Carole Gledhill, National Park Ambassador
Ambassador: a person who is known, without national appointment, to represent certain professions, activities and fields of endeavour. A willing figurehead.
Such is one definition of an ambassador. In 2013 I became a National Park Ambassador and a Dark Sky Ambassador and I’m also a STEM Ambassador ( supporting Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) to boot. Am I a serial collector of ambassadorships? No, I don’t think so! It just so happened that I found myself with some free time and able to finally spend some of it doing things which interest me. The national park interests me. It’s where I live and it’s what brought me to Wales in the first place.
After almost 12 years here I am still discovering new corners and new activities and events and as a keen photographer, endless stunning landscapes to capture. I love it when friends and family come to visit and we can share our favourite spots and walks with them. A natural extension was to convert our unused barn into a holiday cottage and encourage others to come and explore this special part of the world.
As I run a 5* holiday cottage in Crai in the Upper Usk Valley region of the Brecon Beacons National Park, I thought it would be a good idea to undergo the excellent 3 day ambassador programme run by the Brecon Beacons National Park to better equip myself to answer the myriad questions which staying guests can throw at us. Brecon Beacons National Park Ambassadors are tourism businesses passionate about the National Park. Ambassadors aim to get visitors to discover the very Heart of the Park and to make emotional connections through meaningful experiences during their visit to the area. Hopefully by meeting one of the Ambassadors you will catch their passion and your visit will be made extra special. Once you qualify as a National Park Ambassador you can proceed to train as a Dark Sky Ambassador and Geopark Ambassador.
The 3 elements of the Ambassador programme are:
- Sense of Place
- Customer Care
- Park in Your Heart.
I heartily commend this scheme to any business in the Brecon Beacons, I gained such a lot of new information but more importantly began to see things in a different way and to consider our own tourism offer here at Madog Barn through the eyes of a visitor. I also found the networking opportunity with other participants to be a very valuable part of the scheme and I’ve kept in touch with many via facebook and Twitter and we’ll meet up at the forthcoming Tourism in Action conference on 5th March and at other courses run by the Brecon Beacons National Park. If you would like more details on the ambassador scheme contact the park.
There are now several ambassadors living in the Upper Usk Valley and in the following weeks and months others will be writing a blog post to share their thoughts on being a National Park Ambassador.
As an ambassador what do I recommend to visitors to the Upper Usk Valley? A few of my favourites are the Bluebell Woods behind Madog Barn, dinner and a drink at The Tanner’s Arms in Defynnog, Trecastle Antiques Centre, a walk out to Y Pigwn Roman Marching Camp.
So now, let me ask you this……if you came to visit the Upper Usk Valley what would you hope to gain from an ambassador? Tell us, we really want to know!
Brecon Beacons National Park Ambassador logo
A 5* self catering converted barn in Cray, Brecon Beacons National Park.