Gar­den cel­e­brates bumper growth in num­ber of vis­i­tors

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS -

THE Na­tional Botanic Gar­den of Wales is cel­e­brat­ing another in­crease in visi­tor num­bers – even top­ping last year’s 17-year high.

A grand to­tal of 163,403 leisure vis­i­tors crossed the thresh­old at the Car­marthen­shire attraction be­tween the be­gin­ning of April 2018 and the end of March 2019.

Not only is this the high­est visi­tor fig­ure since the gar­den at Lla­narthne opened in 2000, but a huge in­crease on three years ago, when the to­tal for the year (201516) was a lit­tle over 114,000.

Di­rec­tor Huw Fran­cis said: “To in­crease our num­bers by nearly 50,000 in three years is a fan­tas­tic suc­cess story for the botanic gar­den, a real credit to the hard work of our staff and vol­un­teers, and a re­flec­tion of the huge sup­port we re­ceive from our mem­bers and friends.”

But, said Mr Fran­cis, there are other mile­stone mo­ments in the past year that are as im­por­tant as the num­ber of peo­ple through the gate.

“It’s not all about visi­tor num­bers for a botanic gar­den. We have to work ev­ery bit as hard to meet other cru­cial goals, too,” he said. He ex­plained that, as a na­tional institutio­n, the botanic gar­den de­liv­ers key ben­e­fits for Wales, es­pe­cially against the Well-being of Fu­ture Gen­er­a­tions Act.

“De­liv­er­ing more than 27,000 ed­u­ca­tional en­gage­ments with our small team is a real high wa­ter­mark for us,” he said.

“And the ex­cep­tional work our sci­ence and hor­ti­cul­ture teams are do­ing all around the world - as well as in our own back­yard – is some­thing all of Wales can be proud of.”

Against a back­drop of feared wide­spread in­sect col­lapse, Gar­den sci­en­tists are fo­cused on their Sav­ing Pol­li­na­tors pro­ject, which in­volves re­search­ing the be­hav­iour of pol­li­na­tors to bet­ter in­form what we can do to help them thrive, de­liver habi­tat restora­tion and sup­port species re­cov­ery.

Mr Fran­cis ad-ded: “The Na­tional Bot-anic Gar­den of Wales is a world-lead­ing cen­tre of ex­cel­lence in sci­ence, hor­ti­cul­ture and con­ser­va­tion rep­re­sent­ing Wales on the world stage, as well as a lead­ing visi­tor desti­na­tion, and we hope all of Wales is as proud of it as we are.”

The Na­tional Botanic Gar­den of Wales is cel­e­brat­ing an in­crease in visi­tor num­bers, top­ping last year’s 17-year high.

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