Join the patter of Paws on the Great Orme

Attention dog walkers! We know you love our summer #WagWednesdays here at Bodnant Garden, and you’ll soon be able to explore another National Trust beauty spot nearby on the Great Orme.

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Parc Farm shepherd Dan Jones 

We’re co-hosting a dog fun day at Parc Farm, part of the famous Llandudno landmark which National Trust bought for the nation in 2015, to celebrate the opening of new public footpaths.

Paws on the Great Orme on Sunday, June 18, features fun dog shows and demonstrations and storytelling for families. It’s also a chance for visitors to look around Parc Farm and learn about the special farming and conservation work being done there by National Trust Wales and our partner organisation Plantlife – as well as the work of Conwy County Borough Council and PONT Cymru on the wider headland.

William Greenwood, property manager for Bodnant Garden and Parc Farm, says:  “Parc Farm is a breathtaking beauty spot and it’s great to be able to share it with walkers, and their dogs. Come and enioy this stunning area and see the work we’re doing to protect it for future generations of people and wildlife.”

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Farmer Dan at work with his dog Tian

Perched on top of the Great Orme headland, the 145-acre Parc Farm enjoys far-reaching views of Snowdonia and the Irish Sea and is home to rare and special wildlife found nowhere else on earth. It is being farmed in traditional way for the National Trust by tenant farmer Dan Jones who is practising close-shepherding to encourage the rare species found there. Dan’s flock of Llyn and Herdwick sheep have been provided by charity Plantlife, which is supporting the conservation work there.

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Dogs on short leads please! Ranger Doug with his buddy at Parc Farm

Our National Trust ranger Doug Don and his volunteers have also been busy creating two new footpaths from the Great Orme summit past Parc Farm. It will be the first time the public have had access to this area since the farm was enclosed in 1875.

Dogs on short leads will be welcomed from June until December.  Over winter and spring they will be closed to reduce disturbance to sheep during lambing and to allow the Great Orme’s protected birds, the Chough, to feed their young.

Doug says: “We’re really pleased to be able to welcome visitors to parts of Parc Farm after such a long time. It will be seasonal, to balance access with the needs of farming and nature conservation, and we’ll be monitoring the effect on wildlife.

“But we hope people will come and enjoy it. All we ask is that walkers stick to the waymarked paths, keep dogs on a short lead, clear up after their pets and follow the signage and notices. All restrictions and closures will be clearly posted.”

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Do not disturb…footpaths will be closed at certain times of year to protect sheep and other wildlife

Paws on the Great Orme takes place at Parc Farm starting at 11am (some parking is available on the summit, from where the two new footpaths begin.) There will be a fun dog show at 12.30 plus dog obedience demonstrations at 11.30am and 2.15pm by Valley dog Training, and sheep dog demonstrations at 12 noon and 2.45pm by shepherd Dan Jones. Visitors can also have a go at mini agility with Valley Dog Training and talk to members of Butterfly Conservation, RSPCA, Guide Dogs Cymru, North Wales Wildlife Trust, Conwy County Borough Council who will be at the event. Refreshments will be provided by Bodnant Garden’s catering team.

To find out more contact our National Trust office on 01492 650460.

Garden fun for half-pints this Half Term

Child in the Kitchen Garden at Tintinhull Garden, Somerset.

  Remember the things you loved doing as a child? They probably included climbing trees, making mud pies, splashing in puddles and building dens (whether for playing house or playing army camp…and there’s no gender reference implied there). I bet your best memories are of the outdoors and I bet they don’t involve screens of any kind, whether phones, laptops or televisions.

  There is widespread concern that youngsters today are losing out on the simple pleasures of outdoor play. The National Trust is trying to turn this around with a campaign called 50 Things to Do Before You Are 11 and 3/4 and at Bodnant Garden we’re doing our bit too.

  We’re looking hard at ways to make the garden more family friendly – both in the facilities we offer and the experiences we can give to our visitors. As part of this we’re running a host of activities for kids over the spring and summer and it starts this Bank Holiday and Half Term.

  Throughout the week why don’t you try out our Top Things To Do at Bodnant Garden?

Child taking part in the Full Bloom Festival at Acorn Bank, near Penrith, Cumbria

– Explore inside a tree on the Top Rose Terrace
– Play croquet on the Croquet Terrace
– Make a flower kebab
– Make a paper boat
– Lend a gardener a hand
– Make a mud pie in the Glades
– Look for a birds nest
– Play pooh sticks on the Mill Bridge
– Hunt for butterflies
– Take a photo of the coolest thing you see. Upload it onto our facebook site and share it.

– And if it’s raining, just bring your wellies and add to the list …run around in the rain and jump in a puddle!

  There will be quizzes and trails to do and we will be giving out checklists to children so they can tick off how many Top Things they get through during the week.

little boy and dog

  But that’s not all! Events planned this week for all visitors include:

– Storytelling in the Pinmill both Saturdays, 2pm-2.30pm (free event).

– Music in the Pinmill on Sunday May 26, from 2pm-4pm (free event).

– Open day at The Poem mausoleum on Tuesday May 28 (free event).

– Late night opening on Wednesday May 29, 5pm-8pm, when families can bring the dog too (normal admission applies).

– Walk and Wine evening on Thursday May 30 when the garden is open 5pm-8pm for a stroll, drinks and nibbles at the Pinmill (£6 entry).

Face-painting at the Full Bloom Festival at Acorn Bank, near Penrith, Cumbria

  There are plenty more events planned at Bodnant Garden for the summer and these are some of the highlights to put in your diary:

Teddy Bears’ Picnic 15 & 16 June – To launch National Picnic Week, with garden games and a best dressed teddy contest.

Midsummer Madness, 22 & 23 June – Events at Bodnant Garden Centre and around the garden including planting, colouring, pond dipping and garden games. We’re also going to open a secret area of the garden for a special sneak preview before it opens in 2014.

Grow Wild! 22 July- 6 September – Summer holiday fun for the family including mud pie making, evening nature walks, a machinery weekend, tree climbing and chance to be a garden apprentice.

may trail poster

For all these events and more keep an eye on our website http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden  Facebook page www.facebook.com/BodnantGardenNT and this blog.

Photos supplied by National Trust and Bodnant Garden