going from strength to strength and is putting businesses in this area at the forefront of Welsh tourism by encouraging visitors to return here again and again.  Great customer service and local knowledge is essential for local businesses to impart when trying to encourage visitors to discover the area and with over 85 Park Ambassadors now in the area schemes like this go a long way to provide visitors with a deeper understanding of the special qualities of the National Park.  Our new Park Ambassadors come from a range of diverse businesses, so this also makes them extremely influential when it comes to advising people on how best to enjoy and experience the National Park.”


Cllr Gareth Ratcliffe, Member for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:  “As a businessman myself, I know how difficult it is to sometimes find the time to pursue innovative new schemes.  What are Park Ambassadors are doing is helping their businesses be at the forefront of Welsh tourism.   We want visitors to keep coming back and their expert customer service and local knowledge is essential in aiding visitors discovery of this beautiful area. 


“Responsible tourism is a phrase that we are starting to use more and more in the Bannau Brycheiniog and your diverse businesses are aspiring to the same thing – to have a role to play, to be inspired by and responsible for developing tourism that is more beneficial for the community, the environment, our culture as well as our visitors and businesses.”


If you are interested in becoming a National Park Ambassador or would like to find out more information please contact Carol Williams on 01874 620 478 or email or visit the website