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20th December 2007

Biking for a Greener Future

National Trust staff at Craflwyn have taken to their bikes as part of a continuing effort to be Environmentally sensitive. A grant made available form the Gwynedd Council’s Community chest scheme has enabled the purchase of 3 new bikes for use by staff and volunteers, encouraging them to cut down on their use of cars.

Property Manager Richard Neale said ‘’this is just the next step for us to make our work greener.  We are constantly trying to reduce our carbon footprint and the introduction of staff bikes will help in reducing staff vehicle usage.’’

 A scheme has also been set up with Bikes Beddgelert to encourage visitors to the property to use bikes during their stay. People coming to the area will be able to book their bike requirements in advance through the Craflwyn website. Their bikes and relevant safety equipment will then be ready for them upon their arrival. In a further step, those coming to stay at Craflwyn who come on public transport are given a reduction in the price of their accommodation.

18th June 2007

It’s Easy being Green at Craflwyn

Being green can be fun!  This was the conclusion of the first Green Day held at Craflwyn on the 14th of June.  A group of staff and volunteers spent the day away from their usual duties to carry out a variety of environmental jobs around the estate.

The idea came from the property’s Green Team, which meets every two months to review progress on our environmental targets and to come up with ideas for reducing our waste and energy consumption.

The group tackled all sort of tasks, such as kitting out an outbuilding as a Recycling Point and constructing a holding-bay for compost, which is produced on the estate by its state-of-the-art Rocket composter. 

Everyone agreed that the highlight of the day was a meal produced entirely without fossil fuel. This included local beef produced on the Trust’s farm at Hafod y Llan, which was cooked on hot stones in an “earth oven”, and garden produce cooked on an open fire.

Richard Neale, the Property Manager said “it was quite hard work, especially for those of us who spend most of our time behind a desk, but everyone really enjoyed it – especially the cycle ride to Beddgelert for home-made ice cream after we’d finished!”


8th June 2007

Mongolian opportunities

A Mongolian Yurt may not be the kind of landmark you’d expect to find nestling in the rugged landscape of Snowdonia...but between the 9th – 16th June, a group of working holiday volunteers staying at Craflwyn, near Beddgelert will be using ancient construction skills to build their own Yurt campsite on the slopes above Craflwyn. The finished product will be used as accommodation for volunteer and community groups who will visit the sight in the future.

Under the guidance of local experienced craftsman and Yurt expert Rich Goodrich, the volunteers will build the traditional tent-like structures from Craflwyn Estate’s timber, felled and milled on site, and poles felled on the nearby Faenol Estate, Bangor. The group will learn how to mill and shave wood, how to steam bend it to shape, as well as how to assemble the structure. Measuring approximately 16 foot in diameter, the finished Yurt will be able to sleep between six and eight people, and on the last evening of the holiday, the working holiday group will get a chance to try out the unusual accommodation by spending the night in their own creation.

A Yurt is a round, nominally portable, self-supporting, immensely stable structure suitable for camping in comfort, but doesn’t rely on ropes or stalks to hold itself up. It consists of a circular wooden frame normally carrying a wool felt cover. Historical evidence suggests Yurts have been used by nomadic people for over 2000 years, and although they are portable enough to be moved on a horse, they are warm and strong enough to withstand Siberian winds.

Doug Don, Volunteering Warden at Craflwyn says: “We are really looking forward to follow the process of the Yurt being built. This is just one of the many working holidays held at Craflwyn which play a key role in lending a hand with a variety of projects - from hedge laying to eradicating invasive rhododendron and footpath maintenance. Each working holiday makes a real difference – in this instance, not only will the group learn new skills, have fun, and meet new people as they do so, they will also get the satisfaction of working a project from start to finish. The completed Yurt will be a real asset to Craflwyn - it will be used as an alternative accommodation for many volunteer and community groups in the future.”

2 April, 2007

Children’s new mural at Llŷn’s old coastguard hut

The old Coastguard Station at the spectacular location of Mynydd Mawr, Llŷn has been revamped with a colourful new mural created by children who are members of Aberdaron Urdd group. The new-look hut will be open from Easter Saturday (7th April).

With the help of local artist Kim Atkinson, the local children have created a mural which takes visitors on a journey through the heathland and over the cliffs to discover the wealth of wildlife found at this superbly wild and beautiful headland.  The project was undertaken as part of the Cadw’r Lliw yn Llŷn initiative, and funding was partially provided by the National Trust Dyffryn Clwyd Association.

The old coastguard station, which commands stunning views over Bardsey Island, was a lookout point for coastguards for nearly 80 years until satellite technology made the building redundant in 1990. As well as showcasing the children’s work, it is also home to an exhibition which explains the importance of the surrounding heathland and how the National Trust is working to look after this special landscape.

Llŷn’s coastal heathland is one of the most important in Europe. The carpet of purple and yellow provides a rich habitat to many of Britain’s rarest species, such as the spotted rock-rose, which only flowers for one day, the yellowhammer, common blue butterfy, damselfly, marsh fritillary butterfly, the chough, and golden hair lichen. But Llŷn’s heathland is under serious threat due to the way the land is farmed and managed. Overgrazing on the one hand and overgrowth on the other has contributed towards the loss of 80% of the UK’s lowland heath in the last 150 years.

The National Trust’s team on Llŷn are working to conserve this important heathland by re-building traditional earth banks between fields to encourage wildlife to the area, and by introducing grazing ponies to help control the vegetation.

Richard Neale, Property Manager at Llŷn and Eifionydd says: “We’re delighted with the children’s mural at the old Coastguard Station at Mynydd Mawr – it brings to life the abundance of species found here – many of them extremely rare. The heaths of Llyn may look wild but they require careful management to ensure the survival of their natural wildlife. The new exhibition will hopefully help visitors to engage with the importance and uniqueness of the historic heathlands of Llŷn and the need for them to be preserved for the future.”

25th January 2007



Craflwyn has recently been recognised as achieving a level 3 Green Dragon standard. This is a tribute to the hard work of all those that have been involved in the conscious efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.

What is Green Dragon?

Green Dragon is a 5 step standard undertaken by companies and organisations wanting to make a real commitment to environmental management.

How is it Graded?

The five steps are sequential as can be seen below:

Step One Commitment to Environmental Responsibility.

Step Two Complying with legislation

Step Three Managing Environmental Impacts

Step Four Environmental Management Programme

Step Five  Continual Environmental Improvement

By achieving a level three, Craflwyn is now well within the top 8% of the 882 organisations currently committed to the scheme.

What’s Next ?

Here at Craflwyn we will continue to work towards the fourth step by implementing our current environmental policies and ensuring that all our staff and visitors are aware of the need to reduce our impact on the environment.

Property Manager Richard Neale said, “We are very pleased to have achieved Level 3 of the Green Dragon Standard.  The systematic approach has helped us reduce our carbon emissions by a fantastic 6%, and this during a period when the number of people using the centre has increased by 10%.”

To find out more about Green Dragon go to www.greendragonems.com

To find out more about how we are working towards our aims go to Think Green on this website.



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